Security and Compliance

Stories from the Street: How One Software Vulnerability Multiplied

Topics: Security and Compliance

When CVE-2023-5129 hit the news, many of us probably thought, “Another day, another software vulnerability.” But this one, initially thought to be an exclusive issue with Google Chrome, turned out to be a widespread problem affecting a host of applications that utilize the libwebp library. The vulnerability is severe and given that this library is integrated into a wide range of systems—from Linux to macOS to Android—this isn’t something to sweep under the rug. 

What is at Stake? 

Multiple sources1, 2 recently reported this vulnerability affecting Google’s graphics file format known as WebP. It leverages the libwebp libraries, which are exploitable and could allow a machine to run arbitrary code or expose sensitive data. Apple and Citizen Lab first identified it as CVE-2023-4863, but a reevaluation led to a new label, CVE-2023-5129, to reflect its true nature as a problem within libwebp1

And let’s not ignore the list of affected applications—it’s not just your browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge that are at risk. From Slack to MongoDB Compass to Microsoft Teams, many platforms that you probably rely on every day are on the list. 

How One Software Vulnerability Multiplied

How to Respond? Patch Rapidly 

If you’re wondering how to mitigate this mess, here’s the golden word: Update. Fixing this vulnerability requires prompt action to update all affected systems.  

Here’s the good news: If you’re running a third-party patch management solution, you’re already ahead of the game. You’ve likely deployed many of the critical updates in your environment without even having to call an emergency IT meeting. If your system has not auto-patched yet, there’s no need to go through the painstaking process of packaging and deploying the updates manually. Just configure your patch management solution to handle it, and you’re good to go. 

At Recast Software, our automated software patch management capabilities within Application Manager mean you don’t have to break a sweat over CVE-2023-5129 or any other sudden vulnerabilities. You can continue your work knowing that your systems are being updated in real-time, giving you one less thing to worry about. 

What is the Lesson Here around Software Vulnerabilities? 

This incident reminds us why it’s imperative to have an effective third-party patch management solution in place. With vulnerabilities often being reevaluated and escalating in severity, manual patching isn’t just labor-intensive; it’s a risk your organization can’t afford to take. 

So, if you’re still running updates manually, maybe it’s time to rethink your approach. Automated patch management isn’t a luxury; it’s quickly becoming a necessity in today’s threat landscape. Don’t wait for the next CVE to surprise you. Equip your environment with automated patch management to stay ahead. 

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Additional Patching Resources 


  1. CyberHoot, “Critical Vulnerability in WebP Affects Multiple Systems,” September 27, 2023.  
  2. Stackdiary, “Critical WebP bug: many apps, not just browsers, under threat,” September 13, 2023 
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