Security Vulnerability Policy

Products & Services Security Vulnerability Policy - Cisco Systems

If you are experiencing a security vulnerability emergency, see the "Reporting or Obtaining Support for a Suspected Security Vulnerability" section of this document.



Contents

Cisco Product Security Incident Response
Reporting or Obtaining Support for a Suspected Security Vulnerability
General Security-Related Queries
Receiving Security Vulnerability Information from Cisco
Public Relations or Press Queries Regarding Cisco Security Vulnerability Information
Commitment to Product Security and Integrity at Cisco
Cisco Secure Development Practices
Cisco Product Security Incident Response Process
Assessing Security Risk — Common Vulnerability Scoring System
Types of Security Publications
Communications Plan
Disclosure Schedule
Incident Response Eligibility
Security Software Updates



Cisco Product Security Incident Response

The Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) is responsible for responding to Cisco product security incidents. The Cisco PSIRT is a dedicated, global team that manages the receipt, investigation, and public reporting of security vulnerability information that is related to Cisco products and networks. The on-call Cisco PSIRT works 24 hours with Cisco customers, independent security researchers, consultants, industry organizations, and other vendors to identify possible security issues with Cisco products and networks.

Reporting or Obtaining Support for a Suspected Security Vulnerability

Individuals or organizations that are experiencing a product security issue are strongly encouraged to contact the Cisco PSIRT. Cisco welcomes reports from independent researchers, industry organizations, vendors, customers, and other sources concerned with product or network security. Please contact the Cisco PSIRT using one of the following methods.

Emergency Support

Phone

+1 877 228 7302 (toll-free within North America)  
+1 408 525 6532 (International direct-dial)

Hours

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

 

Nonemergency Support

E-mail

psirt@cisco.com

Hours

Support requests that are received via e-mail are typically acknowledged within 48 hours.

 

Cisco encourages the encryption of sensitive information that is sent to Cisco in e-mail messages. The Cisco PSIRT supports encrypted messages via PGP/GNU Privacy Guard (GPG). The Cisco PSIRT team public keyleavingcisco.com (key ID 0xA2D4CC77) is available on multiple public key servers.

General Security-Related Queries

For general security concerns about Cisco products, the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) can provide configuration assistance and technical assistance with security matters. The TAC can also help with nonsensitive security incidents and software upgrades for security bug fixes. Use the following information to contact the Cisco TAC.

TAC Support

Phone

+1 800 553 2447 (Toll-free within North America)
+1 408 526 7209 (International direct-dial)
Additional TAC numbers: Customer Service Contacts

E-mail

tac@cisco.com

Hours

24 hours a day, 7 days a week


Receiving Security Vulnerability Information from Cisco

There are several ways to stay connected and receive the latest security vulnerability information from Cisco. Review the following table, and subsequent summaries, to determine the appropriate option.

 

Cisco.com

The Security Intelligence Operations portal on Cisco.com provides Cisco security vulnerability documents and Cisco security functions information, including relevant security products and services.

For direct links to specific security functions, see the "Types of Security Publications" section of this document.

E-mail

Cisco Security Advisories are clear signed with the Cisco PSIRT PGP keyleavingcisco.com and posted to the following e-mail and Usenet news recipients:

cust-security-announce@cisco.com
first-bulletins@lists.first.org
bugtraq@securityfocus.com
vulnwatch@vulnwatch.org
cisco@spot.colorado.edu
cisco-nsp@puck.nether.net
full-disclosure@lists.grok.org.uk
comp.dcom.sys.cisco@newsgate.cisco.com

Only initial and major revisions to a Cisco Security Advisory are posted via e-mail. If a document undergoes a minor revision, the update will be posted to Cisco.com without an accompanying e-mail message. Customers who require automated minor revision alerts should subscribe to the Cisco Security Advisory Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed or Cisco Notification Service. All security advisories on Cisco.com are displayed in chronological order, with the most recent advisories and updates appearing at the top of the page.

Cisco Security Responses are posted to Cisco.com and sent only to the cust-security-announce@cisco.com e-mail alias.

This mailing list is an external list that allows subscribers to receive Cisco security announcements.

To subscribe to this mailing list, send an e-mail message to cust-security-announce-join@cisco.com. (The content of the message does not matter.) You will receive confirmation, instructions, and a list policy statement.

Please note that requests must be sent to cust-security-announce-join@cisco.com and not to the cust-security-announce@cisco.com list itself.

You must send messages from the account that will be subscribed to the list. We do not accept subscriptions for one account that are sent from a second account.

