Advisory ID: cisco-sa-20010404-arrowpoint-usr-accnt-bug
For Public Release 2001 April 4 15:00 UTC (GMT)
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 http://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20010404-arrowpoint-usr-accnt-bug.
This section provides details on affected products.
The CSS switch is also known as the Arrowpoint product, and runs the Cisco WebNS Software.
Cisco CSS 11050, CSS 11150, and CSS 11800 hardware platforms are affected by this vulnerability. No other Cisco products are affected by this vulnerability.
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.
No other Cisco products are currently known to be affected by these vulnerabilities.
A non-privileged user can issue a series of keystrokes to enter the debug mode, and from that mode can gain administrative access.
Cisco has provided 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.
CVSS is a standards-based scoring method that conveys vulnerability severity and helps determine urgency and priority of response.
Cisco has provided a base and temporal score. Customers can then compute environmental scores to assist in determining the impact of the vulnerability in individual networks.
Cisco has provided an 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
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 minimized.
Cisco Bug ID CSCdt32570 describes this vulnerability.
CSCdt32570 is resolved in version 4.01B19s of Cisco WebNS software. Non-privileged users can no longer enter debug mode.
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
Cisco has made free software available to address this vulnerability for affected customers. 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 http://www.cisco.com/public/sw-license-agreement.html, or as otherwise set forth at Cisco.com Downloads at http://www.cisco.com/public/sw-center/sw-usingswc.shtml.
Do not contact either "email@example.com" or "firstname.lastname@example.org" for software upgrades.
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 http://www.cisco.com.
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 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: email@example.com
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 http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/687/Directory/DirTAC.shtml for additional TAC contact information, including special localized telephone numbers and instructions and e-mail addresses for use in various languages.
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.
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.
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 notice will be posted on Cisco's Worldwide Web site at http://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20010404-arrowpoint-usr-accnt-bug. 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.
Initial public release.