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Cisco's Content Services Switch (Arrowpoint) Allows Administrators to Escalate Privileges and Make Unauthorized Configuration Changes
SecurityTracker Alert ID: 1001236|
SecurityTracker URL: http://securitytracker.com/id/1001236
(Links to External Site)
Date: Apr 5 2001
Root access via local system, Root access via network|
Fix Available: Yes Vendor Confirmed: Yes |
Version(s): prior to 4.01B19s; CSS 11050, CSS 11150, and CSS 11800 hardware platforms|
Cisco released an advisory for their Cisco Content Services Switch (also known as Arrowpoint) regarding a vulnerability that can allow authorized administrators to escalate their administrative privileges and make unauthorized configuration changes.|
A non-privileged but valid administrative user can issue a certain series of keystrokes to enter the debug mode and, from that mode, can then gain super-user administrative access.
This vulnerability can allow a non-privileged administrative user to gain super-user access and gain unauthorized access to important files (such as the configuration files) and to directory structure information.|
An upgraded version is available. Upgrade to revision 4.01B19s for all affected platforms. This vulnerability is assigned Cisco bug ID CSCdt32570.|
Vendor URL: www.cisco.com/warp/public/707/arrowpoint-useraccnt-debug-pub.shtml (Links to External Site)
Access control error|
This archive entry has one or more follow-up message(s) listed below.|
Source Message Contents
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001 10:30:00 -0700|
Subject: Cisco Security Advisory: Cisco Content Services Switch User
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Cisco Security Advisory: Cisco Content Services Switch User Account
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
The CSS switch is also known as the Arrowpoint product, and runs the Cisco
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 http://www.cisco.com. Specifically, this fix can be found at
http://www.cisco.com/cgi-bin/tablebuild.pl/webns. 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: email@example.com
See http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/687/Directory/DirTAC.shtml 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 "firstname.lastname@example.org" or
"email@example.com" 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:
* firstname.lastname@example.org (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 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
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.
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