PAN-OS Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2020-2040) Threat Alert

PAN-OS Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2020-2040) Threat Alert

outubro 3, 2020 | Adeline Zhang

Vulnerability Description

Recently, NSFOCUS detected that Palo Alto Networks (PAN) released a security advisory, which announced a critical vulnerability (CVE-2020-2040) assigned a CVSS base score of 9.8. When Captive Portal is enabled or Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is configured, this buffer overflow vulnerability in PAN-OS allows an unauthenticated attacker to potentially disrupt system processes and execute arbitrary code with root privileges by sending a malicious request to the Captive Portal or MFA interface. This vulnerability is easy to exploit and requires no user interaction. Affected users are advised to take measures without delay.

PAN-OS is an operating system that runs on PAN firewalls and enterprise VPN appliances.

Reference link:

Scope of Impact

Affected versions

  • PAN-OS = 8.0.X
  • 8.1.X < PAN-OS < 8.1.15
  • 9.0.X< PAN-OS <9.0.9
  • 9.1.X< PAN-OS <9.1.3

Unaffected versions

  • PAN-OS >= 8.1.15
  • PAN-OS >= 9.0.9
  • PAN-OS >= 9.1.3
  • PAN-OS >= 10.0.0

Note: The vendor has stopped providing support for PAN-OS 7.1 and 8.0.


  • Official Fix

The vendor has released software updates. Affected users are advised to upgrade to the fixed version by clicking the following link:

  • Workaround

If you cannot upgrade software for the time being, please enable signatures in content update version 8317 to block attacks against the vulnerability.


This advisory is only used to describe a potential risk. NSFOCUS does not provide any commitment or promise on this advisory. NSFOCUS and the author will not bear any liability for any direct and/or indirect consequences and losses caused by transmitting and/or using this advisory. NSFOCUS reserves all the rights to modify and interpret this advisory. Please include this statement paragraph when reproducing or transferring this advisory. Do not modify this advisory, add/delete any information to/from it, or use this advisory for commercial purposes without permission from NSFOCUS.


NSFOCUS, Inc., a global network and cyber security leader, protects enterprises and carriers from advanced cyber attacks. The company’s Intelligent Hybrid Security strategy utilizes both cloud and on-premises security platforms, built on a foundation of real-time global threat intelligence, to provide multi-layered, unified and dynamic protection against advanced cyber attacks.

NSFOCUS works with Fortune Global 500 companies, including four of the world’s five largest financial institutions, organizations in insurance, retail, healthcare, critical infrastructure industries as well as government agencies. NSFOCUS has technology and channel partners in more than 60 countries, is a member of both the Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP), and the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA).

A wholly owned subsidiary of NSFOCUS Technologies Group Co., Ltd., the company has operations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.