VMware catches up with some Apache Struts patches, but not all

The company updates the version of Struts included in its vCenter Operations Management Suite product

Two months after critical vulnerabilities were patched in Apache Struts, a popular open-source framework for developing Java-based Web applications, VMware released a security update to incorporate the fixes in its vCenter Operations Management Suite product but appears to have left out a more recent patch.

The vCenter Operations Management Suite can be used to monitor and manage the performance, capacity and configuration of virtualized infrastructure. It depends on Struts for some of its features.

"The Apache Struts library is updated to version 2.3.16.2 to address multiple security issues," VMware said in a security advisory Tuesday that coincided with the release of vCenter Operations Management Suite (vCOps) version 5.8.2.

Apache Struts 2.3.16.2 was an emergency update released on April 24 after it was revealed that a fix included in Struts 2.3.16.1 for a remote code execution vulnerability was insufficient and could be bypassed.

The bypass was treated as a separate vulnerability and was assigned the CVE-2014-0112 tracking number, superseding the original issue known as CVE-2014-0094.

The vCOps 5.8.2 also incorporated a patch for a denial-of-service vulnerability tracked as CVE-2014-0050 that was also originally patched in Struts 2.3.16.1.

"VCOps is affected by both CVE-2014-0112 and CVE-2014-0050," VMware said in its advisory. "Exploitation of CVE-2014-0112 may lead to remote code execution without authentication."

Users of the older vCOps 5.7.x branch are advised to either upgrade to vCOps 5.8.2 or to manually apply a workaround described in a separate knowledge base article.

Another VMware product called vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) is affected only by the denial-of-service issue (CVE-2014-0050), but no patch has been released yet.

The Struts developers further improved their fix for CVE-2014-0094 and CVE-2014-0112 in Struts 2.3.16.3, released on May 3, after discovering that their previous patches still didn't cover all possible exploits.

The new fix addressed a medium-risk exploit that could have allowed attackers to manipulate the internal state of sessions and requests. The issue received the tracking number CVE-2014-0116.

Since vCOps was affected by CVE-2014-0094 and CVE-2014-0112, it's likely that it is also affected by CVE-2014-0116 since all three vulnerabilities stem from the same underlying problem. However, the new VMware advisory doesn't mention CVE-2014-0116 or Struts 2.3.16.3.

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