July 20: 2 New Vulns | CVE-2023-29298, CVE-2023-38205

In this CISA KEV Breakdown, two vulnerabilities in Adobe ColdFusion were added to the KEV, after an exploitation of one was a result of a patch bypass of the other.  There is also CVE-2023-38204 which is a bypass of  CVE-2023-38203 that is yet to be added to the KEV, which we include in our Footnote as CVE-2023-38203 is believed to have also been exploited to chain with CVE-2023-29298. Not too confusing, right?




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Notable Vulnerability Additions

CVE-2023-29298 | Adobe ColdFusion Security Bypass

A vulnerability exists in the Adobe Coldfusion 2018 16 and earlier, 2021 6 and earlier, and 2023.0.0.330468 and earlier within the external allowlist which can allow an attacker to bypass it to access ColdFusion administrator endpoints. This vulnerability is the first of a long line of bypasses which have been assessed by Adobe stretching back from April to just yesterday when fixed releases were published that now resolve every bypass up to CVE-2023-38205.

A fix for this vulnerability was released by Adobe on July 11 alongside Rapid7’s report. In the report, they detail how CVE-2023-29298 is also the result of an incomplete patch. To understand the full details in exploitation along with an example of chaining the vulnerability, read their full report here. GreyNoise has launched a tag for tracking ColdFusion scanning and exploitation activity which can be viewed here.

Security Advisory(s):


CVE-2023-38205 | Adobe ColdFusion Security Bypass

An improper access control vulnerability affecting ColdFusion 2018, 2021, and 2023 can allow an attacker to achieve remote code execution so long as this vulnerability is chained with another. Exploitation of this vulnerability is a direct result of the incomplete fix applied to CVE-2023-29298. Rapid7’s report on this vulnerability indicates that observed exploitation after the fix released for CVE-2023-29298 appeared to involve the chaining of multiple vulnerabilities to achieve remote code execution. This CVE, CVE-2023-38205, now exists to address this issue. Read more from Rapid7’s report on this vulnerability here.

Security Advisory(s):


Footnote – CVE-2023-38203

Yeah, like we said, it was confusing. The continuous chase for bypassing a security component is a difficult attack vector to overcome for some technologies so reliant on the mechanisms it abuses. Within Rapid7’s report detailing exploitation of multiple ColdFusion vulnerabilities, they entail that it is likely that CVE-2023-38203 was chained alongside CVE-2023-29298 to achieve remote code execution. Luckily, this vulnerability is patched in the same updated versions of ColdFusion fixing both CVE-2023-29298 and CVE-2023-38205.

This CVE ID is what Adobe has declared as the fix released for the 0-day vulnerability accidentally uncovered by Project Discovery in their blog release discussing the root cause for what they thought was CVE-2023-29300. Project Discovery was quick to take down the blog upon realizing and worked with Adobe to validate a fix quickly. You can read Project Discovery’s blog about the ColdFusion vulnerabilities here.

← July 17, 2023 CISA Kev Breakdown

Click here to expand our CISA KEV Breakdown Frequently Asked Questions
  • What makes for a notable addition?
    • A notable addition can arise from many different characteristics. If a particular vulnerability is notable to the security community or a subset of the security community or if the EPSS score reveals notable information about the vulnerability, this can constitute further analysis. It may also be the case that a particular vulnerability shines a light on everyday users and we will highlight important information and key takeaways to ensure users and readers have easy access to actionable information.
  • When is the Breakdown released?
    • We aim to have our analysis of each KEV update posted within 24 hours of the time in which the Catalog is updated. See CISA’s full catalog here
  • I am not bound by BOD 22-01 or federal regulations, why should the KEV concern me?
    • CISA encourages all organizations to utilize the Catalog as an attribute in your vulnerability prioritization framework. Organizations looking to lessen the scope on known dangerous vulnerabilities and make a goal to remediate them can understand where they currently stand against what CISA has confirmed as exploited vulnerabilities in the wild. See CISA’s section on “How should organizations use the KEV catalog?” here.
  • What is EPSS?
    • EPSS is the Exploit Prediction Scoring System. It is an open, data-driven effort for estimating the likelihood (probability) that a software vulnerability will be exploited in the wild. See the EPSS home page on FIRST for more information here.
  • What is the difference between EPSS probability and EPSS percent?
    • EPSS probability is the risk calculated by the model when determining the perceived threat of the vulnerability itself. Percentage is a relative comparison of the rest of the CVEs within the given sample. While the probability only changes upon refreshing the results from the model, the percentage can change purely based on the CVE sample given. In the case of the Breakdown, we use the percentage given by the pool of all CVEs with given EPSS data. Scores may vary post-release of the post given new information about the vulnerabilities and their perceived threat. For more information on applying and understanding EPSS data, see this article on the FIRST website, as well as their FAQ page.
  • What is GreyNoise?
    • GreyNoise is a platform that collects, analyzes, and labels data on IPs that scan the internet and saturate security tools with noise. Through their sensor network, GreyNoise observes vulnerability exploitation attempts for vulnerabilities that are exploited in the wild over the Internet. These are arguably vulnerabilities that should be at the very top of your priority list to remediate.
  • Why are GreyNoise exploitation attempts only observed on ~20% of KEV vulnerabilities?
    • Exploitation of many vulnerabilities in the CISA KEV will not be observed for many reasons that GreyNoise does a good job of explaining in this post. For example:
      • The vulnerability may not be remotely exploitable
      • Vulnerability exploitation may require authentication (and result in privilege escalation)
      • The impacted software may not be exposed to the internet
      • Mass scanning/exploitation is not occurring yet