Table Of Contents
Release Notes for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows 4.0
Full Build Number: 126.96.36.199
These release notes pertain to Cisco Secure Access Control Server for Windows, hereafter referred to as ACS version 4.0.
Note The ACS release numbering system for software includes major release, minor release, maintenance build, and interim build number in the MMM.mmm.###.BBB format. For this release, the versioning information is Cisco Secure ACS 188.8.131.52. Elsewhere in this document where 4.0 is used, we are referring to 4.0.1. ACS major release numbering starts at 4.0.1, not 4.0.0. Use this information when working with your customer service representative.
These release notes provide:
System requirements are documented in the Installation Guide for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows. For documentation updates after publication, see Documentation Updates.
See the Supported and Interoperable Devices and Software Tables for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows on Cisco.com.
Upgrading to a New Software Release
ACS New Features
ACS contains the following new and changed features:
•Network Admission Control (NAC) Release 2.0 support—ACS acts as a policy-decision point in NAC deployments. Using configurable policies, it evaluates the credentials received from the Cisco Trust Agent, determines the state of the host, and sends a per-user authorization to the network access device: access control lists (ACLs), a policy-based ACL, or a private VLAN assignment. Evaluation of the host credentials can enforce many specific policies, such as OS patch level and antivirus DAT file version. ACS records the policy evaluation results for use with your monitoring system. ACS also allows hosts without the appropriate agent technology to be audited by third-party audit vendors before granting network access. ACS policies can be extended with external policy servers to which ACS forwards credentials. For example, credentials specific to an antivirus vendor can be forwarded to the vendor's antivirus policy server, and audit policy requests can be forwarded to audit vendors.For more information about the new ACS features to support NAC 2.0, see Support for NAC 2.0
•Increased number of supported devices—ACS can now support up to 35,000 devices.
•Profile-based authentication and authorization—A new feature called network access profiles allows administrators to classify access requests according to network location, membership in a network device group, protocol type, or other specific RADIUS attribute values sent by the network device through which the user connects. Authentication, access control, posture validation and authorization policies can be mapped to specific profiles. An example of a profile-based policy is the ability to apply a different access policy for wireless access versus remote (VPN) access.
•New storage infrastructure— ACS now uses a SQL database to store all the user and configuration information. The new ACS internal database improves scaling and performance and is less reliant on the Windows Registry. The Windows Registry will be used only for application information. A new database password is required during installation. The password is stored in the Windows registry using Microsoft Crypto API. The database is encrypted using a hash of customer-provided password and an internal password. You can use CSUtil to change the password.
•LDAP improvements—ACS caches successful external authentications (using LDAP), allowing it to immediately look up a user during re-authentication. ACS provides improved SSL support. See LDAP Improvements, for more information.
•Japanese browser support—Supports administration of ACS by using MS Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 and Netscape Communicator 8.0.4 with Sun Java JRE 1.5.0, or MS Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 with Microsoft Java Virtual Machine, installed on Japanese Windows Operating System (JOS). This feature will be supported for entering data in English (not Japanese).
•TACACS+ and RADIUS key support at group level—Ability to set a shared secret at the group level (Network Device Group).
•Purging capability for cached users in ACS—Ability to remove dynamically saved users from the ACS database via User Setup.
–Support for the Microsoft Windows Callback feature.
–Ability for external users to authenticate via an enable password.
–Certificate revocation list checking during EAP-TLS authentication.
•Online Help - The online documentation, Cisco Secure ACS for Windows User Guide, opens in a separate window. The online help contains a search button and capability to open a PDF version of the user guide.
•NTLM Support - ACS can now operate with NTLM v1, NTLM v2 (with appropriate Microsoft patches), and LAN Manager (if you require it).
•External Novell NDS Database Support - Support for group mappings for external Novell NDS databases is now done by using generic LDAP group set mappings.
•Extended replication support—Administrators can now replicate network access profiles and all related configuration, including:
–Posture validation settings
–AAA clients and hosts
–External database configuration
–Global authentication configuration
–Network device groups
–Shared profile components
–Additional logging attributes
•Machine Access Restrictions (MAR) Exemption Lists—You can specify which groups are allowed access to the network; regardless of whether they pass machine authentication. A MAR exemption list can be configured for specific user groups (for example, managers and administrators).
•RADIUS Authorization Component (RAC) support—Includes RADIUS authorization components as a new type of shared profile component. Shared RACs contain groups of RADIUS attributes that you can dynamically assign to user sessions based on a policy.
