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HomeTopics 4Network SecurityPatch Now: Fortinet Fixes Critical RCE Bug in FortiClient EMS

Patch Now: Fortinet Fixes Critical RCE Bug in FortiClient EMS


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Fortinet has addressed a critical remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in its FortiClient Endpoint Management Server (EMS) software. This flaw, identified as CVE-2023-48788, could allow attackers to gain complete control over vulnerable servers, potentially leading to data breaches, disrupted operations, and malware deployment.

Let’s delve into the details of this vulnerability and explore steps organizations can take to mitigate such threats.

Fortinet EMS Under Fire: Critical RCE Vulnerability Discovered

The vulnerability resides within the DB2 Administration Server (DAS) component of FortiClient EMS versions 7.0 and 7.2. An attacker could exploit this flaw through a specially crafted SQL injection attack, enabling them to execute arbitrary code on the targeted server with SYSTEM privileges. This essentially grants the attacker complete control over the server, allowing them to steal sensitive data, install malware, or disrupt critical operations.

The vulnerability was discovered through a collaborative effort between Fortinet and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Fortinet promptly released security patches to address CVE-2023-48788, urging customers to update their FortiClient EMS installations without delay.

10 Ways to Bolster Your Defense Against RCE Attacks

While patching remains the most crucial step, here are 10 additional measures organizations can take to fortify their defenses against RCE vulnerabilities:

  1. Patch Management: Implement a rigorous patch management process to ensure timely installation of security updates for all software and systems.
  2. Vulnerability Scanning & Assessments: Conduct regular vulnerability scans and penetration testing to proactively identify and address weaknesses in your IT infrastructure.
  3. Network Segmentation: Segment your network to isolate critical systems from public networks and limit the potential impact of a successful RCE attack.
  4. Strong Authentication: Enforce strong authentication protocols and access controls to prevent unauthorized access to critical systems.
  5. Database Security: Focus on database security by implementing best practices for user access control, data encryption, and activity monitoring.
  6. Web Application Security: Implement web application firewalls (WAFs) and other security measures to protect web-based applications from malicious attacks.
  7. Email Security: Deploy robust email security solutions to filter out phishing attempts and other malicious emails that could be used to deliver RCE exploits.
  8. Employee Training: Educate employees on cybersecurity best practices, including phishing awareness and the importance of reporting suspicious activity.
  9. Incident Response Plan: Develop a comprehensive incident response plan outlining procedures for responding to cyberattacks, minimizing damage, and ensuring swift recovery.
  10. Security Culture: Foster a culture of cybersecurity awareness within your organization, emphasizing the importance of secure practices.


The critical RCE vulnerability in FortiClient EMS serves as a stark reminder of the constant need for vigilance in cybersecurity. By prioritizing patching, implementing layered security measures, and fostering a culture of security awareness, organizations can significantly reduce their cyber risk and protect themselves from sophisticated attacks. Remember, a proactive approach is essential to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats.

Ouaissou DEMBELE
Ouaissou DEMBELEhttps://cybercory.com
Ouaissou DEMBELE is an accomplished cybersecurity professional and the Editor-In-Chief of cybercory.com. He has over 10 years of experience in the field, with a particular focus on Ethical Hacking, Data Security & GRC. Currently, Ouaissou serves as the Co-founder & Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Saintynet, a leading provider of IT solutions and services. In this role, he is responsible for managing the company's cybersecurity strategy, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, and identifying and mitigating potential threats, as well as helping the company customers for better & long term cybersecurity strategy. Prior to his work at Saintynet, Ouaissou held various positions in the IT industry, including as a consultant. He has also served as a speaker and trainer at industry conferences and events, sharing his expertise and insights with fellow professionals. Ouaissou holds a number of certifications in cybersecurity, including the Cisco Certified Network Professional - Security (CCNP Security) and the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), ITIL. With his wealth of experience and knowledge, Ouaissou is a valuable member of the cybercory team and a trusted advisor to clients seeking to enhance their cybersecurity posture.


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