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Mitigation Instructions for CVE-2019-1579

SUBJECT: CVE-2019-1579  Remote Code Execution in PAN-OS GlobalProtect Interface

TECH STACK: PAN-OS_GlobalProtect Portal_GlobalProtect Gateway Interface_Network Security Appliances

DATE(S) ISSUED: 07/19/2019

NVD Last Modified: 08/24/2020

CRITICALITY: HIGH

OVERVIEW: 

CVE-2019-1579 is a security vulnerability identified in PAN-OS, the operating system used in Palo Alto Networks' network security appliances. This vulnerability affects PAN-OS versions 7.1.18 and earlier, PAN-OS 8.0.11-h1 and earlier, and PAN-OS 8.1.2 and earlier, specifically when the GlobalProtect Portal or GlobalProtect Gateway Interface is enabled.

The vulnerability enables a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the affected system without authentication. By exploiting this flaw, an attacker can gain unauthorized access to the targeted network, potentially compromising the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive data and resources.

The remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability poses a significant threat as it allows an attacker to execute malicious code remotely, bypassing any security controls or restrictions in place. This could lead to various malicious activities, including but not limited to the installation of malware, data exfiltration, system compromise, and unauthorized access to sensitive information.

SOLUTION:

To mitigate the CVE-2019-1579 vulnerability, follow these instructions:

Update PAN-OS: Upgrade the PAN-OS operating system to a patched version provided by Palo Alto Networks. Ensure that you are running PAN-OS 7.1.19 or later, PAN-OS 8.0.12 or later, or PAN-OS 8.1.3 or later. These patched versions contain the necessary security fixes to address the vulnerability.

Disable GlobalProtect Portal/Gateway Interface if not needed: If your organization does not require the GlobalProtect Portal or GlobalProtect Gateway Interface, it is recommended to disable these features. Disabling unnecessary services reduces the attack surface and potential exposure to vulnerabilities.

Implement network segmentation: Apply proper network segmentation practices to isolate critical systems and limit the impact of a potential exploit. Segregating network resources can help contain the spread of an attack and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Implement strong access controls: Enforce strong access controls, including strong passwords, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and user privilege management. This helps prevent unauthorized access attempts and enhances the overall security of the PAN-OS environment.

Regularly monitor for updates and apply patches: Stay informed about security updates and patches released by Palo Alto Networks. Establish a process to regularly check for updates and apply them promptly. This practice ensures that any newly discovered vulnerabilities are mitigated in a timely manner.

Implement intrusion detection/prevention systems: Deploy intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) that can monitor network traffic and identify suspicious activities or attempts to exploit vulnerabilities. IDPS can provide an additional layer of defense by detecting and blocking potential attacks targeting the CVE-2019-1579 vulnerability.

Educate users and raise awareness: Conduct security awareness training programs to educate employees about the risks associated with opening suspicious links or downloading files from unknown sources. Encourage them to report any suspicious activities or potential security incidents promptly.

REFERENCES:

  1. SecurityFocus BID 109310: A third-party advisory entry providing details on the vulnerability. Link

  2. Devco.re Blog: A blog post discussing attacks on SSL VPNs with a specific focus on pre-authentication remote code execution (RCE) on Palo Alto GlobalProtect. It includes a case study involving Uber. Link

  3. SonicWall PSIRT Advisory SNWLID-2019-0010: A SonicWall advisory providing details about the vulnerability and its impact. Link

  4. Palo Alto Networks Security Advisory: Palo Alto Networks' official security advisory for CVE-2019-1579, providing information on the vulnerability and recommended actions. Link

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