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CISA, FBI Release Secure by Design Alert

The two agencies are urging manufacturers to eliminate directory traversal vulnerabilities.

General Cyberattack

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a joint Secure by Design Alert, Eliminating Directory Traversal Vulnerabilities in Software. This Alert was crafted in response to recent well-publicized threat actor campaigns that exploited directory traversal vulnerabilities in software (e.g., CVE-2024-1708CVE-2024-20345) to compromise users of the software—impacting critical infrastructure sectors. These vulnerabilities stem from storing files and directories outside the web root folder.

Additionally, this Alert highlights the prevalence, and continued threat actor exploitation of, directory traversal defects. Currently, CISA has listed 55 directory traversal vulnerabilities in their Known Exploited Vulnerabilities (KEV) catalog. Approaches to avoid directory traversal vulnerabilities are known, yet threat actors continue to exploit these vulnerabilities.

CISA and the FBI urge software manufacturer executives to require their organizations to conduct formal testing to determine their products’ susceptibility to directory traversal vulnerabilities.

Information on recommended principles and best practices to achieve this goal are available on CISA’s Secure by Design page. To catch up on the publications in this series, you can also visit the Secure by Design Alerts page.

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