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Improper Neutralization of Special Elements in Output Used by a Downstream Component ('Injection')


Severity High
Score 9.1/10


vault-cli is a configurable command-line interface tool (and python library) to interact with Hashicorp Vault. In versions 0.7.0 through 2.2.0 vault-cli features the ability for rendering templated values. When a secret starts with the prefix `!template!`, vault-cli interprets the rest of the contents of the secret as a Jinja2 template. Jinja2 is a powerful templating engine and is not designed to safely render arbitrary templates. An attacker controlling a jinja2 template rendered on a machine can trigger arbitrary code, making this a Remote Code Execution (RCE) risk. If the content of the vault can be completely trusted, then this is not a problem. Otherwise, if your threat model includes cases where an attacker can manipulate a secret value read from the vault using vault-cli, then this vulnerability may impact you. In 3.0.0, the code related to interpreting vault templated secrets has been removed entirely. Users are advised to upgrade as soon as possible. For users unable to upgrade a workaround does exist. Using the environment variable `VAULT_CLI_RENDER=false` or the flag `--no-render` (placed between `vault-cli` and the subcommand, e.g. `vault-cli --no-render get-all`) or adding `render: false` to the vault-cli configuration yaml file disables rendering and removes the vulnerability. Using the python library, you can use: `vault_cli.get_client(render=False)` when creating your client to get a client that will not render templated secrets and thus operates securely.

  • LOW
  • HIGH
  • NONE
  • HIGH
  • HIGH
  • HIGH

CWE-74 - Injection

Listed as the number one web application security risk on the 'OWASP Top Ten', injection attacks are widespread and dangerous, especially in legacy applications. Injection attacks are a class of vulnerabilities in which an attacker injects untrusted data into a web application that gets processed by an interpreter, altering the program's execution. This can result in data loss/theft, loss of data integrity, denial of service, and even compromising the entire system.

Advisory Timeline

  • Published