Cisco Security Advisory
Cisco IOS XE Wireless Controller Software for the Catalyst 9000 Family CAPWAP Denial of Service Vulnerability
A vulnerability in the Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) protocol processing of Cisco IOS XE Wireless Controller Software for the Cisco Catalyst 9000 Family Wireless Controllers could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition of an affected device.
The vulnerability is due to insufficient validation of CAPWAP packets. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a malformed CAPWAP packet to an affected device. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to cause the affected device to crash and reload, resulting in a DoS condition.
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 March 2021 release of the Cisco IOS and IOS XE Software Security Advisory Bundled Publication. For a complete list of the advisories and links to them, see Cisco Event Response: March 2021 Semiannual Cisco IOS and IOS XE Software Security Advisory Bundled Publication.
This vulnerability affects Cisco IOS XE Wireless Controller Software for the Cisco Catalyst 9000 Family if the device is running a vulnerable release. The following hardware platforms are vulnerable:
- Catalyst 9800 Embedded Wireless Controller for Catalyst 9300, 9400, and 9500 Series Switches
- Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
- Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points
For information about which Cisco software releases are vulnerable, see the Fixed Software section of this advisory.
Products Confirmed Not Vulnerable
Only products listed in the Vulnerable Products section of this advisory are known to be affected by this vulnerability.
Cisco has confirmed that this vulnerability does not affect the following Cisco software:
- IOS Software
- IOS XR Software
- NX-OS Software
- WLC Software
There are no workarounds that address this vulnerability.
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 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: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/web/tsd-cisco-worldwide-contacts.html
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 the Cisco Software Checker to identify 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 the Cisco Software Checker to search advisories in the following ways:
- Choose the software and one or more releases
- Upload a .txt file that includes a list of specific releases
- Enter the output of the show version command
After initiating a search, customers can customize the search to include all Cisco Security Advisories, a specific advisory, or all advisories in the most recent bundled publication.
Customers can also use the following form to determine whether a release is affected by any Cisco Security Advisory by entering a Cisco IOS or IOS XE Software release-for example, 15.1(4)M2 or 3.13.8S:
By default, the Cisco Software Checker includes results only for vulnerabilities that have a Critical or High Security Impact Rating (SIR). To include results for Medium SIR vulnerabilities, customers can use the Cisco Software Checker on Cisco.com and check the Medium check box in the drop-down list under Impact Rating when customizing a search.
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 found during internal security testing.
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 2021-MAR-24
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