Cisco Security Advisory
Cisco IOS XE ROM Monitor Software for Catalyst Switches Information Disclosure Vulnerability
A vulnerability in the password-recovery disable feature of Cisco IOS XE ROM Monitor (ROMMON) Software for Cisco Catalyst Switches could allow an unauthenticated, local attacker to recover the configuration or reset the enable password.
This vulnerability is due to a problem with the file and boot variable permissions in ROMMON. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by rebooting the switch into ROMMON and entering specific commands through the console. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to read any file or reset the enable password.
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:
At the time of publication, this vulnerability affected the following Cisco products if they were running a vulnerable release of Cisco IOS XE ROMMON Software and had the password-recovery disable feature enabled:
- Catalyst 3600 Series Switches
- Catalyst 3800 Series Switches
- Catalyst 9200 Series Switches
- Catalyst 9300 Series Switches
- Catalyst 9400 Series Switches
- Catalyst 9500 Series Switches
- Catalyst 9600 Series Switches
For information about which Cisco software releases were vulnerable at the time of publication, see the Fixed Software section of this advisory. See the Details section in the bug ID(s) at the top of this advisory for the most complete and current information.
Determine the Cisco IOS XE ROMMON Software Release
To determine which Cisco IOS XE ROMMON Software release is running on a device, log in to the device and use the show version | include BOOTLDR CLI command. The following example shows the output of this command for a device that is running Cisco IOS XE ROMMON Software Release 17.5.1r:
Switch# show version | include BOOTLDR
BOOTLDR: System Bootstrap, Version 17.5.1r [FC4], RELEASE SOFTWARE (P)
Determine Whether the Password-Recovery Disable Feature is Enabled
To determine whether the password-recovery disable feature is enabled, log in to the device and use the show romvar | include SWITCH_DISABLE_PASSWORD_RECOVERY CLI command. The following example shows the output of a device that has the password-recovery disable feature enabled (SWITCH_DISABLE_PASSWORD_RECOVERY value is "1"):
Switch# show romvar | include SWITCH_DISABLE_PASSWORD_RECOVERY
If the value is "0" or the SWITCH_DISABLE_PASSWORD_RECOVERY is not shown in the show romvar CLI command, the password-recovery disable feature is not enabled.
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 products:
- IOS Software
- IOS XR Software
- Meraki products
- NX-OS Software
There are no workarounds that address this vulnerability.
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.
At the time of publication, the release information in the following table(s) was accurate. See the Details section in the bug ID(s) at the top of this advisory for the most complete and current information.
Cisco Device First Fixed Cisco IOS XE ROMMON Software Release First Fixed Cisco IOS XE Software Release Catalyst 3600 Series Switches 5.06 16.12.7 Catalyst 3800 Series Switches 5.08 16.12.7 Catalyst 9200 Series Switches 17.8.1r 17.6.3 and 17.8.1 Catalyst 9300 Series Switches 17.8.1r 17.8.1 Catalyst 9400 Series Switches 17.8.1r 17.8.1 Catalyst 9500 Series Switches 17.8.1r 17.8.1 Catalyst 9600 Series Switches 17.8.1r 17.8.1
ROMMON software is a bootstrap program that initializes the hardware and boots Cisco IOS XE Software when a device is powered on or reloaded. ROMMON software is bundled with the Cisco IOS XE binary, which can be downloaded from the Software Center on Cisco.com. It is not available as a standalone binary.
Customers who want to upgrade ROMMON to a fixed release will need to upgrade the Cisco IOS XE Software to a fixed release. On first boot, Cisco IOS XE Software will check the installed ROMMON release and upgrade it to the included release if the device is running an older release. A second reboot will be required to activate the upgraded ROMMON.
The Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) validates only the affected and fixed release information that is documented in this advisory.
The Cisco 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 the investigation of a TAC Service Request.
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 1.1 Updated the ROMMON fixed release for Catalyst 3600. Fixed Releases Final 2023-MAY-17 1.0 Initial public release. - Final 2022-SEP-28
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