On July 12, 2021, SolarWinds confirmed an actively exploited zero-day vulnerability, CVE-2021-35211, in the Serv-U FTP and Managed File Transfer component of SolarWinds15.2.3 HF1 (released May 5, 2021) and all prior versions. Successful exploitation of CVE-2021-35211 could enable an attacker to gain remote code execution on a vulnerable target system. The vulnerability only exists when SSH is enabled in the Serv-U environment.
A hotfix for the vulnerability is available, and we recommend all customers of SolarWinds Serv-U FTP and Managed File Transfer install this hotfix immediately (or, at minimum, disable SSH for a temporary mitigation). SolarWinds has emphasized that CVE-2021-35211 only affects Serv-U Managed File Transfer and Serv-U Secure FTP and does not affect any other SolarWinds or N-able (formerly SolarWinds MSP) products. For further details, see SolarWinds’s advisory.
The SolarWinds advisory cites threat intelligence provided by Microsoft. According to Microsoft, a single threat actor unrelated to this year’s earlier SUNBURST intrusions has exploited the vulnerability against a limited, targeted population of SolarWinds customers. The vulnerability exists in all versions of Serv-U 15.2.3 HF1 and earlier. Though Microsoft provided a proof-of-concept exploit to SolarWinds, there are no public proofs-of-concept as of July 12, 2021.
The vulnerability appears to be in the exception handling functionality in a portion of the software related to processing connections on open sockets. Successful exploitation of the vulnerability will cause the Serv-U product to throw an exception, then will overwrite the exception handler with the attacker’s code, causing remote code execution.
Since the vulnerability is in the exception handler, looking for exceptions in the
DebugSocketLog.txt file may help identify exploitation attempts. Note, however, that exceptions can be thrown for many reasons and the presence of an exception in the log does not guarantee that there has been an exploitation attempt.
IP addresses used by the threat actor include:
188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11
Rapid7 does not use SolarWinds Serv-U FTP products anywhere in our environment and is not affected by CVE-2021-35211.
For further information, see Solarwinds’s FAQ here.