UPDATE: Subsequent to publication of this blog post, the OpenSSL vulnerabilities were assigned CVE-2022-37786 and CVE-2022-3602, patches were released by OpenSSL, and the threat level was downgraded from “critical” to “high.”

In the cyberworld, news of a critical vulnerability affecting OpenSSL versions 3.0 – 3.0.6 will likely be the scariest part of Halloween ’22. Especially since the OG ‘critical’ rating from OpenSLL went to the aptly named “Heartbleed” bug from 2014.

There is a lot of buzz online about this vulnerability, but here’s what we know for sure:

  • It really could be that serious. The OpenSSL project management team says it’s critical, and they are not known for crying ‘wolf’ without reason. By the organization’s standards, ‘critical’ means it may be easily exploitable, many users could be affected, and the destructive potential is high.
  • So, you definitely need to patch. OpenSSL’s software is ubiquitous in the world of security and encryption. Though 98% of instances are still version 1.1.1, the 1.5% using version 3.0.x includes some very popular Linux distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 9.x, Ubuntu version 22.04, and many others.
  • And you need to patch ASAP. OpenSSL is making the patch available tomorrow, November 1, beginning at 8 AM and should be complete by noon U.S. Eastern Time. According to an OpenSSL spokesman, the rationale behind announcing the vulnerability before the patch is ready is to give organizations time to identify the systems that need to be patched and assemble the resources necessary to do so.

How can you be sure that all your relevant systems are patched? Once you’ve installed the updates, a comprehensive assessment of each host can insure you’ve properly updated. As always, a Raxis penetration test can also reveal unpatched or out-of-date software from OpenSSL or any other provider. What’s more, our team can show you proof of what assets are at risk and why.

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OPENSSL v3.0.x: Critical Threat Alert
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