Apache XML-RPC Library Data Deserialization Arbitrary Code Execution Vulnerability [CVE-2016-5003]

CVE number – CVE-2016-5003

A vulnerability in the Apache XML-RPC library could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a targeted system.

The vulnerability is due to improper deserialization of untrusted Java objects by the affected software. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a request that submits a malicious serialized Java object in an <ex:serializable> element to a targeted system. When the affected software deserializes the object, the attacker could execute arbitrary code on the system.

Proof-of-concept (PoC) code that demonstrates an exploit of this vulnerability is publicly available.

Apache has not confirmed the vulnerability and software updates are not available.

  • To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must send a request that submits malicious input to the targeted system, making exploitation more difficult in environments that restrict network access from untrusted sources.

    The Apache XML-RPC library is known as the ws-xmlrpc library and is no longer supported by Apache; however, applications such as Apache Archiva still use the affected library.

  • Administrators are advised to contact the vendor regarding future updates and releases.

    Administrators are advised to allow only trusted users to have network access.

    Administrators are advised to run both firewall and antivirus applications to minimize the potential of inbound and outbound threats.

    Administrators may consider using IP-based access control lists (ACLs) to allow only trusted systems to access the affected systems.

    Administrators can help protect affected systems from external attacks by using a solid firewall strategy.

    Administrators are advised to monitor affected systems.

Vendor Announcements
  • At the time this alert was first published, Apache had not released a security announcement.
Fixed Software
  • At the time this alert was first published, Apache had not released software updates.

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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