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 http://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20040108-pa
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 interface.
- 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 vulnerabilities.
Cisco Personal Assistant is a Microsoft Windows 2000 based application and is part of the AVVID solution. For more information on Personal Assistant, see:
This vulnerability is only present if both of the following conditions are met:
- The Personal Assistant administrator has checked the "Allow Only Cisco CallManager Users" box through System -> Miscellaneous Settings.
- 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 CSCec87825
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 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.
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 http://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20040108-pa.
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 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