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Identifying and Mitigating Exploitation of the Cisco ONS Platform Crafted Packet Vulnerability

Advisory ID: cisco-amb-20090114-ons

http://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoAppliedMitigationBulletin/cisco-amb-20090114-ons

Revision 1.0

For Public Release 2009 January 14 16:00  UTC (GMT)


Contents

Cisco Response
Device Specific Mitigation and Identification
Additional Information
Revision History
Cisco Security Procedures
Related Information

Cisco Response

This Applied Mitigation Bulletin is a companion document to the PSIRT Security Advisory Cisco ONS Platform Crafted Packet Vulnerability and provides identification and mitigation techniques that administrators can deploy on Cisco network devices.

Vulnerability Characteristics

The TCP socket process on the Cisco ONS 15300 Series Edge Optical Transport Platform, the Cisco ONS 15454 Optical Transport Platform, the Cisco ONS 15454 SDH Multiservice Platform, and the Cisco ONS 15600 Multiservice Switching Platform contains a vulnerability that may result in a reload of the device control card. This reload may occur when these products process a stream of specially crafted TCP packets sent to the control card in an ONS device. This vulnerability can be exploited remotely without authentication and without end-user interaction. Exploitation of this vulnerability requires the completion of a three-way TCP handshake. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability may cause the control cards in an ONS device to crash. Repeated attempts to exploit this vulnerability could result in a sustained DoS condition. The attack vector for exploitation is through TCP packets.

This vulnerability has been assigned CVE identifier CVE-2008-3818.

Information about vulnerable, unaffected, and fixed software is available in the PSIRT Security Advisory: http://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20090114-ons.

Mitigation Technique Overview

Cisco devices provide several countermeasures for this vulnerability. Administrators are advised to consider these protection methods to be general security best practices for infrastructure devices and the traffic that transits the network. This section of the document provides an overview of these techniques.

Cisco IOS Software can provide effective means of exploit prevention using infrastructure access control lists (iACLs). This protection mechanism filters and drops packets that are attempting to exploit this vulnerability.

Effective exploit prevention can also be provided by the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance, the Cisco PIX 500 Series Security Appliance, and the Firewall Services Module (FWSM) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches and Cisco 7600 Series routers using transit access control lists (tACLs). This protection mechanism filters and drops packets that are attempting to exploit this vulnerability.

Cisco IOS NetFlow can provide visibility into network-based exploitation attempts using flow records.

Cisco IOS Software, Cisco ASA appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, and FWSM firewalls can provide visibility through syslog messages and the counter values displayed in the output from show commands.

Risk Management

Organizations are advised to follow their standard risk evaluation and mitigation processes to determine the potential impact of this vulnerability. Triage refers to sorting projects and prioritizing efforts that are most likely to be successful. Cisco has provided documents that can help organizations develop a risk-based triage capability for their information security teams. Risk Triage for Security Vulnerability Announcements and Risk Triage and Prototyping can help organizations develop repeatable security evaluation and response processes.

Device-specific Mitigation and Identification

caution Caution: The effectiveness of any mitigation technique depends on specific customer situations such as product mix, network topology, traffic behavior, and organizational mission. As with any configuration change, evaluate the impact of this configuration prior to applying the change.

Specific information about mitigation and identification is available for these devices:

Cisco IOS Routers and Switches

Mitigation: Infrastructure Access Control Lists

To protect infrastructure devices and minimize the risk, impact, and effectiveness of direct infrastructure attacks, administrators are advised to deploy infrastructure access control lists (iACLs) to perform policy enforcement of traffic sent to infrastructure equipment. Administrators can construct an iACL by explicitly permitting only authorized traffic sent to infrastructure devices in accordance with existing security policies and configurations. For the maximum protection of infrastructure devices, deployed iACLs should be applied in the ingress direction on all interfaces to which an IP address has been configured. An iACL workaround cannot provide complete protection against this vulnerability when the attack originates from a trusted source address.

The iACL policy denies unauthorized TCP packets that are sent to affected devices. In the following example, 192.168.60.0/24 is the IP address space that is used by the affected devices, and the host at 192.168.100.1 is considered a trusted source that requires access to the affected devices. Care should be taken to allow required traffic for routing and administrative access prior to denying all unauthorized traffic. Whenever possible, infrastructure address space should be distinct from the address space used for user and services segments. Using this addressing methodology will assist with the construction and deployment of iACLs.

