Palo Alto Networks Security Advisories / CVE-2022-0016

CVE-2022-0016 GlobalProtect App: Privilege Escalation Vulnerability When Using Connect Before Logon With SAML Authentication

Severity 7.4 · HIGH
Attack Vector LOCAL
Attack Complexity HIGH
Confidentiality Impact HIGH
Privileges Required NONE
Integrity Impact HIGH
User Interaction NONE
Availability Impact HIGH


An improper handling of exceptional conditions vulnerability exists within the Connect Before Logon feature of the Palo Alto Networks GlobalProtect app when the feature is configured to use SAML authentication that enables a local attacker to escalate to SYSTEM or root privileges when authenticating with Connect Before Logon under certain circumstances.

This issue impacts GlobalProtect app 5.2 versions earlier than GlobalProtect app 5.2.9 on Windows and MacOS.

This issue does not affect the GlobalProtect app on other platforms.

Product Status

GlobalProtect App 5.3None5.3.*
GlobalProtect App 5.2< 5.2.9 on Windows and MacOS>= 5.2.9 on Windows and MacOS
GlobalProtect App 5.1None>= 5.1.*

Required Configuration for Exposure

This issue is applicable only to devices configured to use SAML authentication in the GlobalProtect Connect Before Logon feature.


CVSSv3.1 Base Score:7.4 (CVSS:3.1/AV:L/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H)

Exploitation Status

Palo Alto Networks is not aware of any malicious exploitation of this issue.

Weakness Type

CWE-703 Improper Check or Handling of Exceptional Conditions


This issue is fixed in GlobalProtect app 5.2.9 on Windows and MacOS, and all later GlobalProtect app versions.

Workarounds and Mitigations

Using non-SAML authentication methods in the GlobalProtect Connect Before Logon feature removes the impact of this issue.

More information on Connect Before Logon authentication modes is available here:


Palo Alto Networks thanks Adam Crosser (Praetorian), Brian Sizemore (Praetorian) and N. Sao (Genetec) for independently discovering and reporting this issue.


Clarified that this issue only affects the feature when SAML authentication is used
Initial publication
© 2023 Palo Alto Networks, Inc. All rights reserved.