•Support of additional Cisco hardware devices—ACS 4.0 includes support for Cisco wireless LAN controllers and Cisco adaptive security appliances.
Support for NAC 2.0
The following features support NAC 2.0:
•EAP-FAST Version 1a support for NAC phase 2—Supports an authenticated tunnel (by using the server certificate) inside of which the provisioning of PACs will occur. EAP types supported inside the tunnel include: EAP-GTC, EAP-MSCHAPv2, and EAP-TLS.
•Agentless host support— Support for Cisco and third-party Audit Servers that determine posture information about a client, without relying on the presence of a NAC-compliant Posture Agent (PA). These types of clients are also referred to as NAC Agentless Hosts (NAH).
•Linux packages support in posture validation—Supports Linux packages for the Cisco:Host plugin. The following extended attributes are available for Linux packages: Cisco:Host:Package:Version and Cisco:Host:Package:Version-String. For additional details, see Support for Linux Packages in Posture Validation.
–Support for an external audit server which determines posture information about a host without relying on the presence of a Posture Agent (PA).
–Posture validation no longer requires NAC databases to verify compliance. You can choose from three options for validation: internal policies located in ACS, policies defined on external servers, and policies defined on audit servers for NAC agentless hosts.
–Authorization for posture validation is now configured within the Network Access Profiles feature. Posture validation no longer requires special authorization rules.
–Changes have been made to optimize posture validation. In previous versions, ACS requested all the credentials by using the type-length-value (TLV) protocol. ACS has been optimized to request only the attributes that are required to evaluate posture validation.
The ACS authentication and authorization service CSAuth supports multithreading to authenticate with the LDAP external database. Multiple users can simultaneously be searched and authenticated against the LDAP server(s).
LDAP over SSL now includes the option to authenticate by using certificate database files other than the Netscape cert7.db file. This new option uses the same mechanism as other SSL installations in the ACS environment.
When ACS checks authentication and authorization of a user on the LDAP server, it uses a connection with LDAP administrator account permissions to search for the user and for the users groups on the directory subtree. ACS keeps those administrator connections open for successive use. It is possible to limit the maximum number of concurrent administrator connections per generic LDAP external database configuration (primary and secondary).
After an LDAP user is successfully authenticated to the LDAP external database, its distinguished name (DN) on the LDAP server is cached in ACS. The cached DN is used during next authentication request of the user to save search time.
Support for Linux Packages in Posture Validation
ACS 4.0 supports Linux packages for the Cisco:Host plugin. The following extended attributes are available for Linux packages:
The following Linux packages are supported:
You can add or remove packages by using the CSUtil tool.
Extended attributes are only supported as descendants of the Cisco:Host application.
The following product documentation is available on ACS:
Table 1 Product Documentation
Document Title Description
Release Notes for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows
New features, documentation updates, known problems, and resolved problems. Available on Cisco.com:
Installation Guide for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows
Details on installation and upgrade of ACS software and post-installation tasks. Available in the following formats:
•PDF on the ACS Recovery CD-ROM.
•Orderable; see Obtaining Documentation.
Product online help.
Help topics for all pages in the ACS web interface. Select an option from the ACS menu; the help appears in the right pane.
User Guide for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows
ACS functionality and procedures for using the ACS features. Available in the following formats:
•You can also access the user guide by clicking Online Documentation in the ACS navigation menu. The user guide PDF is available on this page by clicking View PDF.
•PDF on the ACS Recovery CD-ROM.
•Orderable; see Obtaining Documentation.
Supported Devices and Interoperable Software Tables for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows
Supported devices and firmware versions for all ACS features. Available on Cisco.com:
Installation and User Guide for Cisco Secure ACS for User-Changeable Passwords
Installation and user guide for the user-changeable password add-on. Available on Cisco.com:
The following installation notes are of importance:
•ACS will not install properly if a Sybase server is installed on the same machine.
•Remote installations performed by using Windows Terminal Services are not tested and are not supported. We recommend that you disable Terminal Services while performing any installation or upgrade. Virtual Network Computing (VNC) has been tested successfully.
See the Installation Guide for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows for installation, upgrade, and uninstall instructions, as well as post-installation tasks. For post-installation tasks, see Post-Upgrade Configuration.
ACS 4.0 supports these upgrade and migration paths:
Note To upgrade to version 4.0 from a version earlier than 3.2.3, upgrade to one of the supported upgrade versions, which are listed in this section, and then upgrade to ACS 4.0.
