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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   Cisco Wireless Control System Vendors:   Cisco
Cisco Wireless Control System Conversion Utility Sets Default Administrative Accounts and Passwords
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1018797
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2007-5382   (Links to External Site)
Updated:  Apr 1 2008
Original Entry Date:  Oct 11 2007
Impact:   Root access via network, User access via network
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): conversion utility and prior versions
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in Cisco Wireless Control System. A remote user can access the target system.

When an administrator of the CiscoWorks Wireless LAN Solution Engine (WLSE) uses a Cisco conversion utility to convert to a Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS), the conversion utility creates administrative accounts with default passwords. A Linux root user account and a Cisco WCS root user account are created.

A remote user can access the target system using the default passwords.

Cisco WCS systems that have not been converted from a CiscoWorks WLSE using the conversion utility are not affected.

Impact:   A remote user can gain root or administrative access on the target system.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fixed version of the conversion utility (4.2). Systems that have already been converted should have the passwords for the affected accounts modified.

The Cisco advisory is available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Configuration error

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  Cisco Security Advisory: Cisco Wireless Control System Conversion

Hash: SHA1

Cisco Security Advisory: 
Cisco Wireless Control System Conversion Utility Adds Default Password

Advisory ID: cisco-sa-20071010-wcs

Revision 1.0

For Public Release 2007 October 10 1600 UTC (GMT)

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Customers who use the CiscoWorks Wireless LAN Solution Engine (WLSE) may use a
conversion utility to convert over to a Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS).
This conversion utility creates and uses administrative accounts with default
credentials. Because there is no requirement to change these credentials during
the conversion process, an attacker may be able to leverage the accounts that
have default credentials to take full administrative control of the WCS after
the conversion has been completed.

Customers who have converted their CiscoWorks WLSE to a Cisco WCS are advised
to set strong passwords for all accounts on their Cisco WCS.

This advisory is posted at

Affected Products

Vulnerable Products

Cisco WCS systems that have been converted from a CiscoWorks WLSE using the
conversion utility for version or earlier are vulnerable.

Products Confirmed Not Vulnerable

Cisco WCS systems that have not been converted from a CiscoWorks WLSE using the
conversion utility are not affected by this problem. Additionally, Cisco WCS
systems that have been converted from a CiscoWorks WLSE using the conversion
utility for version 4.2 or later are not vulnerable.

For more information about Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software Release 4.2,

No other Cisco products are currently known to be affected by this


CiscoWorks WLSE is a centralized, systems-level application for managing and
controlling an entire autonomous Cisco wireless LAN (WLAN) infrastructure. The
Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) is a centralized, systems-level application
for managing and controlling lightweight access points and wireless LAN
controllers for the Cisco Unified Wireless Network.

A CiscoWorks WLSE can be converted to a Cisco WCS using a utility that can be
ordered from Cisco. There are two administrative accounts on the Wireless
Control System (WCS): a Linux root account and Cisco WCS root account.
Vulnerable versions of the conversion utility do not force the administrator to
change the password for the Linux "root" user of the newly converted system.
Non-vulnerable versions of the conversion utility force the administrator to
change both account passwords.

More information about the conversion utility is available in the Conversion of
a WLSE Autonomous Deployment to a WCS Controller Deployment appendix in the
Cisco Wireless Control System Configuration Guide.

Vulnerability Scoring Details

Cisco is providing scores for the vulnerabilities in this advisory based on the
Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). The CVSS scoring in this Security
Advisory is done in accordance with CVSS version 2.0.

Cisco will provide a base and temporal score. Customers can then compute
environmental scores to assist in determining the impact of the vulnerability
in individual networks.

Cisco PSIRT will set the bias in all cases to normal. Customers are encouraged
to apply the bias parameter when determining the environmental impact of a
particular vulnerability.

Cisco has provided a FAQ to answer additional questions regarding CVSS at

Cisco has also provided a CVSS calculator to help compute the environmental
impact for individual networks at

CSCsj71081 - Need to have installer on WLSE-WCS conversion procedures 

CVSS Base Score - 10.0
    Access Vector -            Network
    Access Complexity -        Low
    Authentication -           None  
    Confidentiality Impact -   Complete
    Integrity Impact -         Complete   
    Availability Impact -      Complete

CVSS Temporal Score - 8.3
    Exploitability -           Functional
    Remediation Level -        Official-Fix
    Report Confidence -        Confirmed


Successful exploitation of the vulnerability may result in full administrative
control of the Cisco WCS system or user-level access to the host Linux
operating system.

Software Versions and Fixes

When considering software upgrades, also consult
and any subsequent advisories to determine exposure and a complete upgrade

In all cases, customers should exercise caution to be certain the devices to be
upgraded contain sufficient memory and that current hardware and software
configurations will continue to be supported properly by the new release. If
the information is not clear, contact the Cisco Technical Assistance Center
("TAC") or your contracted maintenance provider for assistance.


The vulnerability described in this document can be eliminated by logging in to
the affected WCS and changing the default password for the administrative Linux
root account to a strong password chosen by the user.

Refer to the Managing User Accounts chapter of the Cisco Wireless Control
System Configuration Guide for more information about changing administrative

Obtaining Fixed Software

Cisco will make free software available to address this vulnerability for
affected customers. This advisory will be updated as fixed software becomes
available. Prior to deploying software, customers should consult their
maintenance provider or check the software for feature set compatibility and
known issues specific to their environment.

Customers may only install and expect support for the feature sets they have
purchased. By installing, downloading, accessing or otherwise using such
software upgrades, customers agree to be bound by the terms of Cisco's software
license terms found at,
or as otherwise set forth at Downloads at

Do not contact either "" or "" for
software upgrades.

Because the fix for this vulnerability is a default configuration change, and a
workaround is available, a software upgrade is not required to address this
vulnerability. However, if you have a service contract, and would like to
upgrade to unaffected code, you may obtain upgraded software through your
regular update channels when that software is available. For most customers,
this means that upgrades should be obtained through the Software Center on
Cisco's worldwide web site at

Customers with Service Contracts

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 using Third Party Support Organizations

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 guidance and assistance with the appropriate course of
action in regards to this advisory.

The effectiveness of any workaround or fix is dependent on specific customer
situations such as product mix, network topology, traffic behavior, and
organizational mission. Due to the variety of affected products and releases,
customers should consult with their service provider or support organization to
ensure any applied workaround or fix is the most appropriate for use in the
intended network before it is deployed.

Customers without Service Contracts

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 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:

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.

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

Exploitation and Public Announcements

The Cisco PSIRT is not aware of any public announcements or malicious use of
the vulnerability described in this advisory.

Status of this Notice: FINAL


A stand-alone copy or Paraphrase of the text of this document that omits the
distribution URL in the following section is an uncontrolled copy, and may lack
important information or contain factual errors.


This advisory is 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.


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

Revision History

| Revision 1.0  | 2007-October-10  | 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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All contents are Copyright 2006-2007 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Updated: Oct 10, 2007                                        Document ID: 98799

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Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (FreeBSD)

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