Critical Veeam backup vulnerabilities exposed Windows users to ransomware assault

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Two critical vulnerabilities has been discovered in Veeam backup solutions which may have put users at risk of a ransomware attack. 

Veeam Backup & Replication was found to be vulnerable to CVE-2022-26500, and CVE-2022-26501 by Positive Technologies researcher Nikita Petrov, and although specific details were not disclosed, the flaws are thought to allow unauthenticated users access to internal API functions. 

“A remote attacker may send input to the internal API which may lead to uploading and executing of malicious code,” Positive's report said.

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Ransomware and denial of service

The researcher did say that the vulnerabilities could be leveraged to gain initial access and establish persistence on the target endpoint, install malware, steal data, or directly execute commands that extract, or delete data, mount denial of service attacks, or encrypt the infrastructure and run a ransomware attack.

In total, three versions of the tool were affected by the vulnerability: 9.5, 10, and 11. Patches are already available for the latter two, with users being urged to update immediately. Those that are unable to apply the patches right now, can temporarily stop or disable the Veeam Distribution Service to mitigate any potential risks. 

The same researcher discovered an additional vulnerability in Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows, which is a data backup software for the Microsoft OS. Tracked as CVE-2022-26503, the flaw allows attackers to “execute arbitrary code on the node with maximum rights (Local Privilege Escalation) gaining access to the resources of the compromised node with maximum privileges.”

In other words, any data stored on a vulnerable endpoint can be stolen, or used to mount further attacks. Versions 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 3.0.2, 4.0, and 5.0 of the product were affected, the company confirmed. Patches for versions 4.0 and 5.0 have been issued. 

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.