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Home » Hacking News » Cisco Security Advisory: ATA-186 Password Disclosure Vulnerability

Cisco Security Advisory: ATA-186 Password Disclosure Vulnerability

by Nikola Strahija on May 24th, 2002 The Cisco ATA 186 Analog Telephone Adaptor is a handset-to-Ethernet adaptor that interfaces regular analog telephones with IP-based telephony networks. The adaptor turns traditional telephones into IP telephones. The ATA-186 is provided with a web-based configuration interface whose authentication is trivially circumvented. Using a crafted HTTP POST request the configuration of the device will be returned to the browser revealing configuration information such as passwords.

This notice will be posted at

Affected Products

The affected product is the Cisco ATA-186 analog telephone adapter. All
releases before build 020514a are affected.

No other Cisco product is currently known to be affected by this vulnerability.


A simple crafted HTTP POST request may cause the ATA-186 to display
its configuration screen. Since the device does not hash its password,
the actual password can be gleaned from this screen. The device can
also be reconfigured in this way by constructing an HTTP POST
with the appropriate parameters.


By exploiting this vulnerability an attacker can compromise the integrity of
the ATA-186.

Software Versions and Fixes

| Version Affected | Fixed Regular Release (available now) |
| | Fix carries forward into all later versions |
| Prior to build 020514a | (H.323/SIP image) |
| | (SCCP/MGCP image) |

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.


There is no known workaround. A software upgrade is necessary.

Exploitation and Public Announcements

This vulnerability was announced on the BUGTRAQ mailing list on 2002-05-09
( with sufficient information
that anyone could exercise the flaw.

The Cisco PSIRT has received no reports of malicious exploitation of 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]
* [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-23|Initial Public Release |
|1.0 |16:00 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 Web site 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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