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Cisco Security Advisory: Vulnerability in Java Deserialization Affecting Cisco Products



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Cisco Security Advisory: Vulnerability in Java Deserialization Affecting Cisco Products

Advisory ID: cisco-sa-20151209-java-deserialization

Revision 1.0

For Public Release: 2015 December 9 16:00  GMT
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Summary
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A vulnerability in the Java deserialization used by the Apache Commons Collections (ACC) library could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.

The vulnerability is due to insecure deserialization of user-supplied content by the affected software. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by submitting crafted input to an application on a targeted system that uses the ACC library. After the vulnerable library on the affected system deserializes the content, the attacker could execute arbitrary code on the system, which could be used to conduct further attacks.

On November 6, 2015, Foxglove Security Group published information about a remote code execution vulnerability that affects multiple releases of the ACC library. The report contains detailed proof-of-concept code for a number of applications, including WebSphere Application Server, JBoss, Jenkins, OpenNMS, and WebLogic. This is a remotely exploitable vulnerability that allows an attacker to inject any malicious code or execute any commands that exist on the server. A wide range of potential impacts includes allowing the attacker to obtain sensitive information.

Object serialization is a technique that many programming languages use to convert an object into a sequence of bits for transfer purposes. Deserialization is a technique that reassembles those bits back to an object. This vulnerability occurs in Java object serialization for network transport and object deserialization on the receiving side.

Many applications accept serialized objects from the network without performing input validation checks before deserializing it. Crafted serialized objects can therefore lead to execution of arbitrary attacker code.

Although the problem itself is in the serialization and deserialization functionality of the Java programming language, the ACC library is known to be affected by this vulnerability. Any application or application framework could be vulnerable if it uses the ACC library and deserializes arbitrary, user-supplied Java serialized data.

Additional details about the vulnerability are available at the following links:

Official Vulnerability Note from CERT:
http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/576313

Foxglove Security:
http://foxglovesecurity.com/2015/11/06/what-do-weblogic-websphere-jboss-jenkins-opennms-and-your-application-have-in-common-this-vulnerability/

Apache Commons Statement:
https://blogs.apache.org/foundation/entry/apache_commons_statement_to_widespread

Oracle Security Alert:
https://blogs.oracle.com/security/entry/security_alert_cve_2015_4852

Cisco will release software updates that address this vulnerability. There are no workarounds that mitigate this vulnerability.

This advisory is available at the following link:
http://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20151209-java-deserialization

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