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Category:   Application (Security)  >   Cisco Secure Access Control System Vendors:   Cisco
Cisco Secure Access Control Server Buffer Overflow May Yield System Administrator Access to Remote Users
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1006633
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2003-0210   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Apr 23 2003
Impact:   Denial of service via network, Execution of arbitrary code via network, Root access via network
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): 2.6.4 , 3.0.3, and 3.1.1 and prior versions
Description:   A buffer overflow vulnerability was reported in the Cisco Secure Access Control Server for Windows. A remote user can cause the administration service to crash. A remote user may be able to gain access to the system.

Cisco reported that a remote user can trigger a buffer overflow in the processing of login requests on the web-based administration service ('CSAdmin', running on TCP port 2002) to deny service to administrators or potentially gain system administrator access. According to the report, a "sufficiently long" user-supplied parameter can trigger the overflow. The overflow allows the remote user to cause the service to hang or to execute arbitrary code with System administrator privileges.

Cisco has assigned Cisco Bug ID CSCea51366 to this issue.

The vendor reports that Cisco Secure ACS for UNIX is not affected.

Impact:   A remote user can cause the administration service to hang. A remote user may be able to gain system administrator access on the system.
Solution:   The vendor has released patch files for 2.6.4, 3.0.3, and 3.1.1. Users with earlier versions must upgrade to those versions and then apply the patch.

* ACS 3.1(1) -
* ACS 3.0(3) -
* ACS 2.6 -

The patches are available to customers at:

Cisco plans to include the fix in versions 3.0.4, 3.1.2, and later, to be available on the Cisco website in the future.

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Boundary error
Underlying OS:  Windows (Any)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  Cisco Security Advisory: Cisco Secure Access Control Server for Windows Admin Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

Hash: SHA1

Cisco Security Advisory: Cisco Secure Access Control Server for
Windows Admin Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

Revision 1.0

For Public Release 2003 April 23 08:00 (GMT)

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Cisco Secure ACS for Windows is vulnerable to a buffer overflow on the
administration service which runs on TCP port 2002. Exploitation of this
vulnerability results in a Denial of Service, and can potentially result
in system administrator access. Cisco is providing repaired software,
and customers are recommended to install patches or upgrade at their
earliest opportunity. Workarounds can be implemented, and consist of
blocking external access to port 2002 on the ACS.

This issue is documented in Cisco Bug ID CSCea51366. This issue is also
being referenced in the Mitre CVE as CAN-2003-0210.

This advisory is available at

Affected Products

Cisco Secure ACS versions up to and including version 2.6.4 , 3.0.3, and
3.1.1 are affected by this vulnerability.

No other Cisco products are affected by this vulnerability.
Specifically, Cisco Secure ACS for UNIX is NOT affected by this


Cisco Secure ACS for Windows provides a Web-based management interface,
termed CSAdmin, which listens on TCP port 2002. A buffer overflow
vulnerability occurs during CSAdmin process servicing login requests.
Once a sufficiently long user parameter is received by the server, this
can cause the buffer overflow, which would typically result in the
service hanging until it can be restarted. It is possible that a buffer
overflow could be performed that would result in the compromise of the
system and permit remote control of the system.

This issue is resolved by applying the patch files to repair the CSAdmin
program, and will be repaired in future versions of CSAdmin.

Bug ID


Customer installations of Cisco Secure ACS for Windows that provide
unrestricted access to all ports on the server may be vulnerable to a
Denial of Service, or potentially a root compromise. It is recommended
that customers upgrade to repaired versions of Cisco Secure ACS, or
install Cisco Secure ACS such that external access to management
interfaces is eliminated or severely restricted.

Software Versions and Fixes

Fixes to the CSAdmin will be included in ACS for Windows versions 3.0.4,
3.1.2, and later, which will become available on the Cisco website.
Patch files for 2.6.4, 3.0.3, and 3.1.1 are currently available on the
Cisco website. Customers running versions earlier than 2.6.4, 3.0.3, or
3.1.1 will need to upgrade to those versions to apply the patch files.

The patch files that resolve this problem for specific versions are as

    * ACS 3.1(1) -
    * ACS 3.0(3) -
    * ACS 2.6 -

Customers that are logged into the Cisco website can download these
files at:

Obtaining Fixed Software

Cisco is offering free software upgrades to remedy this vulnerability
for all affected customers. Customers may only install and expect
support for the feature sets they have purchased.

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
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 upgrades or patch files by contacting the Cisco
Technical Assistance Center (TAC). In those cases, customers may only
upgrade to a later version of the same release to which they are
entitled, or the patch files for that release. 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)
    * email: <>.

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

Please have your product serial number available and 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


It is recommended that customers patch systems, or upgrade to repaired
versions of Cisco Secure ACS. Alternatively, the vulnerability can be
mitigated by blocking access to the ACS on port 2002, as well as
strictly limiting the access to internal hosts that have reason to
connect to the ACS. This can be accomplished with access control lists
on routers or firewalls.

Exploitation and Public Announcements

The Cisco PSIRT was made aware of this vulnerability by the NSFOCUS
Security Team, who are also releasing an advisory regarding this issue.
Their advisory will be available at

Cisco is unaware of malicious use of the vulnerabilities described in
this advisory.

Status of This Notice: Final

This is a final 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 Cisco's 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. Users concerned about this problem are encouraged to
check the URL given above for any updates.

Revision History

Revision 1.0 2003-April-23 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

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This notice is Copyright 2003 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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Version: PGP 7.0



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