Update now! VMWare patches critical vulnerabilities in several products

Update now! VMWare patches critical vulnerabilities in several products

In a new critical security advisory, VMSA-2022-0021, VMWare describes multiple vulnerabilities in several of its products, one of which has a CVSS score of 9.8. Exploiting these vulnerabilities would enable a threat actor with network access to bypass authentication and execute code remotely.


VMWare patched several other vulnerabilities. These bugs would enable attackers to gain remote code execution or to escalate privileges to ‘root’ on unpatched servers.

Publicly disclosed computer security flaws are listed in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database. Its goal is to make it easier to share data across separate vulnerability capabilities (tools, databases, and services). You will find the most important ones listed below.


CVE-2022-31656 is an authentication bypass vulnerability in VMware Workspace ONE Access, Identity Manager, and vRealize Automation that affects local domain users and was assigned a CVSS score of 9.8 out of 10. A remote attacker with network access to a vulnerable user interface could use this flaw to bypass authentication and gain administrative access. (VMWare credits security researcher Petrus Viet with discovering this vulnerability.)

CVE-2022-31659 and CVE-2022-31658

The same researcher found two Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerabilities with a CVSS score of 8 out of 10—CVE-2022-31658 and CVE-2022-31659. CVE-2022-31658 is a JDBC injection RCE, and CVE-2022-31659 us a SQL injection RCE. Both can be chained with CVE-2022-31656, turning the authentication bypass achieved into something that allows an attacker to perform remote code execution. These vulnerabilities also affect VMware Workspace ONE Access, Identity Manager, and vRealize Automation products.


CVE-2022-31665 is a JDBC injection RCE vulnerability that exists in VMware Workspace ONE Access, Identity Manager, and vRealize Automation. JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) is an application programming interface (API) for Java, which defines how a client may access a database. A malicious actor with administrator and network access can trigger a remote code execution.

Other privilege escalation vulnerabilities

Besides the already mentioned vulnerability listed as CVE-2022-31656 VMWare fixed CVE-2022-31660, CVE-2022-31661, and CVE-2022-31664 which are all local privilege escalation vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities would allow a threat actor with local access to escalate privileges to ‘root’.


Even though there is no evidence that the critical CVE-2022-31656 authentication bypass vulnerability is actively being exploited in attacks, VMWare states that it is extremely important that you quickly take steps to patch or mitigate all the issues in on-premises deployments.

To fully protect yourself and your organization, please install one of the patch versions listed in the VMware Security Advisory, or use the workarounds listed in the VMSA.

Stay safe, everyone!


Pieter Arntz

Malware Intelligence Researcher

Was a Microsoft MVP in consumer security for 12 years running. Can speak four languages. Smells of rich mahogany and leather-bound books.