Vulnerabilities > CVE-2021-37941 - Improper Privilege Management vulnerability in Elastic APM Agent

Attack vector
Attack complexity
Privileges required
Confidentiality impact
Integrity impact
Availability impact


A local privilege escalation issue was found with the APM Java agent, where a user on the system could attach a malicious file to an application running with the APM Java agent. Using this vector, a malicious or compromised user account could use the agent to run commands at a higher level of permissions than they possess. This vulnerability affects users that have set up the agent via the attacher cli 3, the attach API 2, as well as users that have enabled the profiling_inferred_spans_enabled option

Vulnerable Configurations

Part Description Count

Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE)

Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification (CAPEC)

  • Restful Privilege Elevation
    Rest uses standard HTTP (Get, Put, Delete) style permissions methods, but these are not necessarily correlated generally with back end programs. Strict interpretation of HTTP get methods means that these HTTP Get services should not be used to delete information on the server, but there is no access control mechanism to back up this logic. This means that unless the services are properly ACL'd and the application's service implementation are following these guidelines then an HTTP request can easily execute a delete or update on the server side. The attacker identifies a HTTP Get URL such as http://victimsite/updateOrder, which calls out to a program to update orders on a database or other resource. The URL is not idempotent so the request can be submitted multiple times by the attacker, additionally, the attacker may be able to exploit the URL published as a Get method that actually performs updates (instead of merely retrieving data). This may result in malicious or inadvertent altering of data on the server.