Cisco Security Advisory: Cisco Security Manager Vulnerability

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2009-01-22T00:00:00



Cisco Security Advisory: Cisco Security Manager Vulnerability

Advisory ID: cisco-sa-20090121-csm

Revision 1.0

For Public Release 2009 January 21 1600 UTC (GMT)


Cisco Security Manager contains a vulnerability when it is used with Cisco IPS Event Viewer (IEV) that results in open TCP ports on both the Cisco Security Manager server and IEV client. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could leverage this vulnerability to access the MySQL databases or IEV server.

Cisco has released free software updates that address this vulnerability. A workaround is also available to mitigate this vulnerability.

This advisory is posted at

Affected Products

Vulnerable Products +------------------

All 3.1 and 3.2 versions prior to 3.2.2 of Cisco Security Manager are affected by this vulnerability. Cisco IEV is installed with Cisco Security Manager by default, but the vulnerability is not exposed until IEV has been launched.

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

The following products have been confirmed not vulnerable:

  • Cisco Security Manager 3.2.2
  • Cisco Security Manager 3.0.x and earlier
  • Standalone implementations of Cisco IEV
  • Cisco IPS Manager Express

No other Cisco products are currently known to be affected by this vulnerability.


Cisco Security Manager is an enterprise-class management application that is designed to configure firewall, VPN, and intrusion prevention security services on Cisco network and security devices. As part of Cisco Security Manager installation, the Cisco IEV is installed by default. The IEV is a Java-based application that allows users to view and manage alerts for up to five sensors, including the ability to report top alerts, attackers, and victims over a specified number of hours or days. Users can connect to and view alerts in real time or via imported log files, configure filters and views to help manage alerts, and import and export event data for further analysis.

A vulnerability exists in the Cisco Security Manager server. When the IEV is launched, it opens several remotely available TCP ports on the Cisco Security Manager server and client. These ports could allow remote, unauthenticated root access to the IEV database and server. When IEV is closed, it closes open ports on the Cisco Security Manager client that launched the IEV but fails to close open ports on the server. If the IEV has never been used on the system, the Cisco Security Manager server is not vulnerable.

The IEV database contains events that are collected from Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) devices. The IEV server allows an unauthenticated user to add, delete, or modify the devices that are added into the IEV.

This vulnerability is documented in Cisco Bug ID: CSCsv66897

This vulnerability have been assigned the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) identifiers CVE-2008-3820.

Vulnerability Scoring Details

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

CSCsv66897: Cisco Security Manager/IEV: TCP Ports open for remote connection without any authentication

CVSS Base Score - 8.8

Access Vector - Network Access Complexity - Medium Authentication - None Confidentiality Impact - Complete Integrity Impact - Complete Availability Impact - None

CVSS Temporal Score - 7.3

Exploitability - Functional Remediation Level - Official-Fix Report Confidence - Confirmed


Successful exploitation of this vulnerability may result in remote root access to the IEV database or to the IEV Server. Upon launching the IEV remotely accessible ports are opened on the Cisco Security Manager server and the client where the IEV is launched. When the IEV application is closed these ports are subsequently closed on the client however remain open on the Cisco Security Manager server.

Software Versions and Fixes

When considering software upgrades, 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) or your contracted maintenance provider for assistance.

A software patch for Cisco Security Manager versions 3.1, 3.1.1, 3.2 and 3.2.1 is available for download at:

The patch file names by Cisco Security Manager version follow:

+------------------------------------------+ | Cisco | | | Security | Patch Filename | | Manager | | | version | | |-----------+------------------------------| | 3.0.x and | Not Vulnerable | | earlier | | |-----------+------------------------------| | 3.1 | | |-----------+------------------------------| | 3.1.1.SP3 | | |-----------+------------------------------| | 3.2.SP2 | | |-----------+------------------------------| | 3.2.1.SP1 | | |-----------+------------------------------| | 3.2.2 | Not Vulnerable | +------------------------------------------+

Please read the corresponding readme files for installation instructions.


In the event that Cisco IEV is not being used, administrators are advised to disable the functionality until a patch is applied. To disable IEV on Cisco Security Manager, perform the following steps:

  1. Access the Microsoft Windows Server that Cisco Security Manager is installed on.

  2. Open the Services dialog box (Choose Start > Administrative Tools > Services).

  3. Locate the Cisco IPS Event Viewer service and open Properties.

  4. Change Startup Type: to Disabled and click Ok.

  5. Stop the Cisco IPS Event Viewer service.

  6. Stop and Restart the Cisco Security Manager Daemon Manager service.

  7. Confirm that the Cisco IPS Event Viewer service has not restarted.

    Upon disabling the Cisco IPS Event Viewer service, the open ports on the Cisco Security Manager server will be closed.

    Additional mitigations that can be deployed on Cisco devices within the network are available in the Cisco Applied Mitigation Bulletin companion document for this advisory:

Obtaining Fixed Software

Cisco has released free software updates that address these vulnerabilities. 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 or as otherwise set forth at Downloads at

Do not contact or for software upgrades.

Customers with Service Contracts +-------------------------------

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

Customers using Third Party Support Organizations +------------------------------------------------

Customers whose Cisco products are provided or maintained through prior or existing agreements 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 without Service Contracts +----------------------------------

Customers who purchase direct from Cisco but do not hold a Cisco service contract, and customers who purchase through third-party vendors but are unsuccessful in obtaining fixed software through their point of sale should acquire 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:

Customers should have their product serial number available and be prepared to give the URL of this notice as evidence of entitlement to a free upgrade. Free upgrades for non-contract customers must be requested through the TAC.

Refer to for additional TAC contact information, including localized telephone numbers, and instructions and e-mail addresses for use in various languages.

Exploitation and Public Announcements

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

This vulnerability was discovered through internal Cisco testing.

Status of this Notice: FINAL


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 is 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.


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 | 2009-January-21 | 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 -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.8 (Darwin)

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