CVE-2014-9389 Nexus Repository Manager 2 - Directory Traversal - 2014-12-23

Protect against a security vulnerability affecting all Nexus OSS and Nexus Professional versions.

Date:  December 23nd, 2014
Affected Versions:  All previous Nexus OSS/Pro versions up to 2.11.0
Fixed in Version:  Nexus OSS/Pro version 2.11.1-01 and greater

Risk:  High - 7.3 (CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:L/I:L/A:L)


A severe security vulnerability (CVE-2014-9389) has been discovered in Nexus requiring immediate action. The vulnerability allows for directory traversal, exposing arbitrary files to users. This advisory provides the pertinent information needed to properly address this vulnerability, along with the details on how to reach us if you have any further questions or concerns.

This vulnerability was identified by external researcher Dino Dai Zovi and has been verified by our security team. We are not aware of any active exploits taking advantage of this issue. However, we strongly encourage all users of Nexus to immediately take the steps outlined in this advisory.

The identified vulnerabilities can allow an attacker to perform directory traversal to read/write sensitive data files.  We are highly recommending all instances of Nexus upgrade to Nexus 2.11.1-01.

We have taken steps to mitigate this vulnerability in public forge instances and are providing remediation guidance to the overall Nexus user community.  We are also coordinating with NIST as part of the vulnerability disclosure process and further details will become publicly available as soon as that process is complete.  The identifier for this vulnerability is CVE-2014-9389.

The vulnerability associated with this advisory is fixed in Nexus 2.11.1-01 .

The latest versions of Nexus can be found here:

For detailed information on upgrade compatibility, please see:


If you run into any problems, or have any questions/concerns, please contact us. You can do this by filing a ticket at , or sending an email to .

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Given the holiday period ahead, why is this information being released now?

A: Timing is ultimately dictated by when a vulnerability is discovered. This particular vulnerability was discovered by an an external security researcher and reported to Sonatype, which dictates a more expedient timeline for disclosure to customers and users.


Q:  What is the risk associated with this vulnerability?

A:  Nexus can be compromised, allowing an unauthenticated attacker to view Nexus configuration files or otherwise protected content.  Additionally, an authenticated attacker can upload content and rewrite files to user controlled locations on the affected system.


Q: What preconditions must be met in order to be vulnerable?

A: An attacker must have network access to the Nexus instance in order to view protected content such as configuration files.  Therefore, internet accessible instances of Nexus imply available access by very large audience versus the more limited audience associated with non-internet accessible instances.  

File rewrites are limited to files the Nexus server has OS permissions to write and the user must have Nexus write permissions in order to write into the Nexus repository structure.


Q: Are there implications associated with this advisory itself?

A: Disclosure unfortunately means bad actors may try to take advantage.  While we have initially limited the information to the minimum details necessary for users to affect an appropriate fix, this merely slows down a would be attacker.  As such, we are advising all organizations utilizing Nexus to immediately assess their individual impact and take appropriate action in response.


Q:  Where can I obtain more information associated with the vulnerability?

A:  Sonatype will be releasing details of this vulnerability as part of a standard CVE disclosure process.  At this time, and in the interest of best protecting our user community, we are limiting the information released to that absolutely required in order to assess impact and affect remediation.


Q:  Why is Sonatype making this information available?

A:  This is part of a responsible disclosure process.  Given Nexus is an open source project used by over 20,000 organizations worldwide, notifying the user base will invariably lead to broad dissemination.  We are taking a concerted and proactive approach in our outreach activities and an effort to achieve the most rapid remediation possible.


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