CISA Known Exploited Vulnerabilities

Pallavi Vishwakarma
July 12, 2023

In an increasingly interconnected world, the security of our digital infrastructure is of paramount importance. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the United States plays a vital role in protecting the nation's critical infrastructure from cyber threats. As part of their efforts, CISA regularly publishes information about known exploited vulnerabilities, which are key points of weakness that cyber attackers target. In this blog, we will explore CISA's known exploited vulnerabilities and understand the significance of addressing them to safeguard our digital systems.

What is Known Exploited Vulnerabilities?

Known exploited vulnerabilities refer to security weaknesses in software, systems, or devices that have been actively exploited by malicious actors. These vulnerabilities are identified either through reported incidents or by security researchers, and their exploitation can lead to unauthorized access, data breaches, system compromise, or disruption of critical services. It is crucial to promptly address these vulnerabilities to prevent potential cyber-attacks and minimize the associated risks.

The Role of CISA in Identifying and Addressing Vulnerabilities

CISA works closely with various stakeholders, including government agencies, private sector organizations, and cybersecurity experts, to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure. They conduct extensive research, collect incident reports, and collaborate with vendors and developers to develop effective security patches and fixes.

By maintaining a list of known exploited vulnerabilities, CISA provides vital information to organizations and individuals, enabling them to take proactive steps to protect their systems. This resource serves as a valuable reference for cybersecurity professionals, allowing them to stay updated on the latest threats and take necessary measures to secure their infrastructure.

Significant Exploited Vulnerabilities Addressed by CISA

1. Vulnerabilities in Operating Systems: 

CISA focuses on vulnerabilities that impact widely used operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux. Exploits targeting these systems can lead to unauthorized access, data theft, or the installation of malware. Regularly updating and patching operating systems is essential to protect against these known exploits.

2. Web Application Vulnerabilities: 

Web applications often serve as an entry point for attackers to gain unauthorized access to systems or databases. CISA highlights vulnerabilities in popular content management systems, e-commerce platforms, and other web applications. Addressing these vulnerabilities through secure coding practices, regular updates, and penetration testing can mitigate the risks associated with web-based attacks.

3. Network Infrastructure Vulnerabilities: 

Networking devices and protocols are also prime targets for cyber attackers. CISA emphasizes vulnerabilities in routers, switches, firewalls, and VPN services. Exploiting these weaknesses can enable attackers to intercept network traffic, launch denial-of-service attacks, or gain unauthorized access to the network. Regular firmware updates, strong access controls, and proper network segmentation are crucial for mitigating these risks.

4. Software Vulnerabilities: 

CISA highlights vulnerabilities in commonly used software applications, including web browsers, office suites, and media players. Attackers can exploit these vulnerabilities through malicious files or websites to gain control over systems, execute arbitrary code, or steal sensitive information. Keeping software up to date and leveraging security features like sandboxing and automatic updates can help prevent the exploitation of these known vulnerabilities.

5. Software Supply Chain Attacks: 

CISA has actively addressed vulnerabilities stemming from software supply chain attacks, which involve targeting the software development and distribution process to inject malicious code into legitimate applications. These attacks can compromise the integrity of widely used software, allowing attackers to gain unauthorized access to systems or exfiltrate sensitive data. Notable examples include the SolarWinds and Kaseya supply chain attacks. CISA's focus on these vulnerabilities emphasizes the importance of robust software development practices, secure code signing, and continuous monitoring of the software supply chain.

6. Remote Code Execution (RCE) Vulnerabilities: 

RCE vulnerabilities remain a significant concern as they allow attackers to execute arbitrary code remotely, enabling them to take control of a targeted system. CISA actively tracks and provides guidance on RCE vulnerabilities found in various software and applications, including web servers, content management systems, and email clients. Timely patching and configuration hardening are crucial to mitigating the risks associated with RCE vulnerabilities.

7. Critical Infrastructure Systems: 

Protecting critical infrastructure systems from cyber threats is a top priority for CISA. They closely monitor vulnerabilities in industrial control systems (ICS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, and other critical infrastructure components. Exploiting vulnerabilities in these systems can lead to disruptions in essential services, physical damage, or even threats to public safety. CISA's focus on these vulnerabilities highlights the need for robust security measures, regular system updates, network segmentation, and access control mechanisms to safeguard critical infrastructure.

8. Cryptographic Vulnerabilities: 

CISA also addresses vulnerabilities in cryptographic implementations, encryption protocols, and cryptographic libraries. Weak or flawed encryption algorithms or improperly implemented cryptographic mechanisms can expose sensitive data to unauthorized access or decryption. CISA's efforts aim to promote the use of robust encryption practices, secure key management, and adherence to recognized cryptographic standards to protect sensitive information from being compromised.

9. Mobile Device Vulnerabilities: 

With the proliferation of mobile devices, securing these endpoints has become increasingly important. CISA identifies and advises on vulnerabilities in mobile operating systems, applications, and firmware that could be exploited by attackers. These vulnerabilities may allow unauthorized access, data theft, or the installation of malware on mobile devices. Regular updates, secure app development practices, and user education are essential for mitigating the risks associated with mobile device vulnerabilities.


CISA's efforts in identifying and addressing known exploited vulnerabilities play a vital role in maintaining the security of our digital infrastructure. By staying informed about these vulnerabilities and taking prompt action to implement security patches and updates, organizations and individuals can enhance their defenses against cyber threats. Regular monitoring, vulnerability management, and proactive security practices are essential for safeguarding critical systems and mitigating the risks posed by exploited vulnerabilities. Ultimately, by collectively prioritizing cybersecurity, we can create a more resilient and secure digital ecosystem.

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