NSA Report: Top 25 vulnerabilities being actively targeted by Chinese hackers

Hey, guys! What’s up? Hope y’all are doing well and staying safe indoors. 

I’m back with some more news straight from the US National Security Agency (NSA). Very recently, they published a report that speaks about top 25 vulnerabilities that are actively being preyed upon by Chinese state-sponsored hacking groups. These guys appear to be constantly scanning, targeting and exploiting these 25 vulnerabilities. 

There is good news and bad news to this discovery, though. 

Without further ado, let’s see what they are!


What are the top 25 vulnerabilities?


  • On Pulse Secure VPN servers, an unauthenticated remote attacker can send a specially crafted URI to perform an arbitrary file reading vulnerability. This may lead to exposure of keys or passwords.


  • On F5 BIG-IP proxies and load balancer, the Traffic Management User Interface (TMUI) - also referred to as the Configuration utility - is vulnerable to a Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerability that can allow remote attackers to take over the entire BIG-IP device.


  • Citrix Application Delivery Controller (ADC) and Gateway systems are vulnerable to a directory traversal bug, which can lead to remote code execution without the attacker having to possess valid credentials for the device. These two issues can be chained to take over Citrix systems.

CVE-2020-8193 + CVE-2020-8195 + CVE-2020-8196

  • Another set of Citrix ADC and Gateway bugs. These ones also impact SDWAN WAN-OP systems as well. The three bugs allow unauthenticated access to certain URL endpoints and information disclosure to low-privileged users.

CVE-2019-0708 (aka BlueKeep)

  • A remote code execution vulnerability exists within Remote Desktop Services on Windows operating systems.


  • A remote code execution vulnerability in the MobileIron mobile device management (MDM) software that allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code and take over remote company servers.

CVE-2020-1350 (aka SIGRed) 

  • A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Windows Domain Name System servers when they fail to properly handle requests.

CVE-2020-1472 (aka Netlogon) 

  • An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists when an attacker establishes a vulnerable Netlogon secure channel connection to a domain controller using the Netlogon Remote Protocol (MS-NRPC).


  • A tampering vulnerability exists in Microsoft Windows when a man-in-the-middle attacker is able to successfully bypass the NTLM MIC (Message Integrity Check) protection.


  • Sending a handcrafted message to an Exim mail transfer agent may cause a buffer overflow. This can be used to execute code remotely and take over email servers.


  • A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Microsoft Exchange software when the software fails to properly handle objects in memory.


  • Certain Adobe ColdFusion versions have an exploitable Deserialization of Untrusted Data vulnerability. Successful exploitation could lead to arbitrary code execution.


  • The WLS Security component in Oracle WebLogic 15 Server allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via a crafted serialized Java object


  • A vulnerability exists in the Oracle Coherence product of Oracle Fusion Middleware. This easily exploitable vulnerability allows unauthenticated attacker with network access via T3 to compromise Oracle Coherence systems.


  • The Widget Connector macro in Atlassian Confluence 17 Server allows remote attackers to achieve path traversal and remote code execution on a Confluence Server or Data Center instance via server-side template injection.


  • Attackers who can send requests to an Atlassian Crowd or Crowd Data Center instance can exploit this vulnerability to install arbitrary plugins, which permits remote code execution.


  • Zoho ManageEngine Desktop Central allows remote code execution because of deserialization of untrusted data.


  • Progress Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX contains a .NET deserialization vulnerability. Exploitation can result in remote code execution.

CVE-2020-0601 (aka CurveBall) 

  • A spoofing vulnerability exists in the way Windows CryptoAPI (Crypt32.dll) validates Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) certificates. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by using a spoofed code-signing certificate to sign a malicious executable, making it appear that the file was from a trusted, legitimate source.


  • An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists in Windows when the Win32k component fails to properly handle objects in memory.


  • The Symantec Messaging Gateway can encounter a remote code execution issue.


  • A vulnerability in the Cisco Discovery Protocol implementation for Cisco IOS XR Software could allow an unauthenticated, adjacent attacker to execute arbitrary code or cause a reload an affected device.


  • DrayTek Vigor devices allow remote code execution as root (without authentication) via shell metacharacters.


So, what’s the good news?

All the 25 vulnerabilities listed above are very well-known and they all have patches available from their respective vendors, which are ready to be installed right now!

And the bad news is …?

Unfortunately, many of these vulnerabilities have exploits that are publicly available. Some of these exploits have been taken advantage of not just by the Chinese hackers, but also by various ransomware gangs, low-level malware groups, and nation-state actors from other countries (i.e., Russia and Iran).

What does the NSA say about this new-found discovery?

"Most of the vulnerabilities listed [above] can be exploited to gain initial access to victim networks using products that are directly accessible from the Internet and act as gateways to internal networks."

Want to be safe from the Chinese hackers exploiting these vulnerabilities? Go patch your vulnerable systems right now!

That’s it for the blog today, y’all! Feel free to drop comments and share this blog if you found it useful.

Stay safe and stay tuned. 

Until next time, friends!

Credits: ZDNet

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