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CISA Orders Agencies to Patch Windows LSA Bug Exploited in the Wild

CISA Orders Agencies to Patch Windows LSA Bug Exploited in the Wild

CISA has re-added a security bug affecting Windows devices to its list of bugs exploited in the wild after removing it in May due to Active Directory (AD) certificate authentication issues caused by Microsoft’s May 2022 updates.

The flaw is an actively exploited Windows LSA (Local Security Authority) spoofing vulnerability tracked as CVE-2022-26925 and confirmed to be a new PetitPotam Windows NTLM Relay attack vector.

Unauthenticated attackers can exploit this bug to force domain controllers to authenticate them remotely via the Windows NT LAN Manager (NTLM) security protocol and, likely, take over the entire Windows domain.

PetitPotam was discovered by security researcher GILLES Lionel in July 2021, with Microsoft trying to block new variations that have been unearthed since then.

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However, at this point, despite Redmond’s efforts, official mitigations and subsequently issued security updates still don’t entirely block all PetitPotam vectors.

To put the severity of these bugs into perspective, multiple threat actors have been exploiting them in the wild.

Among them, LockFile ransomware affiliates have compromised Windows domains in PetitPotam NTLM relay attacks to deploy malicious payloads.

Federal agencies ordered to patch until July 22

As CISA had already warned when it removed CVE-2022-26925 from its Known Exploited Vulnerability Catalog, the May 2022 Patch Tuesday security updates patched this bug also triggered service authentication problems when deployed on Windows Server domain controllers.

Today, the cybersecurity agency released new guidance with CVE-2022-26925 mitigation steps that must be followed to prevent service outages.

It also ordered Federal Civilian Executive Branch (FCEB) agencies to apply the Windows updates released on June 14 by July 22, 2022.

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FCEB agencies must comply with CISA’s request according to the binding operational directive (BOD 22-01) issued in November to reduce the risk of known exploited bugs across US federal networks.

Even though the directive only applies to federal agencies, CISA has also strongly urged all organizations from US private and public sectors to prioritize patching this actively exploited flaw.

“Although BOD 22-01 only applies to FCEB agencies, CISA strongly urges all organizations to reduce their exposure to cyberattacks by prioritizing timely remediation of Catalog vulnerabilities as part of their vulnerability management practice,” CISA said.



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