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TUCoPS :: Cisco :: ciacl069.txt

Cisco content services switch user account


                       The U.S. Department of Energy
                     Computer Incident Advisory Center
                           ___  __ __    _     ___
                          /       |     /_\   /
                          \___  __|__  /   \  \___

                             INFORMATION BULLETIN

            Cisco Content Services Switch User Account Vulnerability

April 6, 2001 19:00 GMT                                           Number L-069
PROBLEM:       The Cisco Content Services (CSS) switch product, also known as 
               Arrowpoint, has a security vulnerability which allows privilege 
PLATFORM:      The following hardware platforms are affected: Cisco CSS 11050, 
               CSS 11150, and CSS 11800 units. 
DAMAGE:        A malicious party using a valid user account can enter debug 
               bug and gain administrative access to the Cisco unit. 
SOLUTION:      Follow the Cisco advice in the bulletin for establishing access 
               control lists or apply the patch. 
VULNERABILITY  The risk is LOW. There have been no reports of this activity. 

[******  Begin Cisco Bulletin ******]

Cisco Security Advisory: Cisco Content Services Switch User Account Vulnerability

Revision 1.0

For Public Release 2001 April 04 08:00 (UTC -0700)



The Cisco Content Services (CSS) switch product, also known as Arrowpoint,
has a security vulnerability in a previous release that allows
non-privileged users to escalate their privilege level, permitting them
configuration ability on affected units. This vulnerability can only be
exercised from a valid user account.

To remove the vulnerability, Cisco is offering free software upgrades to
revision 4.01B19s for all affected platforms. This defect is documented as
Cisco bug ID CSCdt32570.

This advisory is available at

Affected Products

The CSS switch is also known as the Arrowpoint product, and runs the Cisco
WebNS Software.

Cisco CSS 11050, CSS 11150, and CSS 11800 hardware platforms are affected
by this vulnerability. No other Cisco products are affected by this

If the switch is running a version prior to 4.01B19s, then it is affected
and should be upgraded as soon as possible. You may type version at the
command line to find out software version number.


A non-privileged user can issue a series of keystrokes to enter the debug
mode, and from that mode can gain administrative access.


This vulnerability allows a non-privileged user to become a super-user,
allowing unauthorized access to important files such as the configuration
files, and directory structure information. If access to the command line
interface is well protected and restricted, these vulnerabilities are

Cisco Bug ID CSCdt32570 describes this vulnerability.

Software Versions and Fixes

CSCdt32570 is resolved in version 4.01B19s of Cisco WebNS software.
Non-privileged users can no longer enter debug mode.

Obtaining Fixed Software

Cisco is offering free software upgrades to eliminate this vulnerability
for all affected customers.

Customers with contracts should obtain upgraded software through their
regular update channels. For most customers, this means that upgrades
should be obtained through the Software Center on Cisco's Worldwide Web
site at Specifically, this fix can be found at Customers whose Cisco
products are provided or maintained through prior or existing agreement
with third-party support organizations such as Cisco Partners, authorized
resellers, or service providers should contact that support organization
for assistance with the upgrade, which should be free of charge.

Customers without contracts should get their upgrades by contacting the
Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC). TAC contacts are as follows:

   * +1 800 553 2447 (toll-free from within North America)
   * +1 408 526 7209 (toll call from anywhere in the world)
   * e-mail:

See for
additional TAC contact information, including instructions and e-mail
addresses for use in various languages.

Give the URL of this notice as evidence of your entitlement to a free
upgrade. Free upgrades for non-contract customers must be requested through
the TAC. Please do not contact either "" or
"" for software upgrades.


Access control lists can be applied to restrict access to the Cisco CSS
device, as well as additional firewall or access lists to restrict
connection to the management interface. Access control lists also affect
traffic to the Virtual interface of the Cisco CSS device, so must be
applied with care. For further details on configuring access lists, please
refer to the product documentation:

Additionally, the use of SSH to prevent snooping of the management traffic
to the device is encouraged.

Telnet service can also be disabled. This is not a feasible option for many
customers in a co-location environment, but it is included in this section
for customers that may have the ability to implement this configuration.

 CS150(config)# telnet access disabled

Exploitation and Public Announcements

Cisco knows of no public announcements or discussion of this vulnerability
before the date of this notice. Cisco has had no reports of malicious
exploitation of this vulnerability. This bug was identified and reported by
Cisco's own technical support staff.

Status of This Notice: FINAL

This is a final field notice. Although Cisco cannot guarantee the accuracy
of all statements in this notice, all of the facts have been checked to the
best of our ability. Cisco does not anticipate issuing updated versions of
this notice unless there is some material change in the facts. Should there
be a significant change in the facts, Cisco may update this notice.


This notice will be posted on Cisco's Worldwide Web site at
In addition to Worldwide Web posting, a text version of this notice is
clear-signed with the Cisco PSIRT PGP key and is posted to the following
e-mail and Usenet news recipients:

   * (includes CERT/CC)
   * Various internal Cisco mailing lists

Future updates of this notice, if any, will be placed on Cisco's Worldwide
Web server, but may or may not be actively announced on mailing lists or
newsgroups. Users concerned about this problem are encouraged to check the
URL given above for any updates.

Revision History

 Revision   2001-04-04Initial public release

Cisco Security Procedures

Complete information on reporting security vulnerabilities in Cisco
products, obtaining assistance with security incidents, and registering to
receive security information from Cisco, is available on Cisco's Worldwide
Web site at This
includes instructions for press inquiries regarding Cisco security notices.


This notice is Copyright 2001 by Cisco Systems, Inc. This notice may be
redistributed freely after the release date given at the top of the text,
provided that redistributed copies are complete and unmodified, and include
all date and version information.
[******  Begin Cisco Bulletin ******]


CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of Cisco Systems, Inc. for the 
information contained in this bulletin.

CIAC, the Computer Incident Advisory Capability, is the computer
security incident response team for the U.S. Department of Energy
(DOE) and the emergency backup response team for the National
Institutes of Health (NIH). CIAC is located at the Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory in Livermore, California. CIAC is also a founding
member of FIRST, the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams, a
global organization established to foster cooperation and coordination
among computer security teams worldwide.

CIAC services are available to DOE, DOE contractors, and the NIH. CIAC
can be contacted at:
    Voice:    +1 925-422-8193 (7x24)
    FAX:      +1 925-423-8002
    STU-III:  +1 925-423-2604

Previous CIAC notices, anti-virus software, and other information are
available from the CIAC Computer Security Archive.

   World Wide Web:
                        (or -- they're the same machine)
   Anonymous FTP:
                        (or -- they're the same machine)

PLEASE NOTE: Many users outside of the DOE, ESnet, and NIH computing
communities receive CIAC bulletins.  If you are not part of these
communities, please contact your agency's response team to report
incidents. Your agency's team will coordinate with CIAC. The Forum of
Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) is a world-wide
organization. A list of FIRST member organizations and their
constituencies can be obtained via WWW at

This document was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an
agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States
Government nor the University of California nor any of their
employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any
legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or
usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process
disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately
owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial products,
process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or
otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement,
recommendation or favoring by the United States Government or the
University of California. The views and opinions of authors expressed
herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States
Government or the University of California, and shall not be used for
advertising or product endorsement purposes.

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