[Full-Disclosure] Cisco Security Advisory: Default Administrative Password in Cisco Guard and Traffic Anomaly Detector

From: Cisco Systems Product Security Incident Response Team (psirt_at_cisco.com)
Date: 12/15/04

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    Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 15:01:00 -0500

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    Cisco Security Advisory: Default Administrative Password in Cisco Guard
    and Traffic Anomaly Detector

    Revision 1.0

    For Public Release 2004 December 15 1900 UTC (GMT)

    - ----------------------------------------------------------------------


        Affected Products
        Software Versions and Fixes
        Obtaining Fixed Software
        Exploitation and Public Announcements
        Status of This Notice: FINAL
        Revision History
        Cisco Security Procedures

    - ----------------------------------------------------------------------


    The Cisco Guard and Cisco Traffic Anomaly Detector software contains a
    default password for an administrative account. This password is set,
    without any user's intervention, during installation of the software
    used by the Cisco Guard and Traffic Anomaly Detector Distributed
    Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation appliances, and is the same in all
    installations of the product.

    Software version 3.0 and earlier of the Cisco Guard and Traffic Anomaly
    Detector are affected by this vulnerability. Customers running version
    3.1 or higher of the software are not affected. There are workarounds
    available including one that does not require a reboot of the device.
    Cisco has made free software available to address this problem.

    The vulnerabilities are documented as the following Cisco bug IDs:
    CSCeg12167 and CSCeg12188.

    This advisory is available at

    Affected Products

    Vulnerable Products
    - -------------------

    All versions of the software for the Cisco Guard and Cisco Traffic
    Anomaly Detector prior to version 3.1 are affected by this

    There are three ways to determine the software version that your Cisco
    Guard and Cisco Traffic Anomaly Detector DDoS mitigation appliances are

      * Virtual terminal or local serial console connection
      * Remote Secure Shell (SSH) connection
      * Remote secure web session

    What follows is an example of each method; you should choose the method
    that applies to your particular environment and network setup.

     1. To determine the software version number through the local serial
        console use a serial cable and a terminal emulation program to
        connect to the appliance. Once you are connected press the Enter
        key of your terminal and the Guard and Traffic Anomaly Detector
        will present, without even logging in, the version of the software
        running on the devices:

            Cisco Guard Version 3.1(0.12)

            GUARD login:

        In this example the Cisco Guard is running software version 3.1. For
        a virtual terminal the procedure is the same except that no serial
        cable or terminal emulation program is needed (a standard keyboard
        and monitor are directly connected to the appliance.)

     2. To obtain the software version number through a SSH session use a
        SSH client to log into the Cisco Guard or Cisco Traffic Anomaly
        Detector and issue the show version command-line interface (CLI)
        command. The following example shows an interaction with a Cisco
        Traffic Anomaly Detector:

            prompt$ ssh admin@detector.example.com
            admin@detector.example.com's password:
            Last login: Wed Nov 24 22:45:53 on ttyS0
            admin@DETECTOR#show version
            Copyright (c) 2000-2004 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

            Software License Agreement


            Cisco Anomaly Detector
            Release: 3.1(0.12)
            Date: 2004/10/27 19:58:14

            DETECTOR uptime is 3 weeks, 3 days, 17 hours, 53 minutes
            System Serial Number: XXXXXXX

            Contact Information:
               Cisco Systems Inc.

        In this example the Cisco Traffic Anomaly Detector is running
        software version 3.1.

     3. To obtain the software version that Cisco Guard and Cisco Traffic
        Anomaly Detector are running through a secure web interface, open
        the URL https:// address of your Guard or Detector>/ in a web
        browser, log in, and then click on the About link located on the top
        right section of the browser window.

    Products Confirmed Not Vulnerable
    - ---------------------------------

    No other Cisco products are currently known to create these specific
    default account/passwords.


    The Cisco Guard and Cisco Traffic Anomaly Detectors are Distributed
    Denial of Service (DDoS) attack mitigation appliances that detect the
    presence of a potential DDoS attack and divert attack traffic destined
    for the network being monitored without affecting the flow of legitimate

    Both the Cisco Guard and the Cisco Anomaly Traffic Detector appliances
    can be managed via a virtual terminal (standard keyboard and monitor
    attached directly to the appliance), a local serial console, remote SSH
    connections, and/or remote secure web sessions. Most management and
    troubleshooting tasks are performed through a CLI interface that is
    similar to that of most Cisco products, but a special administrative
    account is provided so certain management and troubleshooting tasks that
    are not covered by the standard CLI can be performed. The administrative
    account username is root, like the superuser in the Unix operating

    This account has a default password that is the same in all
    installations of the Cisco Guard and Cisco Traffic Anomaly Detector
    in all versions prior to 3.1. This default password is made up of a
    combination of letters, numbers, and punctuation per best security
    practices for passwords, but Cisco recommends that this password be
    changed for extra security.

