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In Spring for Apache Kafka 3.0.9 and earlier and versions 2.9.10 and earlier, a possible deserialization attack vector existed, but only if unusual configuration was applied. An attacker would have to construct a malicious serialized object in one of the deserialization exception record headers.
Specifically, an application is vulnerable when all of the following are true:
By default, these properties are false, and the container only attempts to deserialize the headers if an ErrorHandlingDeserializer is configured. The ErrorHandlingDeserializer prevents the vulnerability by removing any such malicious headers before processing the record.
Releases that have fixed this issue include:
Spring boot 3.0.10 (or later) dependency management will automatically use Spring for Apache Kafka 3.0.10 (or later). Spring Boot 2.7.x users should override Boot's Spring for Apache Kafka 2.8.x dependency management version to 2.9.11 (or later).
This issue was identified and responsibly reported by Joseph Beeton from Contrast Security, Inc.