Supported Upgrade Path
ACS supports the following upgrade paths. These paths have been tested and are supported:
•Cisco Secure ACS for Windows, release 3.3.3 to ACS 4.0
•Cisco Secure ACS for Windows, release 3.3.2 to ACS 4.0
•Cisco Secure ACS for Windows, release 3.3.1 to ACS 3.3.3, then to ACS 4.0
•Cisco Secure ACS for Windows, release 3.2.3 to ACS 4.0
•Cisco Secure ACS for Windows, release 3.2.2 to ACS 3.3, then to ACS 4.0
•Cisco Secure ACS for Windows, release 3.2.1 to ACS 3.3, then to ACS 4.0
•Cisco Secure ACS for Windows, release 3.1.2 to ACS 3.3, then to ACS 4.0
•Cisco Secure ACS for Windows, release 3.0.4 to ACS 3.3, then to ACS 4.0
Note If you are upgrading to ACS 3.3.3 and do not have access to that software, review the README text for details on the upgrade procedure.
Supported Migration Path
ACS supports the migration path from ACS 3.1.2 to ACS 3.3.3 to ACS 4.0. This path has been tested and is supported.
Unsupported Migration Path
ACS does not support the following migration paths. These paths have not been tested and are not supported. See the tested and supported paths for migration at Supported Migration Path.
•ACS 3.2.3 to ACS 3.3.3 to ACS 4.0
•Prior to ACS 3.2.3 to ACS 3.3.x to ACS 4.0
The following section contains information about post-upgrade configuration:
•After upgrading to ACS 4.0, you may need to perform additional configuration steps to successfully use ACS and Network Access Profiles (NAP). If you used NAC in ACS 3.3, ACS will not operate in an identical manner in ACS 4.0. For example, you must create a new set of authorization rules for Network Access Profiles that are created during the upgrade process.
•If you used ACS 3.xODBC logging and upgraded to ACS 4.0, preserving your data, you must update the ODBC tables so that the SQL tables continue to work.
For details on how to complete post-installation tasks, see the Installation Guide for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows.
Upgrading From Version 3.3
The following actions are performed automatically when you upgrade from ACS 3.3 to ACS 4.0:
1. Local and external posture policies are automatically transformed.
2. A single Network Access Profile, (configured for NAC only) is created as a process of the upgrade.
3. Each instance of the selected ACS 3.3 Network Posture Validation Database will automatically be transformed into a posture validation rule. All the rules will be associated with the NAP that was created (in step 2). All PA message and URL redirects are mapped correspondingly.
4. A RADIUS Authorization Component will be created for each mapped group. ACS populates the RAC with all attributes that were configured in the user or group setup menus, except for the posture-token Cisco-av-pair. Since the posture-token Cisco-av-pair attribute is generated dynamically at runtime, by ACS, there is not need to configure it manually.
5. If you manually added posture validation attributes in ACS 3.3, they will added to the ACS version 4.0 posture dictionary during the upgrade.
Limitations and Restrictions
The following limitations and restrictions apply to ACS 4.0.
•User/Machine Out-of-Band PAC Provisioning for EAP-FAST v1a has not been tested. The Out-of-band provisioning feature was not tested since the MDC (meetinghouse) supplicant does not support it. (CSCsb46242)
•The TACACs+ and LEAP protocols for Network Access Profiles are not supported in ACS version 4.0.
•Network device limitation will support up to 35,000 devices.
•Installation on Japanese Windows 2000 SP4 or Japanese Windows 2003 SP1 is not supported.
ACS has not been tested for interoperability with other Cisco software. Other than for the software and operating system versions listed in this document, Cisco performed no interoperability testing. Using untested software with ACS may cause problems. For the best performance of ACS, Cisco recommends that you use the versions of software and operating systems in the Supported and Interoperable Devices and Software Tables for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows on Cisco.com.
Tested Windows Security Patches
Cisco Systems officially supports and encourages the installation of all Microsoft security patches for Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 as used for ACS for Windows.
Cisco experience has shown that these patches do not cause any problems with the operation of ACS for Windows. If the installation of one of these security patches does cause a problem with ACS, please contact Cisco TAC and Cisco will resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
ACS for Windows has been tested with the Windows Server 2003 patches documented in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles:
ACS has been tested with the Windows 2000 Server patches documented in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles:
Cisco issues a security advisory when security issues directly impact its products and require action to repair. For the list of security advisories for Cisco Secure on Cisco.com, see the Cisco Security Advisory: Multiple Vulnerabilities in Cisco Secure Access Control Server at:
The following problems are known to exist in this release:
Cisco AAA Client Problems
Refer to the appropriate release notes for information about Cisco AAA client problems that might affect the operation of ACS. You can access these release notes online at Cisco.com. For NAC-specific client problems, go to http://www.cisco.com/go/nac.