You may also request access to this mailing list by sending an e-mail message to psirt@cisco.com.

RSS Feeds

Cisco security vulnerability information is also available via RSS feeds from Cisco.com. These feeds are free and do not require an active Cisco.com registration. For information on how to subscribe to the RSS feeds, visit the Security Intelligence Operations RSS Feeds page at http://tools.cisco.com/security/center/rss.x?i=44.

Cisco Notification Service

Cisco Notification Service allows users to subscribe and receive important Cisco product and technology information. This service provides an improved unified subscription experience allowing users to choose the timing of notifications, as well as the notification delivery method (e-mail message or RSS feed). The level of access will be determined by the subscriber's relationship with Cisco.

Procedure for Creating a Notification

    1. Log in to the Cisco Notification Service website on Cisco.com using your registered Cisco.com account name and password.
    2. Click the Add Notification button and follow the instructions.

Public Relations or Press Queries Regarding Cisco Security Vulnerability Information

The following table shows the Cisco press contacts for Cisco security vulnerability information.

Press Contacts

Nigel Glennie

E-mail: nglennie@cisco.com
Phone: +1 408 527 7541

Additional Public Relations

news@cisco.com

 

Commitment to Product Security and Integrity at Cisco

Cisco product development practices specifically prohibit any intentional behaviors or product features which are designed to allow unauthorized device or network access, exposure of sensitive device information, or a bypass of security features or restrictions. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Undisclosed device access methods or "backdoors"
  • Hardcoded or undocumented account credentials
  • Covert communication channels
  • Undocumented traffic diversion

Cisco considers such product behaviors to be serious vulnerabilities. Cisco will address any issues of this nature with the highest priority and encourages all parties to report suspected vulnerabilities to the Cisco PSIRT for immediate investigation. Internal and external reports of these vulnerabilities will be managed and disclosed under the terms of the Cisco Security Vulnerability Policy.

Cisco Secure Development Practices

Cisco has developed and implemented the Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle (CSDL) as a comprehensive security program that combines:

  • Industry-leading secure software development best practices, processes, and tools
  • Extensive training curricula for product development and test organizations
  • Rigorous product security requirements

More information can be found on Cisco's CSDL website

Cisco Product Security Incident Response Process

The following graphic illustrates the Cisco PSIRT process at a high level and provides an overview of the vulnerability lifecycle, disclosure, and resolution process.

psirt_01

The Cisco PSIRT investigates all reports regardless of the Cisco software code version or product lifecycle status. Issues will be prioritized based on the potential severity of the vulnerability and other environmental factors. Ultimately, the resolution of a reported incident may require upgrades to products that are under active support from Cisco.

Throughout the investigative process, the Cisco PSIRT strives to work collaboratively with the source of the report (incident reporter) to confirm the nature of the vulnerability, gather required technical information, and ascertain appropriate remedial action. When the initial investigation is complete, results will be delivered to the incident reporter along with a plan for resolution and public disclosure. If the incident reporter disagrees with the conclusion, the Cisco PSIRT will make every effort to address those concerns.

In the case of incidents whereby an agreement cannot be reached through the normal process, incident reporters may escalate by contacting the Cisco Technical Assistance Center and requesting the director of the global Cisco PSIRT team.

During any investigation, the Cisco PSIRT manages all sensitive information on a highly confidential basis. Internal distribution is limited to those individuals who have a legitimate need to know and can actively assist in the resolution. Similarly, the Cisco PSIRT asks incident reporters to maintain strict confidentiality until complete resolutions are available for customers and have been published by the Cisco PSIRT on the Cisco website through the appropriate coordinated disclosure.

With the agreement of the incident reporter, the Cisco PSIRT may acknowledge the reporters contribution during the public disclosure of the vulnerability.

Cisco PSIRT works with third-party coordination centers such as CERT/CC, CERT-FI, JP-CERT, or CPNI to manage a coordinated industry disclosure for vulnerabilities reported to Cisco that may impact multiple vendors (for example, a generic protocol issue). In those situations, the Cisco PSIRT either will assist the incident reporter in contacting the coordination center, or may do so on that individual's behalf.

If a reported vulnerability involves a vendor product, the Cisco PSIRT will notify the vendor directly, coordinate with the incident reporter, or engage a third-party coordination center.

The Cisco PSIRT will coordinate with the incident reporter to determine the frequency of status updates of the incident and documentation updates.

