Palo Alto Networks Security Advisories / CVE-2020-2049

CVE-2020-2049 Cortex XDR Agent: Improper control of loaded DLL leads to local privilege escalation

047910
Severity 7.8 · HIGH
Attack Vector LOCAL
Attack Complexity LOW
Privileges Required LOW
User Interaction NONE
Scope UNCHANGED
Confidentiality Impact HIGH
Integrity Impact HIGH
Availability Impact HIGH

Description

A local privilege escalation vulnerability exists in Palo Alto Networks Cortex XDR Agent on the Windows platform that allows an authenticated local Windows user to execute programs with SYSTEM privileges.

This requires the user to have the privilege to create files in the Windows root directory.

This issue impacts:

All versions of Cortex XDR Agent 7.1 with content update 149 and earlier versions;

All versions of Cortex XDR Agent 7.2 with content update 149 and earlier versions.

Product Status

VersionsAffectedUnaffected
Cortex XDR Agent 7.27.2.* without content update 150 on Windows 7.2.* with content update 150 on Windows
Cortex XDR Agent 7.17.1.* without content update 150 on Windows 7.1.* with content update 150 on Windows
Cortex XDR Agent 7.0None7.0.* with latest content on Windows
Cortex XDR Agent 6.1None6.1.* with latest content on Windows

Severity: HIGH

CVSSv3.1 Base Score: 7.8 (CVSS:3.1/AV:L/AC:L/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H)

Weakness Type

CWE-427 Uncontrolled Search Path Element

Solution

Cortex XDR Agent content update version 150 and all later content update versions resolve this issue for Cortex XDR Agent 7.1 and Cortex XDR Agent 7.2 versions.

Cortex XDR Agent 6.1 and Cortex XDR Agent 7.0 are not impacted with the latest content update.

Content updates are automatically applied for the agent. A Cortex XDR Agent version upgrade is not required to resolve this issue.

Workarounds and Mitigations

This issue is mitigated by preventing local authenticated Windows users from creating files in the Windows root directory such as C:\.

Acknowledgments

Palo Alto Networks thanks Chris Au of PwC Hong Kong - Darklab and Xavier DANEST of Decathlon for discovering and reporting this issue.

Timeline

Initial publication
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