Cisco Security Advisory
Cisco IOS XE Software for Cisco ASR 1000 Series and cBR-8 Routers Line Card Console Access Vulnerability
A vulnerability in motherboard console ports of line cards for Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers and Cisco cBR-8 Converged Broadband Routers could allow an unauthenticated, physical attacker to access an affected device's operating system.
The vulnerability exists because an engineering console port is available on the motherboard of the affected line cards. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by physically connecting to the console port on the line card. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to gain full access to the affected device's operating system.
Cisco has released software updates that address this vulnerability. There are no workarounds that address this vulnerability.
This advisory is available at the following link:
This advisory is part of the September 27, 2017, release of the Cisco IOS and IOS XE Software Security Advisory Bundled Publication, which includes 12 Cisco Security Advisories that describe 13 vulnerabilities. For a complete list of the advisories and links to them, see Cisco Event Response: September 2017 Semiannual Cisco IOS and IOS XE Software Security Advisory Bundled Publication.
This vulnerability affects only Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers that have removable line cards and Cisco cBR-8 Converged Broadband Routers, if they are running a vulnerable release of Cisco IOS XE Software.
For information about which Cisco IOS XE Software releases are vulnerable, see the Fixed Software section of this advisory.
Determining the Cisco IOS XE Software Release
To determine which Cisco IOS XE Software release is running on a device, administrators can log in to the device, use the show version command in the CLI, and then refer to the system banner that appears. If the device is running Cisco IOS XE Software, the system banner displays Cisco IOS Software, Cisco IOS XE Software, or similar text.
The following example shows the output of the command for a device that is running Cisco IOS XE Software Release 16.2.1 and has an installed image name of CAT3K_CAA-UNIVERSALK9-M:
ios-xe-device# show version Cisco IOS Software, Catalyst L3 Switch Software (CAT3K_CAA-UNIVERSALK9-M), Version Denali 16.2.1, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1) Technical Support: http://www.cisco.com/techsupport Copyright (c) 1986-2016 by Cisco Systems, Inc. Compiled Sun 27-Mar-16 21:47 by mcpre . . .
For information about the naming and numbering conventions for Cisco IOS XE Software releases, see White Paper: Cisco IOS and NX-OS Software Reference Guide.
Products Confirmed Not Vulnerable
No other Cisco products are currently known to be affected by this vulnerability.
Cisco has confirmed that this vulnerability does not affect Cisco IOS Software, Cisco IOS XR Software, or Cisco NX-OS Software.
On a Cisco ASR 1000 Series Router that has a removable line card, the line card contains an RJ-45 console port directly on the motherboard.
On a Cisco cBR-8 Converged Broadband Router, the line card contains a 50-pin console connector on the motherboard.
During normal operation, these console ports are not accessible if all blank plates are installed. The console port on the line card is protected by a hard-coded username and password. An attacker who has physical access to an affected device could connect to the port. An attacker who obtains the username and password could also access the device's operating system. The console port is designed to be used by engineering for troubleshooting specific issues. Applying the fix for this vulnerability disables the console port.
Cisco has released free software updates that address the vulnerability described in this advisory. Customers may only install and expect support for software versions and feature sets for which they have purchased a license. By installing, downloading, accessing, or otherwise using such software upgrades, customers agree to follow the terms of the Cisco software license:
Additionally, customers may only download software for which they have a valid license, procured from Cisco directly, or through a Cisco authorized reseller or partner. In most cases this will be a maintenance upgrade to software that was previously purchased. Free security software updates do not entitle customers to a new software license, additional software feature sets, or major revision upgrades.
When considering software upgrades, customers are advised to regularly consult the advisories for Cisco products, which are available from the Cisco Security Advisories and Alerts page, to determine exposure and a complete upgrade solution.
In all cases, customers should ensure that the devices to be upgraded contain sufficient memory and confirm that current hardware and software configurations will continue to be supported properly by the new release. If the information is not clear, customers are advised to contact the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) or their contracted maintenance providers.
Customers Without Service Contracts
Customers who purchase directly from Cisco but do not hold a Cisco service contract and customers who make purchases through third-party vendors but are unsuccessful in obtaining fixed software through their point of sale should obtain upgrades by contacting the Cisco TAC:
Customers should have the product serial number available and be prepared to provide the URL of this advisory as evidence of entitlement to a free upgrade.
Cisco IOS and IOS XE Software
To help customers determine their exposure to vulnerabilities in Cisco IOS and IOS XE Software, Cisco provides a tool, the Cisco IOS Software Checker, that identifies any Cisco Security Advisories that impact a specific software release and the earliest release that fixes the vulnerabilities described in each advisory (“First Fixed”). If applicable, the tool also returns the earliest release that fixes all the vulnerabilities described in all the advisories identified (“Combined First Fixed”).
Customers can use this tool to perform the following tasks:
- Initiate a search by choosing one or more releases from a drop-down menu or uploading a file from a local system for the tool to parse
- Enter the output of the show version command for the tool to parse
- Create a custom search by including all previously published Cisco Security Advisories, a specific advisory, or all advisories in the most recent bundled publication
To determine whether a release is affected by any published Cisco Security Advisory, use the Cisco IOS Software Checker on Cisco.com or enter a Cisco IOS Software or Cisco IOS XE Software release-for example, 15.1(4)M2 or 3.13.8S-in the following field:
For a mapping of Cisco IOS XE Software releases to Cisco IOS Software releases, refer to the Cisco IOS XE 2 Release Notes, Cisco IOS XE 3S Release Notes, or Cisco IOS XE 3SG Release Notes, depending on the Cisco IOS XE Software release.
The Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) is not aware of any public announcements or malicious use of the vulnerability that is described in this advisory.
This vulnerability was discovered during internal security auditing.
To learn about Cisco security vulnerability disclosure policies and publications, see the Security Vulnerability Policy. This document also contains instructions for obtaining fixed software and receiving security vulnerability information from Cisco.
Version Description Section Status Date 1.0 Initial public release. - Final 2017-September-27
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