Known Microsoft Problems
Due to a defect in the Microsoft PEAP supplicant provided in the Windows XP Service Pack 2, the PEAP supplicant cannot reauthenticate successfully with ACS. Cisco has opened case SRX040922603052 with Microsoft on this issue. Customers who are affected by this problem should open a case with Microsoft and reference this case ID. Microsoft has prepared hotfix KB885453, which resolves the issue.
When ACS runs on a domain controller and you need to authenticate users with a Windows user database, you must take additional configuration steps; see the Installation Guide for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows, 4.0 for post-installation steps regarding NTLM. A Microsoft hotfix may be required, depending on your configuration.
Known Problems with ACS 4.0
Table 2 contains problems known to exist in ACS 4.0.
Table 3 contains the problems from the ACS 4.0 release that are resolved. Check the Bug Navigator on Cisco.com for any resolved bugs that may not appear here.
The following errors exist in the ACS online help:
•The ACS documentation and short help indicate that you can disable the dynamic user cache, which is incorrect.
•The information in the Accounting Logs in the ACS Online Help contains an error. It should read:
By default, these logs are available in CSV format, with the exception of the Passed Authentications log. You can also configure ACS to export the data for these logs to an ODBC-compliant relational database that you configure to store the log data.
The note for Passed Authentications in the Accounting Log Descriptions table is incorrect and should be disregarded.
The corresponding information in the ACS documentation on Cisco.com is correct.
•The information for the url-redirect-acl variable in the Cisco Secure ACS User Guide for Windows Network Access Profiles chapter is incorrect. The url-redirect-acl value can only be the switch ACL name. A number is not acceptable.
•The short help for the External Posture Validation Audit Server Setup incorrectly states:You then configure posture validation credentials that a NAC Agentless Host (NAH) forwards to the primary audit server or, in a failover scenario, to the secondary audit server.
However, you cannot configure the posture validation credentials that a NAH forwards. The sentence is correct only for NAC external posture validation servers, and not for Audit Servers.
•The minimum Microsoft IIS version required for the User Changeable Password (UCP) Web Server for ACS for Windows Server is Microsoft IIS 5.0. The information as correct in the Installation and User Guide for Cisco Secure ACS User-Changeable Passwords; however, Table 1-3 of the Installation Guide for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows contains an error.
•In the section on ACS Attributes and Action Codes, it incorrectly states:TACACS Attributes: 160, 162RADIUS Attributes 170, 173
It should read the other way around:RADIUS Attributes: 160, 162TACACS Attributes 170, 173
•In the section on downloadable IP ACLs, it incorrectly states that the description of a new IP ACL can be up to 30000 characters. The maximum number of characters allowed in the Description field is 1006 characters.
•Omissions from ACS documentation include:
–We do not support distributed ACS deployments in a NAT environment. If a primary or secondary address is in NAT format, the database replication file will indicate shared secret mismatch. The next release of the documentation will address this omission.
–The Logged-In Users report takes up to 20 seconds to open. All other reports are opened instantly when selected. Specific user information takes several minutes to appear; see CSCsb74228.
–LEAP is not supported when working with Network Access Profiles. You can use LEAP only if your system is operating in legacy ACS mode.
–The ODBC Passed Authentications is not documented in the short help file in the System Configuration > Logging Configuration page. You can click this option to enable and configure ACS to generate an ODBC log of successful login attempts.
–When creating a package.cab file that is larger than 2GB, additional .cab files are created due to the size limit of the packer. The sequence is as follows: the first package name is: package.cab, the second: package1.cab, and so on, until the N package: packageN.cab, where N is the number of packages minus one. The files are saved in the same location that is specified before the packing begins. These files are not stand-alone and all of them must be sent to package. Problems with the packed file (package.cab) may arise if there is not enough hard-disk space.
–The backup procedure does not back up the cert7.db file. If you use this certificate file with an LDAP database, we recommend that you back it up on a remote machine for disaster recovery. When you migrate from an ACS server to ACS appliance, move the cert7.db to a ftp server and download according to the normal provisioning instructions. When you upgrade an ACS appliance, repeat the download procedure as oringinally used to provision the original appliance.
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This document is to be used in conjunction with the documents listed in the Documentation Guide for Cisco Secure ACS for Windows document.