CVE-2018-16621 Nexus Repository 3 - Java Injection - 2018-10-17

Sonatype Nexus Repository 3 Security Advisory

Date:  October 17, 2018

Affected Versions:  All previous Nexus Repository 3 OSS/Pro versions up to and including 3.13.0

Fixed in Version:  Nexus Repository OSS/Pro version 3.14.0

Risk:  High - 7.2 (CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:H/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H)


A Java Expression Language Injection vulnerability has been discovered in Nexus Repository 3.

An attacker with administrative privileges can exploit this vulnerability to execute code on the server.  We have mitigated this vulnerability by properly sanitizing the user input. 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 researchers and have 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 vulnerability allows injected code to be executed on the server. We are highly recommending all instances of Nexus Repository 3 be upgraded to Nexus 3.14 or later.

Publicly available Nexus Repository instances are at greater risk and we have taken steps to mitigate this vulnerability in known public forge instances as well as providing remediation guidance to the overall Nexus Repository user community.

The vulnerability associated with this advisory is fixed in Nexus 3.14 and above. The latest version of NXRM 3.x can be downloaded from:

For detailed information on upgrade compatibility, please see:


Sonatype thanks Dominik Schneider and Till Osswald, ERNW GmbH for responsibly reporting the identified issues and working with us as we addressed them.


If you run into any problems, or have any questions/concerns, please contact us by filing a ticket at

Frequently Asked Questions:


Q:  What is the risk associated with this vulnerability?

A:  An authenticated attacker with administrative privileges can inject and execute code on the server potentially affecting confidentiality, integrity, and availability.


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

A: The attacker would need administrative access to Nexus Repository 3.


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 Repository to immediately assess their individual impact and take appropriate action in response.


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

A:  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. Please contact support for more information.


Q:  Why is Sonatype making this information available?

A:  This is part of a responsible disclosure process.  Given Nexus Repository is an open source project with over 150,000 active server installations, 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.

Have more questions? Submit a request


Article is closed for comments.