CVE Vulnerabilities


Incorrect Authorization

Published: Jan 26, 2023 | Modified: Nov 07, 2023
CVSS 3.x
CVSS 2.x

Argo CD is a declarative, GitOps continuous delivery tool for Kubernetes. Versions of Argo CD starting with v1.8.2 and prior to 2.3.13, 2.4.19, 2.5.6, and 2.6.0-rc-3 are vulnerable to an improper authorization bug causing the API to accept certain invalid tokens. OIDC providers include an aud (audience) claim in signed tokens. The value of that claim specifies the intended audience(s) of the token (i.e. the service or services which are meant to accept the token). Argo CD does validate that the token was signed by Argo CDs configured OIDC provider. But Argo CD does not validate the audience claim, so it will accept tokens that are not intended for Argo CD. If Argo CDs configured OIDC provider also serves other audiences (for example, a file storage service), then Argo CD will accept a token intended for one of those other audiences. Argo CD will grant the user privileges based on the tokens groups claim, even though those groups were not intended to be used by Argo CD. This bug also increases the impact of a stolen token. If an attacker steals a valid token for a different audience, they can use it to access Argo CD. A patch for this vulnerability has been released in versions 2.6.0-rc3, 2.5.6, 2.4.19, and 2.3.13. There are no workarounds.


The product performs an authorization check when an actor attempts to access a resource or perform an action, but it does not correctly perform the check. This allows attackers to bypass intended access restrictions.

Affected Software

Name Vendor Start Version End Version
Argo-cd Linuxfoundation 1.8.2 (including) 2.3.14 (excluding)
Argo-cd Linuxfoundation 2.4.0 (including) 2.4.20 (excluding)
Argo-cd Linuxfoundation 2.5.0 (including) 2.5.8 (excluding)
Argo-cd Linuxfoundation 2.6.0-rc1 (including) 2.6.0-rc1 (including)
Argo-cd Linuxfoundation 2.6.0-rc2 (including) 2.6.0-rc2 (including)
Argo-cd Linuxfoundation 2.6.0-rc3 (including) 2.6.0-rc3 (including)
Argo-cd Linuxfoundation 2.6.0-rc4 (including) 2.6.0-rc4 (including)
Red Hat OpenShift GitOps 1.5 RedHat openshift-gitops-1/argocd-rhel8:v1.5.9-2 *
Red Hat OpenShift GitOps 1.6 RedHat openshift-gitops-1/argocd-rhel8:v1.6.4-3 *
Red Hat OpenShift GitOps 1.7 RedHat openshift-gitops-1/argocd-rhel8:v1.7.1-2 *

Extended Description

Assuming a user with a given identity, authorization is the process of determining whether that user can access a given resource, based on the user’s privileges and any permissions or other access-control specifications that apply to the resource. When access control checks are incorrectly applied, users are able to access data or perform actions that they should not be allowed to perform. This can lead to a wide range of problems, including information exposures, denial of service, and arbitrary code execution.

Potential Mitigations

  • Divide the product into anonymous, normal, privileged, and administrative areas. Reduce the attack surface by carefully mapping roles with data and functionality. Use role-based access control (RBAC) [REF-229] to enforce the roles at the appropriate boundaries.
  • Note that this approach may not protect against horizontal authorization, i.e., it will not protect a user from attacking others with the same role.
  • Use a vetted library or framework that does not allow this weakness to occur or provides constructs that make this weakness easier to avoid.
  • For example, consider using authorization frameworks such as the JAAS Authorization Framework [REF-233] and the OWASP ESAPI Access Control feature [REF-45].
  • For web applications, make sure that the access control mechanism is enforced correctly at the server side on every page. Users should not be able to access any unauthorized functionality or information by simply requesting direct access to that page.
  • One way to do this is to ensure that all pages containing sensitive information are not cached, and that all such pages restrict access to requests that are accompanied by an active and authenticated session token associated with a user who has the required permissions to access that page.