Fortinet patches CVE-2023-27997 exploited for pre-login RCE

Fortinet patches CVE-2023-27997 exploited for pre-login RCE

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Fortinet, a leading provider of network security solutions, recently rolled out multiple versions of FortiOS, the operating system (OS) and firmware that powers their widely used Fortigate firewalls and other devices commonly used for SSL-VPN. However, a concerning omission in their release notes has come to light – the failure to mention the inclusion of a crucial security patch for the remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability known as CVE-2023-27997. This flaw poses a significant threat as it can be exploited remotely without the attacker needing to have logged into the system.

CVE-2023-27997 is a critical security vulnerability that allows remote code execution, potentially granting attackers unauthorized access to vulnerable systems. Notably, this exploit does not require any prior authentication, making it particularly dangerous. Despite the severity of this vulnerability, Fortinet did not explicitly disclose the presence of a fix in the released FortiOS versions.

Fortinet patches CVE-2023-27997 exploited for pre-login RCE
Fortinet patches CVE-2023-27997 exploited for pre-login RCE

Fortinet has addressed the CVE-2023-27997 vulnerability in several FortiOS versions. Users are strongly advised to update their systems to the following versions:

  1. FortiOS 7.2.5
  2. FortiOS 7.0.12
  3. FortiOS 6.4.13
  4. FortiOS 6.2.15
  5. FortiOS 6.0.17

Enterprise admins are advised to upgrade Fortigate devices as soon as possible – if the vulnerability is not already being exploited by attackers, it’s likely that it will soon be.

The presence of an unpatched vulnerability in a network security solution like Fortinet’s FortiOS can have severe implications for organizations relying on these devices for their network defense. The remote code execution flaw in question can potentially allow threat actors to gain unauthorized control over the affected systems. By not explicitly mentioning the inclusion of the fix in the release notes, Fortinet may have inadvertently left users unaware of the critical nature of the update.


To ensure the security and integrity of their systems, users are strongly urged to take the following steps:

  1. Update FortiOS: If you are using any of the affected versions, promptly upgrade to the patched versions mentioned above. This will help protect against potential exploitation of the CVE-2023-27997 vulnerability.
  2. Monitor Official Communications: Stay informed by closely following Fortinet’s official channels for security updates and advisories. This will help you stay up to date with any future vulnerability fixes and ensure that your network remains secure.
  3. Implement Network Security Best Practices: In addition to applying patches and updates, it is crucial to follow recommended security practices such as using strong passwords, enabling multi-factor authentication, regularly monitoring network traffic, and maintaining up-to-date antivirus software.

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