Additional information about iACLs is in Protecting Your Core: Infrastructure Protection Access Control Lists.

ip access-list extended Infrastructure-ACL-Policy
   
 ! !-- When applicable, include explicit permit statements for trusted !-- sources that require access on the vulnerable protocol !

  permit tcp host 192.168.100.1 192.168.60.0 0.0.0.255
   
 ! !-- The following vulnerability-specific access control entry !-- (ACE) can aid in identification of attacks !

  deny tcp any 192.168.60.0 0.0.0.255
   
 ! !-- Explicit deny ACE for traffic sent to addresses configured within !-- the infrastructure address space !

  deny ip any 192.168.60.0 0.0.0.255
   
 ! !-- Permit/deny all other Layer 3 and Layer 4 traffic in accordance !-- with existing security policies and configurations !


!-- Apply iACL to interfaces in the ingress direction !

interface GigabitEthernet0/0
 ip access-group Infrastructure-ACL-Policy in

Note that filtering with an interface access list will elicit the transmission of ICMP unreachable messages back to the source of the filtered traffic. Generating these messages could have the undesired effect of increasing CPU utilization on the device. In Cisco IOS Software, ICMP unreachable generation is limited to one packet every 500 milliseconds by default. ICMP unreachable message generation can be disabled using the interface configuration command no ip unreachables. ICMP unreachable rate limiting can be changed from the default using the global configuration command ip icmp rate-limit unreachable interval-in-ms.

Identification: Infrastructure Access Control Lists

After the administrator applies the iACL to an interface, the show ip access-lists command will identify the number of TCP packets that have been filtered on interfaces on which the iACL is applied. Administrators should investigate filtered packets to determine whether they are attempts to exploit this vulnerability. Example output for show ip access-lists Infrastructure-ACL-Policy follows:

router#show ip access-lists Infrastructure-ACL-Policy
Extended IP access list Infrastructure-ACL-Policy
    10 permit tcp host 192.168.100.1 192.168.60.0 0.0.0.255 (61 matches)
    20 deny tcp any 192.168.60.0 0.0.0.255 (72 matches)
    30 deny ip any 192.168.60.0 0.0.0.255 (59 matches)
router#

In the preceding example, access list Infrastructure-ACL-Policy has dropped 72 TCP packets for access control list entry (ACE) line 20.

For additional information about investigating incidents using ACE counters and syslog events, reference the Identifying Incidents Using Firewall and IOS Router Syslog Events Applied Intelligence white paper.

Administrators can use Embedded Event Manager to provide instrumentation when specific conditions are met, such as ACE counter hits. The Applied Intelligence white paper Embedded Event Manager in a Security Context provides additional details about how to use this feature.

Identification: Access List Logging

The log and log-input access control list (ACL) option will cause packets that match specific ACEs to be logged. The log-input option enables logging of the ingress interface in addition to the packet source and destination IP addresses and ports.

Caution: Access control list logging can be very CPU intensive and must be used with extreme caution. Factors that drive the CPU impact of ACL logging are log generation, log transmission, and process switching to forward packets that match log-enabled ACEs.

For Cisco IOS Software, the ip access-list logging interval interval-in-ms command can limit the effects of process switching induced by ACL logging. The logging rate-limit rate-per-second [except loglevel] command limits the impact of log generation and transmission.

The CPU impact from ACL logging can be addressed in hardware on the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches and Cisco 7600 Series routers with Supervisor Engine 720 or Supervisor Engine 32 using optimized ACL logging.

For additional information about the configuration and use of ACL logging, reference the Understanding Access Control List Logging Applied Intelligence white paper.

Cisco IOS NetFlow

Identification: Traffic Flow Identification Using NetFlow Records

Administrators can configure Cisco IOS NetFlow on Cisco IOS routers and switches to aid in the identification of traffic flows that may be attempts to exploit the vulnerability. Administrators are advised to investigate flows to determine whether they are attempts to exploit the vulnerability or whether they are legitimate traffic flows.

router#show ip cache flow
IP packet size distribution (132534914 total packets):
   1-32   64   96  128  160  192  224  256  288  320  352  384  416  448  480
   .002 .263 .250 .076 .075 .017 .070 .029 .073 .001 .001 .000 .001 .000 .003

    512  544  576 1024 1536 2048 2560 3072 3584 4096 4608
   .000 .002 .059 .051 .016 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000

