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Cisco Content Services Switch (CSS) permits non-privileged user to enter debug mode

Vulnerability Note VU#174248

Original Release Date: 2001-04-28 | Last Revised: 2001-04-28


A vulnerability in Cisco Content Services Switches (Arrowpoint) allows a valid user to gain administrative access.


Cisco CSS switches run Cisco WebNS software. A user with a valid account on a CSS device can gain unauthorized administrative access to the device. See the Cisco advisory available at for more information.


Local users can gain administrative access to the switch.


Update to version 4.01B19s of Cisco WebNS software.

Vendor Information


Cisco Affected

Updated:  April 27, 2001



Vendor Statement


Cisco Security Advisory: Cisco Content Services Switch User Account

Revision 1.0

For Public Release 2001 April 04 08:00 (UTC -0700)



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

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

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.


A non-privileged user can issue a series of keystrokes to enter the debug
mode, and from that mode can gain administrative access.


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

Cisco Bug ID CSCdt32570 describes this vulnerability.

Software Versions and Fixes

CSCdt32570 is resolved in version 4.01B19s of Cisco WebNS software.
Non-privileged users can no longer enter debug mode.

Obtaining Fixed Software

Cisco is offering free software upgrades to eliminate this vulnerability
for all affected customers.

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 Web
site at Specifically, this fix can be found 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 assistance with the upgrade, which should be free of charge.

Customers without contracts 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:

See for
additional TAC contact information, including instructions and e-mail
addresses for use in various languages.

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. Please do not contact either "" or
"" for software upgrades.


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

Exploitation and Public Announcements

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.

Status of This Notice: FINAL

This is a final field notice. Although Cisco cannot guarantee the accuracy
of all statements in this notice, all of the facts have been checked to the
best of our ability. Cisco does not anticipate issuing updated versions of
this notice unless there is some material change in the facts. Should there
be a significant change in the facts, Cisco may update this notice.


This notice will be posted on Cisco's Worldwide Web site 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:

  * (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.

Revision History

 Revision   2001-04-04Initial public release

Cisco Security Procedures

Complete information on reporting security vulnerabilities in Cisco
products, obtaining assistance with security incidents, and registering to
receive security information from Cisco, is available on Cisco's Worldwide
Web site at This
includes instructions for press inquiries regarding Cisco security notices.


This notice is Copyright 2001 by Cisco Systems, Inc. This notice may be
redistributed freely after the release date given at the top of the text,
provided that redistributed copies are complete and unmodified, and include
all date and version information.


Version: PGP 7.0


Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


The Ciso advisory can be found at

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector



Our thanks to Cisco for the information provided in their advisory.

This document was written by Shawn V. Hernan.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2001-0414
Severity Metric: 13.50
Date Public: 2001-04-04
Date First Published: 2001-04-28
Date Last Updated: 2001-04-28 04:07 UTC
Document Revision: 8

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