Pulse Secure VPN Flaws Exploited to Target US Defense Sector

Pulse Secure VPN Flaws Exploited to Target US Defense Sector
China-linked attackers have used vulnerabilities in the Pulse Secure VPN appliance to attack US Defense Industrial Base networks.

Nation-state attackers are exploiting high-severity vulnerabilities in the Pulse Secure VPN to breach networks within the US defense sector and organizations around the world, researchers report.


IT software firm Ivanti, which acquired Pulse Secure late last year, today confirmed attackers have targeted a "limited number of customers" using Pulse Connect Secure (PCS) appliances. It has been working with Mandiant, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and others to respond to the exploits, which target three known vulnerabilities and a zero-day.


The three known flaws include CVE-2020-8243CVE-2020-8260, and CVE-2019-11510, which CISA recently warned is among several CVEs under attack by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) in its efforts to target US and allied networks, including national security and government systems. All of these vulnerabilities were patched in 2019 and 2020, Ivanti says.


CVE-2021-22893, a new issue discovered this month, is an authentication bypass vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated attacker to perform arbitrary file execution on the Pulse Connect Secure gateway. Ivanti has provided mitigations for the cri ..