IP Flow Switching Cache, 4456704 bytes
  445 active, 65091 inactive, 13130729 added
  408766378 ager polls, 0 flow alloc failures
  Active flows timeout in 2 minutes
  Inactive flows timeout in 60 seconds
IP Sub Flow Cache, 533256 bytes
  445 active, 15939 inactive, 13130729 added, 13130729 added to flow
  0 alloc failures, 0 force free
  1 chunk, 48 chunks added
  last clearing of statistics never
Protocol         Total    Flows   Packets Bytes  Packets Active(Sec) Idle(Sec)
--------         Flows     /Sec     /Flow  /Pkt     /Sec     /Flow     /Flow
TCP-Telnet       32402      0.0         9    46      0.0       3.5      29.3
TCP-FTP           6081      0.0         1    49      0.0       2.7      46.9
TCP-FTPD          3882      0.0      2219   500      2.1       0.2      41.9
TCP-WWW         207392      0.0        18   322      0.9      13.5      42.6
TCP-SMTP          6915      0.0         2    94      0.0       3.6      37.4
TCP-X             3859      0.0         1    42      0.0       0.0      43.4
TCP-BGP           3825      0.0         1    42      0.0       0.0      42.5
TCP-NNTP          3818      0.0         1    42      0.0       0.0      42.5
TCP-Frag           193      0.0         1    40      0.0       0.0      60.6
TCP-other      9288386      2.3         6   223     14.1       0.7      23.9
UDP-DNS         297998      0.0         3    65      0.2      26.2      50.2
UDP-NTP         461984      0.1         1    76      0.1       5.9      58.2
UDP-TFTP           373      0.0         1    60      0.0       0.2      60.4
UDP-other      1233452      0.3        46   129     14.3      26.3      50.6
ICMP           1085188      0.2         1    82      0.3       0.3      60.4
IGMP            189666      0.0         2    37      0.1      57.0      38.6
IP-other        304870      0.0         9    91      0.7      94.4      15.3
Total:        13130284      3.3        10   196     33.3       7.0      31.6

SrcIf         SrcIPaddress    DstIf         DstIPaddress    Pr SrcP DstP  Pkts
Gi0/0         192.168.100.76  Gi0/1         192.168.60.10   06 84EB 6A8E     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.100.209 Gi0/1         192.168.60.10   06 0618 EB86     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.100.33  Gi0/1         192.168.60.53   06 D00A 33DB     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.99    Gi0/1         192.168.60.166  06 0618 1F21     1 
Gi0/1         192.168.150.70  Gi0/0         192.168.208.80  11 0035 0E94     3 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.38    Gi0/1         192.168.60.10   06 0618 0050     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.11    Gi0/1         192.168.60.9    06 0618 0050     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.1     Gi0/1         192.168.60.10   06 0618 0050     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.2     Gi0/1         192.168.60.10   06 0618 0050     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.1     Gi0/1         192.168.60.96   06 0618 0050     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.1     Gi0/1         192.168.60.78   06 0618 0050     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.59    Gi0/1         192.168.60.128  06 0618 0050     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.100.1   Gi0/1         192.168.60.176  06 FDBD 0050     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.208.127 Gi0/0         172.18.104.132  06 85BE 1A29    16 
Gi0/0         192.168.100.1  Gi0/1          192.168.60.252  06 F135 0050     1 
Gi0/1         192.168.132.44  Gi0/0         10.89.245.149   11 007B 007B     1 
router#

In the preceding example, there are multiple flows for TCP (Protocol (Pr) hex value 06). This traffic is sourced from untrusted hosts (that is, not from 192.168.100.1) and sent to addresses within the 192.168.60.0/24 address block, which is used for infrastructure devices. Administrators are advised to compare these flows to baseline utilization for TCP traffic sent to the infrastructure devices and also investigate the flows to determine whether flows that are sourced from untrusted hosts or networks are legitimate.

To view only the traffic flows for TCP packets sent to or from infrastructure devices, the command show ip cache flow | include SrcIf|192.168.60.*_06_ will display the related TCP NetFlow records as shown here:

router#show ip cache flow | include SrcIf|192.168.60.*_06_
SrcIf         SrcIPaddress     DstIf         DstIPaddress    Pr SrcP DstP  Pkts
Gi0/0         192.168.1.1     Gi0/1         192.168.60.233  06 0618 1410     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.6     Gi0/1         192.168.60.199  06 81E7 91A0     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.156   Gi0/1         192.168.60.189  06 1825 0050     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.1     Gi0/1         192.168.60.52   06 21BE 38BA     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.1     Gi0/1         192.168.60.49   06 0618 0050     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.1     Gi0/1         192.168.60.30   06 0618 0050     1 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.1     Gi0/1         192.168.60.10   06 0618 0050     4 
Gi0/0         192.168.1.1     Gi0/1         192.168.60.123  06 0618 0050     1
router# 

Cisco ASA, PIX, and FWSM Firewalls

Mitigation: Transit Access Control Lists

To protect the network from traffic that enters the network at ingress access points, which may include Internet connection points, partner and supplier connection points, or VPN connection points, administrators are advised to deploy tACLs to perform policy enforcement. Administrators can construct a tACL by explicitly permitting only authorized traffic to enter the network at ingress access points or permitting authorized traffic to transit the network in accordance with existing security policies and configurations. A tACL workaround cannot provide complete protection against this vulnerability when the attack originates from a trusted source address.

