CVE-2023-46747 is a critical security vulnerability affecting the BIG-IP platform, a widely used application delivery and security solution. This vulnerability poses a significant risk of unauthenticated remote code execution, making it a severe concern for organizations using F5’s BIG-IP. In this article, we will explore the nature of CVE-2023-46747, its potential dangers, and provide comprehensive solutions to address this critical security issue.
Nature of CVE-2023-46747
CVE-2023-46747 is a vulnerability that resides in the configuration utility component of the BIG-IP system. This component allows for the management and configuration of the system. The nature of this vulnerability is an authentication bypass issue, which can lead to unauthenticated remote code execution. This means that an attacker with network access to the BIG-IP system through the management port and/or self IP addresses can execute arbitrary system commands, potentially leading to a complete compromise of the F5 system.
Key Points to Understand
- Authentication Bypass: The vulnerability allows an attacker to bypass authentication and gain unauthorized access to the system’s control plane.
- Remote Code Execution: The attacker can execute arbitrary system commands on the compromised system, which can result in a complete system compromise.
- Control Plane Issue: Importantly, this vulnerability is classified as a control plane issue, meaning it doesn’t expose the data plane. This means that while the control plane may be compromised, the actual data being processed by the system may remain intact.
CVE-2023-46747 carries a high CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) score of 9.8 out of 10, indicating its severe nature. The potential dangers associated with this vulnerability are significant and include:
- Unauthorized Access: Attackers can gain unauthorized access to the BIG-IP system, potentially leading to the compromise of sensitive data and configurations.
- Complete System Compromise: The ability to execute arbitrary commands as the root user can result in a complete system compromise, giving attackers full control over the system.
- Data Integrity Concerns: While this vulnerability is primarily a control plane issue, it can impact the integrity of system configurations and settings, potentially affecting data processing.
Affected Versions and Fixes
CVE-2023-46747 affects various versions of BIG-IP. F5 has released fixes for the affected versions to address this vulnerability. Users are strongly encouraged to apply these fixes to secure their systems. The affected versions and corresponding fixes are as follows:
- 17.1.0: Fixed in 22.214.171.124 + Hotfix-BIGIP-126.96.36.199.0.75.4-ENG
- 16.1.0 – 16.1.4: Fixed in 188.8.131.52 + Hotfix-BIGIP-184.108.40.206.0.50.5-ENG
- 15.1.0 – 15.1.10: Fixed in 220.127.116.11 + Hotfix-BIGIP-18.104.22.168.0.44.2-ENG
- 14.1.0 – 14.1.5: Fixed in 22.214.171.124 + Hotfix-BIGIP-126.96.36.199.0.10.6-ENG
- 13.1.0 – 13.1.5: Fixed in 188.8.131.52 + Hotfix-BIGIP-184.108.40.206.0.20.2-ENG
Mitigations and Workarounds
For users of BIG-IP versions 14.1.0 and later, F5 has provided a shell script that can be used as a temporary workaround. However, caution is advised, as using this script on versions prior to 14.1.0 may prevent the Configuration utility from starting. Other temporary workarounds include blocking Configuration utility access through self IP addresses and the management interface.
Given the severity of CVE-2023-46747 and its potential for unauthenticated remote code execution, users are strongly advised to take the following actions:
- Apply Provided Fixes: Ensure that the provided fixes are applied to your system to eliminate the vulnerability.
- Use Mitigations: Consider using the provided shell script or other temporary workarounds to secure your system until the fix can be implemented.
- Follow F5’s Recommendations: Follow F5’s official recommendations to secure your BIG-IP deployments and prevent unauthorized access.
In conclusion, CVE-2023-46747 is a critical vulnerability that demands immediate attention and action from organizations using the BIG-IP platform. Understanding its nature, potential dangers, and available solutions is essential for securing your systems and protecting sensitive data. Timely adoption of these measures is crucial to prevent unauthorized access and potential system compromise.