Advisory ID: cisco-sa-20040108-pa
For Public Release 2004 January 8 17:00 UTC (GMT)
Cisco Personal Assistant may permit unauthorized access to user
configuration via the web interface. Once access is granted, user preferences
and configuration can be manipulated.
There is a workaround available and a software upgrade is not required
to remove the vulnerability.
This issue is documented in Cisco Bug ID CSCec87825.
This advisory is available at
This section provides details on affected products.
Cisco Personal Assistant versions 1.4(1) and 1.4(2) only are affected.
Cisco Personal Assistant versions 1.3(x) and prior are not affected.
To verify the version of Personal Assistant you are running, perform
the following steps.
Log in to Personal Assistant through the web
Browse to Help -> About Cisco Personal Assistant.
Click the Details button and a window appears with
the full version number.
No other Cisco products are currently known to be affected by these
Cisco Personal Assistant is a Microsoft Windows 2000 based application
and is part of the AVVID solution. For more information on Personal Assistant,
This vulnerability is only present if both of the following conditions
The Personal Assistant administrator has checked the "Allow Only
Cisco CallManager Users" box through System -> Miscellaneous
The Personal Assistant Corporate Directory settings refer to the same
directory service that is used by Cisco CallManager.
If both of the above criteria are met, then password authentication to
Personal Assistant user configuration is disabled. This allows anyone to enter
a valid User ID with any password and the user will be authorized to make
configuration changes to that account.
The default setting for Personal Assistant is that the "Allow Only
Cisco CallManager Users" box is unchecked.
Users access Personal Assistant by browsing to the address
http://x.x.x.x/pauseradmin where x.x.x.x is the IP address or
hostname of the Personal Assistant server.
This vulnerability does not affect access to Personal Assistant through
the telephony interface. Users access the telephony interface by dialing the
Personal Assistant extension. Personal Assistant uses the user's CallManager
Extension Mobility PIN or the Unity Subscriber Phone Password to authenticate
users through the telephony interface.
This vulnerability is documented as Cisco bug ID
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 bug permits unauthorized configuration access to users' Personal
Assistant settings. This vulnerability does not affect the system configuration
of the Personal Assistant application.
An attacker can modify the settings of a user, which can include
modifying call routing to redirect calls for purposes of impersonation, or
forwarding the user's number to a toll number, incurring charges.
All vulnerabilities listed in this advisory can be removed through
configuration of the Personal Assistant server. No software update is required.
This vulnerability can be removed by de-selecting the checkbox "Allow
Only Cisco CallManager Users" on the System -> Miscellaneous
Settings page of the Personal Assistant Administration site.
This workaround will have no effect on the behavior of the Personal
Assistant as CallManager and Personal Assistant must be configured to use the
same directory for this vulnerability to be present. Configuring "Allow Only
CallManager Users" while having Personal Assistant and CallManager using the
same directory is technically redundant.
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
or as otherwise set forth at Cisco.com Downloads at
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
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 in obtaining fixed software through their point of sale should obtain software patches and bug fixes 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)
Have your product serial number available and provide the URL of this notice as evidence of entitlement to a software patch or bug fix. Customers without service contracts should request a software patch or bug fix through the TAC.
for additional TAC contact information, including special localized telephone
numbers and instructions and e-mail addresses for use in various
The Cisco PSIRT is not aware of any public announcements or malicious
use of the vulnerability described in this advisory.
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 advisory 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.
email@example.com (includes CERT/CC)
Various internal Cisco mailing lists
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.
Initial Public Release