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Home » Hacking News » Cisco Security Advisory: Content Service Switch HTTP Processing Vuln.

Cisco Security Advisory: Content Service Switch HTTP Processing Vuln.

by Nikola Strahija on May 16th, 2002 The Cisco Content Service Switch (CSS) 11000 series switches are susceptible to a soft reset caused by improper handling of HTTP POST requests to the web management interface. These vulnerabilities are documented as Cisco bug ID's CSCdx41911 and CSCdw26696.

This advisory will be posted at

Affected Products

The CSS 11000 series switches (formerly known as Arrowpoint), consist of the
CSS 11050, CSS 11150 and CSS 11800 hardware platforms. They run the Cisco WebNS

All CSS 11000 series switches running the following WebNS software revisions
are affected by these vulnerabilities.

* 04.01.053s and earlier
* 05.00.038s and earlier
* 05.01.012s and earlier
* 05.02.005s and earlier

The CSS 11500 Series switches running the following WebNS software revisions
are affected by these vulnerabilities:


No other Cisco product is currently known to be affected by these

To determine your software revision, type version at the command line prompt on
your Content Service Switch.



The CSS formerly used TCP port 8081 for its web management interface. The
web server that listens on port 8081 did not understand XML data, and in
trying to process the request would result in a soft reset of the device.
Currently all web management interface traffic should be directed over SSL
or "https".

The CSS may be forced to reboot by sending an HTTPS post request to the web
management interface of the device. This may occur even if the sender of
the request is not yet authenticated to the device.


Both defects may reboot the device resulting in a Denial of Service (DoS) due
to decreased availability.

Software Versions and Fixes

Cisco WebNS Software

| Version | Fixed Regular Release (available |
| Affected | now).Fix carries forward into all |
| | later versions. |
| 4.01 | 5.00.045 |
| 5.0 | 5.00.045 |
| 5.01 | 5.03 |
| 5.02 | 5.03 |
| 5.10 | TBD |

Obtaining Fixed Software

Cisco is offering free software upgrades to address this vulnerability for all
affected customers. Customers may only install and expect support for the
feature sets they have purchased.

Customers with service contracts should contact their regular update channels
to obtain any software release containing the feature sets they have purchased.
For most customers with service contracts, this means that upgrades should be
obtained through the Software Center on Cisco's Worldwide Web site at

Customers whose Cisco products are provided or maintained through a 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 obtaining the free software

Customers who purchased directly from Cisco but who do not hold a Cisco service
contract, and customers who purchase through third party vendors but are
unsuccessful at obtaining fixed software through their point of sale, should
obtain fixed software by contacting the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC)
using the contact information listed below. In these cases, customers are
entitled to obtain an upgrade to a later version of the same release or as
indicated by the applicable row in the Software Versions and Fixes table (noted

Cisco 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: [email protected]

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

Please have your product serial number available and give the URL of this
notice as evidence of your entitlement to a free upgrade.

Please do not contact either "[email protected]" or "[email protected]"
for software upgrades.


* Disable web-based management of the device:
restrict web-mgmt
restrict xml

Exploitation and Public Announcements

The vulnerability described by CSCdx41911 was originally reported to Cisco by
James Mancini of Netreo Inc. The Cisco PSIRT is not aware of any public
announcements or malicious use of the vulnerabilities described in this

Status of This Notice: INTERIM

This is an interim 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:

* [email protected]
* [email protected]
* [email protected] (includes CERT/CC)
* [email protected]
* [email protected]
* 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 |2002-May-15|Initial public release |
|1.0 |18:00 GMT | |

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


This notice is Copyright 2002 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.


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