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Multiple High-Severity Flaws Affect Widely Used OpenLiteSpeed Web Server Software

November 11, 2022

Multiple high-severity flaws have been uncovered in the open source OpenLiteSpeed Web Server as well as its enterprise variant that could be weaponized to achieve remote code execution. “By chaining and exploiting the vulnerabilities, adversaries could compromise the web server and gain fully privileged remote code execution,” Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 said in a Thursday report. OpenLiteSpeed, the open-source edition of LiteSpeed Web Server, is the sixth most popular web server, accounting for 1.9 million unique servers across the world. The first of the three flaws are a directory traversal flaw (CVE-2022-0072, CVSS score: 5.8), which could be exploited to access forbidden files in the web root directory. The remaining two vulnerabilities (CVE-2022-0073 and CVE-2022-0074, CVSS scores: 8.8) relate to a case of privilege escalation and command injection, respectively, that could be chained to achieve privileged code execution. “A threat actor who managed to gain the credentials to the dashboard, whether by brute-force attacks or social engineering, could exploit the vulnerability in order to execute code on the server,” Unit 42 researchers Artur Avetisyan, Aviv Sasson, Ariel Zelivansky, and Nathaniel Quist said of CVE-2022-0073. Multiple versions of OpenLiteSpeed (from 1.5.11 up to 1.7.16) and LiteSpeed (from 5.4.6 up to 6.0.11) are impacted by the issues, which have been addressed in versions and 6.0.12 following responsible disclosure on October 4, 2022.

Analyst Notes

It is recommended to update all instances of OpenLightSpeed Server to the latest version as that reportedly addresses these issues. It is always advised to patch systems with the latest updates whenever they become available. Patches should only be downloaded directly from the manufactures’ websites, never from a third party as they could have nefarious software added to them.