Assessing Security Risk — Common Vulnerability Scoring System

Cisco uses version 2.0 of the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) as part of its standard process of evaluating reported potential vulnerabilities in Cisco products and determining which vulnerabilities warrant a Cisco Security Advisory or other type of publication. Cisco also uses CVSS to convey vulnerability severity. The CVSS model uses three distinct measurements or scores that include base, temporal, and environmental calculations. Cisco provides an evaluation of the base and temporal vulnerability scores, and end users are encouraged to compute the environmental score based on their network parameters. The combination of all three scores should be considered the final score, which represents a moment in time and is tailored to a specific environment. Organizations are advised to use this final score to prioritize responses in their own environments.

Cisco uses the following CVSS guidelines when determining which security publication will include a particular vulnerability:

  • Cisco Security Advisory — CVSS Base Score of 7.0 – 10.0
  • Cisco Security Notice — CVSS Base Score of 4.0 – 6.9
  • Release Note Enclosure — CVSS Base Score of 0.1 – 3.9

Cisco reserves the right to deviate from this on an exception basis in the event that there are additional factors not properly captured in the CVSS score.

If there is a security issue with a third-party software component that is used in a Cisco product, Cisco will typically use the CVSS score provided by the component creator. In some cases, Cisco may adjust the CVSS score to reflect the impact to the Cisco product.

For more information about CVSS, visit the FIRST.org web siteleavingcisco.com.

Types of Security Publications

In all security publications, Cisco discloses the minimum amount of information required for an end user to assess the impact of a vulnerability and any potential steps needed to protect their environment. Cisco does not provide vulnerability details that could enable someone to craft an exploit.

Cisco provides the following types of security-related publications via the Security Intelligence Operations portal on Cisco.com.

  • Cisco Security Advisories
    Cisco Security Advisories provide detailed information about significant security issues that directly involve Cisco products and require an upgrade, fix, or other customer action.

    Cisco Security Advisories include an option to download Common Vulnerability Reporting Framework (CVRF) content, and Cisco Security Advisories for Cisco IOS Software will include an option to download Open Vulnerability and Assessment Language (OVAL) definitions. CVRF and OVAL are industry standards designed to depict vulnerability information in machine-readable format (XML files). This machine-readable content can be used with other tools to automate the process of interpreting data contained in a Security Advisory. CVRF and OVAL content can be downloaded directly from each Security Advisory. For more information about CVRF and OVAL, see the preceding links.

  • Cisco Security Notices
    Cisco Security Notices document low- and medium-severity security issues that directly involve Cisco products but do not warrant the visibility of a Cisco Security Advisory.

    Cisco Security Notices are organized by Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Identifier to facilitate correlation of security issues across Cisco products.

  • Cisco Security Responses
    Cisco Security Responses address issues that require a response to information discussed in a public forum, such as a blog or discussion list. The responses are normally published if a third party makes a public statement about a Cisco product vulnerability.

  • Cisco Event Responses
    Cisco Event Responses provide information about security events that have the potential for widespread impact on customer networks, applications, and devices. Cisco Event Responses contain summary information, threat analysis, and mitigation techniques that feature Cisco products. They are normally published under the following circumstances:

    • If a significant security vulnerability exists in a vendor's product that could affect a Cisco product due to interoperation with the vendor's product or use of the network as a vector for exploitation
    • In response to the release of Cisco IOS Software bundled publications
  • Cisco Applied Mitigation Bulletins
    Cisco Applied Mitigation Bulletins describe techniques that use Cisco product abilities to detect and mitigate exploits. They are normally published when Cisco products may be used to mitigate known vulnerabilities.

  • Threat Outbreak Alerts
    Cisco Threat Outbreak Alerts cover the latest data regarding malicious e-mail and web-based threats, including spam, phishing, viruses, malware, and botnet activity. These alerts do not relate to Cisco products but are provided for the benefit of Cisco customers and others.

  • Release Note Enclosures
    All Cisco bug IDs that are disclosed by Cisco are available for registered customers to view in the Cisco Bug Search Tool.

If a Cisco Security Advisory or Cisco Security Notice references a bug, the bug entry in the Cisco Bug Search Tool will link to the relevant Cisco Security Advisory or Notice.