The tACL policy denies unauthorized TCP packets that are sent to affected devices. In the following example, 192.168.60.0/24 is the IP address space that is used by the affected devices, and the host at 192.168.100.1 is considered a trusted source that requires access to the affected devices. Care should be taken to allow required traffic for routing and administrative access prior to denying all unauthorized traffic.

Additional information about tACLs is in Transit Access Control Lists: Filtering at Your Edge.


! !-- Include any explicit permit statements for trusted sources !-- that require access on the vulnerable protocol !

access-list tACL-Policy extended permit tcp host 192.168.100.1 192.168.60.0 255.255.255.0

! !-- The following vulnerability-specific access control entry !-- (ACE) can aid in identification of attacks !

access-list tACL-Policy extended deny tcp any 192.168.60.0 255.255.255.0

! !-- Permit/deny all other Layer 3 and Layer 4 traffic in accordance !-- with existing security policies and configurations !


!-- Explicit deny for all other IP traffic !

access-list tACL-Policy extended deny ip any any

! !-- Apply tACL to interface(s) in the ingress direction !

access-group tACL-Policy in interface outside

Identification: Transit Access Control Lists

After the tACL has been applied to an interface, administrators can use the show access-list command to identify the number of TCP packets that have been filtered. Administrators are advised to investigate filtered packets to determine whether they are attempts to exploit this vulnerability. Example output for show access-list tACL-Policy follows:

firewall#show access-list tACL-Policy
access-list tACL-Policy; 3 elements
access-list tACL-Policy line 1 extended permit tcp host 192.168.100.1 192.168.60.0 255.255.255.0 (hitcnt=6)
access-list tACL-Policy line 2 extended deny tcp any 192.168.60.0 255.255.255.0 (hitcnt=62)
access-list tACL-Policy line 3 extended deny ip any any (hitcnt=638)
firewall#

In the preceding example, access list tACL-Policy has dropped 62 TCP packets destined for infrastructure devices and received from an untrusted host or network. In addition, syslog message 106023 can provide valuable information, which includes the source and destination IP address, the source and destination port numbers, and the IP protocol for the denied packet.

Identification: Firewall Access List Syslog Messages

Firewall syslog message 106023 will be generated for packets denied by an access control entry (ACE) that does not have the log keyword present. Additional information about this syslog message is in Cisco Security Appliance System Log Message - 106023.

Information about configuring syslog for the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance or the Cisco PIX 500 Series Security Appliance is in Monitoring the Security Appliance - Configuring and Managing Logs. Information about configuring syslog on the FWSM for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches and Cisco 7600 Series routers is in Monitoring the Firewall Services Module.

In the following example, the show logging | grep regex command extracts syslog messages from the logging buffer on the firewall. These messages provide additional information about denied packets that could indicate potential attempts to exploit the vulnerability that is described in this document. It is possible to use different regular expressions with the grep keyword to search for specific data in the logged messages.

Additional information about regular expression syntax is in Creating a Regular Expression.

firewall#show logging | grep 106023
		Dec 05 2008 08:42:07 R1-A050-ASA5520 : %ASA-4-106023: Deny tcp src outside:192.168.130.126/1560 
			dst inside:192.168.60.27/80 by access-group "tACL-Policy"
		Dec 05 2008 08:42:07 R1-A050-ASA5520 : %ASA-4-106023: Deny tcp src outside:192.168.44.25/1560
			 dst inside:192.168.60.10/54527 by access-group "tACL-Policy" 
		Dec 05 2008 08:42:33 R1-A050-ASA5520 : %ASA-4-106023: Deny tcp src outside:192.168.200.101/1560
		        dst inside:192.168.60.10/80 by access-group "tACL-Policy"
firewall#

In the preceding example, the messages logged for the tACL tACL-Policy show TCP packets sent to the address block assigned to the infrastructure devices.

Additional information about syslog messages for ASA and PIX security appliances is in Cisco Security Appliance System Log Messages. Additional information about syslog messages for the FWSM is in Catalyst 6500 Series Switch and Cisco 7600 Series Router Firewall Services Module Logging System Log Messages.

For additional information about investigating incidents using syslog events, reference the Identifying Incidents Using Firewall and IOS Router Syslog Events Applied Intelligence white paper.

Additional Information

THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS AND DOES NOT IMPLY ANY KIND OF GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY, INCLUDING THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR USE. YOUR USE OF THE INFORMATION ON THE DOCUMENT OR MATERIALS LINKED FROM THE DOCUMENT IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. CISCO RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE OR UPDATE THIS DOCUMENT AT ANY TIME.

Revision History

Revision 1.0

2009-January-14

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 http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/products_security_vulnerability_policy.html. This includes instructions for press inquiries regarding Cisco security notices. All Cisco security advisories are available at http://www.cisco.com/go/psirt.

Related Information