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TUCoPS :: Cisco :: m-097.txt

CISCO ACS Acme server traversal Vulnerability (CIAC M-097)


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

                             INFORMATION BULLETIN

                 Cisco ACS Acme.server traversal Vulnerability
                     [Cisco Security Advisory: CSCdu47965]

July 3, 2002 17:00 GMT                                            Number M-097
[Revised 9 July 2002]
PROBLEM:       A vulnerability exists within the Acme.server program that is 
               part of the Cisco Secure Access Control Server Unix 
               installation. These systems are vulnerable to a directory 
               traversal vulnerability. 
PLATFORM:      Cisco Secure ACS for Unix Servers version 2.0 through 
DAMAGE:        This vulnerability could allow an attacker to view files and 
               directory structures on the target system. 
SOLUTION:      Apply available patch or update to a patched version. 
VULNERABILITY  The risk is MEDIUM. Cisco encourages users to upgrade to a 
ASSESSMENT:    fixed version of the software. Customers who may have been 
               vulnerable to attack are advised to review privileged accounts 
               and any suspicious database changes, and to change 
               administrative passwords. 
 ORIGINAL BULLETIN:                                                           
 PATCHES:            - 9 July, 2002
[***** Start Cisco Security Advisory: CSCdu47965 *****]

Security Advisory: Cisco Secure ACS Unix Acme.server Information Disclosure

Revision 1.1

For Public Release 2002 July 2 10:00 (UTC -0800 )
Last Updated 2002 July 3 01:00 GMT


Cisco Secure Access Control Server for Unix implements the Acme.server and
is therefore vulnerable to a directory traversal vulnerability.  The fix
has been included in ACS Unix version which is currently available.

This vulnerability is detailed in Cisco Bug ID CSCdu47965.

This advisory is available at:

Affected Products

The defects described in this document are present in releases beginning
with version 2.0 up to and including version of Cisco Secure ACS
for Unix Server.

Cisco Secure ACS for Windows NT is not vulnerable to this issue.  Cisco
Access Registrar is not vulnerable to this issue.


This vulnerability exists within the Acme.server program that is part of
the Cisco Secure ACS Unix installation.  This vulnerability has been
repaired in the Acme.server utility.  The patch is available for Cisco
customers, and has now been incorporated into the Cisco Secure ACS Unix

The vulnerability is triggered when someone browses to the server URL and
adds trailing slashes as in the following example:
http://servername:9090///. This exploit will display the files and
filesystem of the target server.

This vulnerability has been assigned Cisco bug ID CSCdu47965.


The impact may vary, depending whether potential attackers have access to
port 9090 on the Cisco Secure ACS computer. This vulnerability could allow
an attacker to view files and directory structures on the target system.
Access to the encrypted password file provided by this vulnerability, for
example, would allow an attacker access through a successful dictionary
attack against the listed accounts.

Customers who may have been vulnerable to attack are advised to review
privileged accounts and any suspicious database changes, and to change
administrative passwords.

Software Versions and Fixes

There is a patch available, and the fixes are included in Cisco Secure ACS
Unix version and all versions going forward. For existing versions,
the patch may be applied, which resolves the issue. There is no need to
upgrade to a newer version.

Obtaining Fixed Software

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 the Cisco worldwide
website 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 who purchase direct from Cisco but who do not hold a Cisco
service contract and customers who purchase through third-party vendors but
are unsuccessful at obtaining fixed software through their point of sale
should get their patch 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) or by email: .

Please have your product serial number available and give the URL of this
notice as evidence of your entitlement to the patched software. Patch
requests for non-contract customers must be requested through the TAC.

Please do not contact either "" or
"" for software upgrades or software patches.


Workarounds for this vulnerability include general recommendations of protecting the 
Cisco Secure ACS for Unix with strong firewalls, access controls, and preventing any 
external or unauthenticated access to the system, and to  port 9090 in particular. 
This is an interim workaround only, and a patch or upgrade is recommended. 

For this issue, a patch is available which may be installed in place of an upgrade. 
The patch is available at the following temporary location:

For any assistance with the patch, please contact the TAC. This patch fixes the security 
problem with the Acme.server. It includes the modified files provided by Acme. This patch 
can be applied for any supported version of Cisco Secure, that is, CiscoSecure/Unix 2.3(3) or 
later. The patch consists of one file: FastAdmin/

Patch Installation Instructions

To install the patch, follow the instructions below. The commands need to
be executed on your Cisco Secure ACS Unix by the administrator.

  1. Stop Cisco Secure by entering the command:


  2. Change to the base directory where Cisco Secure is installed.

          cd $BASEDIR

  3. Copy the compressed tar file Acme-Patch.tar.Z into the current

  4. Uncompress and untar the file.

          uncompress Acme-Patch.tar.Z
          tar xvf Acme-Patch.tar

  5. Start Cisco Secure with the command:


Exploitation and Public Announcements

The issue with the Acme.server was posted to the Bugtraq list June 2001,
although no specific mention of the Cisco product was made in the original
posting.  Cisco PSIRT is not aware of any malicious use of the
vulnerability described in this advisory.

Status of This Notice: FINAL

This is a final field notice. Although Cisco cannot guarantee the accuracy
of all statements in this notice, all 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 the Cisco worldwide website 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 1.1 2002 July 3 - 01:00   Update to Workarounds section
 Revision 1.0 2002 July 2 - 10:00   Initial 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
website at This 
includes instructions for press inquiries regarding Cisco security
notices. All Cisco Security Advisories are available at


This notice is Copyright 2002 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.


[***** End Cisco Security Advisory: CSCdu47965 *****]

CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of Cisco 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:
   Anonymous FTP:

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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