Cisco has warned its customers of a critical privilege escalation flaw in Cisco CloudCenter Orchestrator systems, tracked as CVE-2016-9223, that has been exploited in cyber attacks.
The Cisco CloudCenter is a hybrid cloud management platform composed of a CloudCenter Manager and CloudCenter Orchestrator. The CloudCenter Manager is the interface utilized by users and administrators, while the CloudCenter Orchestrator allows to model, deploy and manage new and existing applications.
An unauthenticated attacker can remotely install malicious Docker containers with high privileges by exploiting a vulnerability in the Docker Engine configuration.
“A vulnerability in the Docker Engine configuration of Cisco CloudCenter Orchestrator (CCO; formerly CliQr) could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to install Docker containers with high privileges on the affected system.” states the security advisory published by CISCO.
An attacker can exploit this issue to load Docker containers with arbitrary privileges, including root.
“The vulnerability is due to a misconfiguration that causes the Docker Engine management port to be reachable outside of the CloudCenter Orchestrator system. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by loading Docker containers on the affected system with arbitrary privileges. As a secondary impact this may allow the attacker to gain root privileges on the affected CloudCenter Orchestrator.”
The experts from CISCO discovered the critical flaw while working on a support case. The issue exists due to a misconfiguration that exposed the Docker Engine management port from the outside.
According to CISCO, vulnerable Cisco CloudCenter Orchestrator (CCO) deployments have the Docker Engine TCP port 2375 open and bound to local IP address 0.0.0.0.
The command netstat -ant | grep 2375 command could allow a rapid check of a configuration.
The Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) confirmed that the flaw had been exploited in attacks in the wild.
CISCO fixed the issue by releasing the CCO version 4.6.2. The company also suggests as a workaround to restrict the Docker Engine port to the localhost IP address 127.0.0.1.