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How To Fix CVE-2022-23088- A Heap-based Buffer Overflow Vulnerability in FreeBSD

Security researchers disclosed a heap-based buffer overflow vulnerability in FreeBSD. The flaw tracked as CVE-2022-23088 is a high severity flaw with a CVSS score of 8.3. It is a heap-based buffer overflow vulnerability in the Network Subsystem of FreeBSD. The flaw is very important to know as successful exploitation would allow network-adjacent attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected installations of FreeBSD without authentication. We urge all the FreeBSD admins to read this post to learn about how to fix CVE-2022-23088, a heap-based buffer overflow vulnerability in FreeBSD that could lead to remote code execution attacks.

Summary Of CVE-2022-23088:

This is a heap-based buffer overflow vulnerability in FreeBSD. The flaw exists in FreeBSD’s net80211 kernel subsystem that provides infrastructure and drivers for IEEE 802.11 wireless (Wi-Fi) communications in FreeBSD Kernel. It is due to the failure of the 802.11 beacon handling routine validation process. “The 802.11 beacon handling routine failed to validate the length of an IEEE 802.11s Mesh ID before copying it to a heap-allocated buffer.”

This gap allowed network-adjacent attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected installations of FreeBSD Kernel. In other words, attackers can abuse this flaw to perform remote code execution attacks in the context of the kernel. security advisory says, “While a FreeBSD Wi-Fi client is in scanning mode (i.e., not associated with a SSID) a malicious beacon frame may overwrite kernel memory, leading to remote code execution.”

Associated CVE IDCVE-2022-23088
DescriptionA Heap-based Buffer Overflow Vulnerability in FreeBSD
Associated ZDI ID
CVSS Score8.3 High
VectorCVSS:3.1AV:A/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:C/C:H/I:H/A:H
Impact Score
Exploitability Score
Attack Vector (AV)Adjacent Network
Attack Complexity (AC)High
Privilege Required (PR)None
User Interaction (UI)None
ScopeChanged
Confidentiality (C)High
Integrity (I)High
availability (a)High

Products Affected By CVE-2022-23088

The flaw affects all supported versions of FreeBSD. So it is important to fix the CVE-2022-23088 vulnerability if you have FreeBSD machines in your infrastructure.

How To Fix CVE-2022-23088- A Heap-Based Buffer Overflow Vulnerability In FreeBSD?

The best way to fix the flaw is to upgrade your FreeBSD to a supported FreeBSD stable or release / security branch (releng) dated after the correction date, and reboot. The vendor has released the updates to fix the flaw.

If you look for a workaround solution until installing the patch, there is no workaround. However, toggling off the WiFi of the machine and connecting it through a wired connection may save you from the attacks since the flaw is in the WiFi module of the kernel.

How To Fix CVE-2022-23088

It is simple to fix the flaw. All you need to upgrade to fix it. Let’s see how to upgrade FreeBSD system in a few simple steps.

  1. Check the FreeBSD version information

    Let’s take a note of the current version information before you proceed. Run this command to check the version information.

    # freebsd-version

  2. Fetch all the updates

    Fetching all the updates is the first process to begin the upgradation process. Issue this command to fetch all the application and operating system updates.

    # freebsd-update fetch

  3.  Install the updates

    After fetching all the updates, it’s the time to install them. Let’s install the updates using this command.

    # freebsd-update install
    # pkg upgrade

  4.  Reboot the machine

    After the completion of the upgrade process. Reboot the machine using this command.

    # shutdown -r now

  5. Upgrade to the new release

    This process is optional. We recommend to go for the newest supported release. This may fix several security issues. Run this command to upgrade your FreeBSD to the desired release.

    # freebsd-update -r 13.1-RELEASE upgrade
    # /usr/sbin/freebsd-update install
    # freebsd-update install
    # pkg upgrade
    # reboot
    OR
    # shutdown -r now

  6. Check the version again to ensure the completion of upgradation process

    Run this command to check the version information after upgrade.

    # freebsd-version

We hope this post will help you know how to fix CVE-2022-23088, a heap-based buffer overflow vulnerability in FreeBSD that could lead to remote code execution attacks. Please share this post and help to secure the digital world. Visit our social media page on FacebookLinkedInTwitterTelegramTumblr, & Medium and subscribe to receive updates like this.

About the author

Arun KL

To know more about me. Follow me on LinkedIn
Hi All, I am Arun KL, an IT Security Professional. Founder of “thesecmaster.com”. Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Writer, Editor, Author at TheSecMaster. To know more about me. Follow me on LinkedIn

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