Any Cisco bug that has been evaluated by the Cisco PSIRT will include a "PSIRT Evaluation" section in its Release Note Enclosure. This new section will include, where Cisco deems appropriate and relevant, base and temporal CVSS scores and a CVE ID. Customers are invited to use this additional information at their discretion and correlate Cisco bugs with industry events. This information is not intended to supplement any standard Cisco warranties applicable to the software as stated in the Cisco End User License Agreement, which is available at the following URL: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/general/warranty/English/EU1KEN_.html

Free software updates will not be provided for issues that are disclosed through a Release Note Enclosure. Customers who wish to upgrade to a software version that includes fixes for those issues should contact their normal support channels. Any exception to this policy will be determined solely at the discretion of Cisco.

The following table summarizes the methods used to notify customers about the aforementioned security publications. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis to increase communication for a given document.

E-mail
SIO Portal
RSS
CNS
Bug Search Tool
Cisco Security Advisory
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Cisco Security Notice
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Cisco Security Response
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Cisco Event Response
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Cisco Applied Mitigation Bulletin
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Threat Outbreak Alert
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Release Note Enclosure
No
No
No
No
Yes

 

Communications Plan

If one or more of the following conditions exist, Cisco will publicly disclose Cisco Security Advisories:

  • The Cisco PSIRT has completed the incident response process and determined that enough software patches or workarounds exist to address the vulnerability, or subsequent public disclosure of code fixes is planned to address high-severity vulnerabilities.

  • The Cisco PSIRT has observed active exploitation of a vulnerability that could lead to increased risk for Cisco customers. For this condition, Cisco will accelerate the publication of a security announcement describing the vulnerability that may or may not include a complete set of patches or workarounds.

  • There is the potential for increased public awareness of a vulnerability affecting Cisco products that could lead to increased risk for Cisco customers. For this condition, Cisco will accelerate the publication of a security announcement describing the vulnerability that may or may not include a complete set of patches or workarounds.

All Cisco security publications are disclosed to customers and the public simultaneously. Cisco reserves the right to deviate from this policy on an exception basis to ensure access to Cisco.com for software patch availability.

When coordinating disclosure with third parties, the Cisco PSIRT will attempt to provide notification of any changes to the Cisco PSIRT public disclosure schedule.

As documented in the "Receiving Security Vulnerability Information from Cisco" section of this document, Cisco delivers technical security information about software fixes in Cisco products and distributes product updates through several channels.

Disclosure Schedule

Cisco IOS Software

In direct response to customer feedback, Cisco releases bundles of Cisco IOS Software Security Advisories at 1600 GMT on the fourth Wednesday in March and September each year. This schedule applies to the disclosure of Cisco IOS Software vulnerabilities and does not apply to the disclosure of vulnerabilities in other Cisco products.

All Other Products

Cisco generally discloses Cisco Security Advisories at 1600 GMT on any given Wednesday.

Exceptions

Cisco reserves the right to publish an individual Cisco IOS Software or other product Security Advisory outside the published schedule. Conditions under which an out-of-cycle publication may occur include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Cisco detects heightened public awareness of a serious vulnerability
  • Cisco learns of active exploitation of a vulnerability
  • Cisco works with a third-party coordination center to publicly disclose a vulnerability

Incident Response Eligibility

Customers with service contracts receive incident response assistance for any incident in which a Cisco product plays a significant role, regardless of whether there is an identified problem with a Cisco product.

All customers, regardless of contract status, receive free incident response assistance, similar to that offered to contract customers, for any incident that involves known or reasonably suspected security vulnerability in a Cisco product.

Cisco reserves the right to determine the type and degree of assistance it may offer in connection with any incident and to withdraw from any incident at any time. Cisco may offer customers incident response services free of charge. Cisco may give special consideration to security incidents that involve actual or potential threats to persons, property, or the Internet as well as requests from law enforcement agencies or formal incident response teams.

Security Software Updates

Cisco customers with service contracts that entitle them to regular software updates should obtain security fixes through their usual update channels, generally from the Cisco website. Cisco recommends contacting the TAC only with specific and imminent problems or questions.

As a special customer service, and to improve the overall security of the Internet, Cisco may offer customers free software updates to address high-severity security problems. The decision to provide free software updates is made on a case-by-case basis. Refer to the Cisco security publication for details. Free software updates will typically be limited to Cisco Security Advisories.

If Cisco has offered a free software update to address a specific issue, noncontract customers who are eligible for the update may obtain it by contacting the Cisco TAC using any of the means described in the "General Security-Related Queries" section of this document. To verify their entitlement, individuals who contact the TAC should have available the URL of the Cisco document that is offering the update.

All aspects of this process are subject to change without notice and on a case-by-case basis. No particular level of response is guaranteed for any specific issue or class of issues.


This document is part of Cisco Security Intelligence Operations.



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 without notice at any time.


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