FortiOS local privilege escalation via malicious use of USB storage devices


An admin user with super_admin privileges can execute an arbitrary binary contained on an USB drive plugged to a FortiGate, via linking the aforementioned binary to a command that is allowed to be run by the fnsysctl CLI command.

Affected Products

FortiOS 5.6.0 to 5.6.2
FortiOS 5.4.0 to 5.4.8
FortiOS 5.2 and below.


Upgrade to 5.6.3 or 5.4.9 or newer versions Workarounds: * Switching to FIPS mode will ban the fnsysctl CLI command hence preventing the attack. * Only the super_admin profile has the privileges required to perform the attack, so avoid assigning it to administrators.


Fortinet is pleased to thank Shaanan Cohney of University of Pennsylvania for reporting this vulnerability under responsible disclosure.