Timing attack in Apache Kafka

Published: 2021-09-21
Risk Low
Patch available YES
Number of vulnerabilities 1
CVE-ID CVE-2021-38153
Exploitation vector Local
Public exploit N/A
Vulnerable software
Apache Kafka
Client/Desktop applications / Messaging software

Vendor Apache Foundation

Security Bulletin

This security bulletin contains one low risk vulnerability.

1) Information Exposure Through Timing Discrepancy

EUVDB-ID: #VU56790

Risk: Low

CVSSv3.1: 5.5 [CVSS:3.1/AV:L/AC:H/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:N/E:U/RL:O/RC:C]

CVE-ID: CVE-2021-38153

CWE-ID: CWE-208 - Information Exposure Through Timing Discrepancy

Exploit availability: No


The vulnerability allows a local user to escalate privileges on the system.

the vulnerability exists due to some components in Apache Kafka use "Arrays.equals" to validate a password or key, which is vulnerable to timing attacks. A local user can abuse the "Arrays.equals" to brute force access credentials and escalate privileges on the system.


Install updates from vendor's website.

Vulnerable software versions

Apache Kafka: 2.0.0 - 2.8.0

CPE2.3 External links


Q & A

Can this vulnerability be exploited remotely?

No. This vulnerability can be exploited locally. The attacker should have authentication credentials and successfully authenticate on the system.

Is there known malware, which exploits this vulnerability?

No. We are not aware of malware exploiting this vulnerability.