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HelpSystems, the company behind the Cobalt Strike software platform, has released an out-of-band security update to address a remote code execution vulnerability that could allow an attacker to take control of targeted systems.

Cobalt Strike is a commercial red-team framework that’s mainly used for adversary simulation, but cracked versions of the software have been actively abused by ransomware operators and espionage-focused advanced persistent threat (APT) groups alike.

The post-exploitation tool consists of a team server, which functions as a command-and-control (C2) component, and a beacon, the default malware used to create a connection to the team server and drop next-stage payloads.

The issue, tracked as CVE-2022-42948, affects Cobalt Strike version 4.7.1, and stems from an incomplete patch released on September 20, 2022, to rectify a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability (CVE-2022-39197) that could lead to remote code execution.

“The XSS vulnerability could be triggered by manipulating some client-side UI input fields, by simulating a Cobalt Strike implant check-in or by hooking a Cobalt Strike implant running on a host,” IBM X-Force researchers Rio Sherri and Ruben Boonen said in a write-up.

images from Hacker News