    The vulnerability described here is documented in the Cisco Bug ID
    CSCeg12167 for the Cisco Guard and in the Cisco Bug ID CSCeg12188 for
    the Cisco Traffic Anomaly Detector.


    Someone that is able to log into a Cisco Guard or Cisco Traffic Anomaly
    Detector DDoS mitigation appliance using the root administrative account
    has full control of the device, which includes the ability to change
    configurations, divert traffic, and install software.

    Software Versions and Fixes

    While workarounds that do not require a software upgrade exist, Cisco
    has made available free software that addresses the vulnerability
    described in this document.

    Version 3.1 or later of the Cisco Guard and Cisco Traffic Anomaly
    Detector software does not leave a default password for the
    administrative root account after a fresh installation or after an
    upgrade from previous versions. This is because in version 3.1 and
    later the installation/upgrade procedure requires the user to choose a
    password for the administrative account.

    Note: the procedure to upgrade to version 3.1 can only be done through
    the out-of-band interfaces.

    When considering software upgrades, please also consult
    and any subsequent advisories to determine exposure and a complete
    upgrade solution.

    In all cases, customers should exercise caution to be certain the
    devices to be upgraded contain sufficient memory and that current
    hardware and software configurations will continue to be supported
    properly by the new release. If the information is not clear, contact
    the Cisco Technical Assistance Center ("TAC") for assistance.

    If affected customers are not able to upgrade the software, the
    workarounds presented in the Workarounds section can be employed to
    completely eliminate this vulnerability.

    Obtaining Fixed Software

    As the fix for this vulnerability is a default configuration change, and
    a workaround is available, a software upgrade is not required to address
    this vulnerability. However, if you have a service contract, and wish
    to upgrade to unaffected code, you may obtain upgraded software through
    your regular update channels once that software is available. For most
    customers, this means that upgrades should be obtained through the
    Software Center on Cisco's Worldwide Web site at http://www.cisco.com.

    If you need assistance with the implementation of the workarounds, or
    have questions on the workarounds, please contact the Cisco Technical
    Assistance Center (TAC).

      * +1 800 553 2447 (toll free from within North America)
      * +1 408 526 7209 (toll call from anywhere in the world)
      * e-mail: tac@cisco.com

    See 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.

    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


    The vulnerability described in this document can be eliminated
    completely by logging into the affected Cisco Guard and Cisco Traffic
    Anomaly Detector DDoS mitigation appliances and changing the default
    password for the administrative root account to a strong password chosen
    by the user.

    To change the default password you need to run the passwd command once
    you have logged in as the root user. The following interaction shows and
    example of a change password dialog in a Cisco Traffic Anomaly Detector
    that is performed via SSH:

        prompt$ ssh root@detector.example.com
        root@detector.example.com's password:
        Last login: Tue Nov 23 15:48:13 on ttyS0
        [root@DETECTOR root]# passwd
        Changing password for user root.
        New password: <new password typed in here>
        Retype new password: <new password typed in here>
        passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.

    In order to perform this procedure you will need the default password.
    To obtain this password customers must contact the Cisco TAC.
    Entitlement will be checked so please have your product serial number
    available and give the URL of this notice.

    After changing the default password, the Cisco Guard and Traffic Anomaly
    Detector will not accept root logins using the default password.

    A reboot is not required for the new password to take effect, so network
    operations will not be disrupted.

    If affected customers do not wish to contact Cisco to obtain the default
    password, it is possible to change the administrative account's password
    by performing the password recovery procedure. This procedure is
    documented at the following location:


    As a security best practice, it is recommended that customers make use
    of the access control feature that restricts connectivity to the SSH and
    web-based management services to certain IP networks configured by the
    administrator. Refer to the documentation for your Cisco Guard and Cisco
    Traffic Anomaly Detector, specifically the permit wbm and permit ssh
    commands, for details on how to enable this feature. Having these access
    control mechanisms in place may mitigate the vulnerability if it cannot
    be eliminated completely by changing the default password as described

    Exploitation and Public Announcements

    The Cisco PSIRT is not aware of any public announcements or malicious
    use of the vulnerability described in this advisory.

    This vulnerability was uncovered during internal code audit.

    Status of This Notice: FINAL



    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:

      * cust-security-announce@cisco.com
      * first-teams@first.org (includes CERT/CC)
      * bugtraq@securityfocus.com
      * vulnwatch@vulnwatch.org
      * cisco@spot.colorado.edu
      * cisco-nsp@puck.nether.net
      * full-disclosure@lists.netsys.com
      * comp.dcom.sys.cisco@newsgate.cisco.com

    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.

    Revision History

    | Revision | | Initial |
    | 1.0 | 2004-December-15 | 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 website at
    This includes instructions for press inquiries regarding
    Cisco security notices. All Cisco security advisories are available at

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