CryptoAPI bug exposes 99% of Windows servers

CryptoAPI bug exposes 99% of Windows servers

Microsoft patched a critical flaw in Windows-powered data centres and applications in the middle of 2022. As far as harmful cryptographic bugs on Windows go, CryptoAPI is a never-ending supply. But almost all vulnerable endpoints have not been updated. This leaves millions of users vulnerable to a wide variety of malware and even ransomware.

Researchers in cybersecurity at Akamai disclosed the vulnerability and the large number of unpatched devices in a proof-of-concept (PoC) paper.

CVE-2022-34689 is the Windows CryptoAPI spoofing vulnerability that Akamai is warning users about. It allows attackers to authenticate as the targeted certificate and sign code in its name. This vulnerability allows threat actors to disguise themselves as legitimate software. In addition to that, they can also gain access to the system without raising any red flags. Win32 programs can use the interface to manage security and cryptographic practices such as certificate validation and identity verification. But CryptoAPI can also bring potentially serious security flaws to Windows, which makes it easier to fake an identity or certificate.

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According to Akamai, the number of exposed targets “in the wild” that are still using the flawed CryptoAPI feature is much larger than just Chrome 48. CVE-2022-worst 34689’s aspect is that most system administrators and professional users didn’t install a six-month-old patch.

“Less than 1% of visible devices” in data centres are under protection, according to the security company. This means that 99% of Windows-based servers visible on the Internet are vulnerable right now.

Even after Microsoft issued a fix for the vulnerability, the company claimed no exploitations took place outside of lab conditions. However, now that the PoC is out in the open, various threat actors will presumably begin hunting for vulnerable endpoints. They only need to find a victim; the methodology is already there for the taking.