Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Hackers Exploit Atlassian Confluence Zero-day Flaw to Create Admin Account

The widely adopted Atlassian Confluence has been discovered with a zero-day vulnerability, which could allow threat actors to create an admin account on the Confluence servers and perform malicious activities.

This particular issue has been reported by a lot of Atlassian customers and is known to be actively being exploited in the wild by attackers. The vulnerability is currently identified as CVE-2023-22515 and has a severity of 10.0 (Critical), as per Atlassian.

CVE-2023-22515 – Privilege Escalation Vulnerability

The details of this vulnerability haven’t been disclosed by Atlassian yet. However, as per reports, this vulnerability affects publicly accessible confluence data centers and servers in which threat actors were able to create unauthorized administrator accounts and access confluence instances.


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“Instances on the public internet are particularly at risk, as this vulnerability is exploitable anonymously.” reads the security advisory by Atlassian. 

Affected Products and Fixed Versions

ProductAffected VersionsFixed in Versions
Confluence Data Center and Confluence Server8.0.0, 8.0.1, 8.0.2, 8.0.3, 8.0.4, 8.1.0, 8.1.1, 8.1.3, 8.1.4, 8.2.0, 8.2.1, 8.2.2, 8.2.3, 8.3.0, 8.3.1, 8.3.2, 8.4.0, 8.4.1, 8.4.2, 8.5.0, or later8.4.3 or later8.5.2 (Long Term Support release) or later

Source: Atlassian

Mitigation and Threat Detection

As part of mitigating this issue, Atlassian has recommended its users block access to the /setup/* endpoints on Confluence instances which can be done by the following steps,

  1. modify /<confluence-install-dir>/confluence/WEB-INF/web.xml  and add the following block of code (just before the </web-app> tag at the end of the file):
      <auth-constraint />
  1. Restart Confluence

As part of threat detection, Atlassian has recommended its users check all affected Confluence instances for the following indicators of compromise:

  • unexpected members of the confluence-administrators group
  • unexpected newly created user accounts
  • requests to /setup/*.action in network access logs
  • presence of /setup/setupadministrator.action in an exception message in Atlassian-confluence-security.log in the Confluence home directory

For additional information, the Atlassian security advisory can be followed, which can be found here.

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Eswar is a Cyber security content editor with a passion for creating captivating and informative content. With years of experience under his belt in Cyber Security, he is covering Cyber Security News, technology and other news.

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