Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Network Security

1/6/2020
10:35 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
50%
50%

Why Cisco's DCNM Is in a World of Trouble

Vendor's Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) has racked up three critical authentication bypass vulnerabilities at the top of the list of 12 separate problems that were announced on January 2.

Cisco's Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) has been found to be in a world of trouble, racking up three critical authentication bypass vulnerabilities at the top of the list of 12 separate problems that were announced on January 2, 2020. These three have a CVSS of 9.8 out of 10, so they are serious.

Cisco says in a security advisory about the problems that the vulnerabilities "could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to bypass authentication and execute arbitrary actions with administrative privileges on an affected device."

While Cisco has released software updates that it says will address and fix the reported problems, there are "no workarounds that address these vulnerabilities."

These vulnerabilities affect Cisco DCNM software releases earlier than Release 11.3(1) for Microsoft Windows, Linux and virtual appliance platforms.

The vulnerabilities are said by Cisco to not be dependent on one another. That means that exploitation of one of the vulnerabilities is not required to exploit another vulnerability. Cisco also says that a software release which is affected by one of the vulnerabilities may not be affected by the other vulnerabilities.

One of the vulnerabilities (CVE-2019-15975) is in the REST API endpoint of Cisco DCNM. Cisco says that the vulnerability exists because "a static encryption key is shared between installations." That means that an attacker could exploit it by using the static key to craft a valid session token. A successful exploit could then allow the attacker to perform arbitrary actions by use of the REST API with administrative privileges.

CVE-2019-15976 is basically the same problem of a static key existing between installations, but in the SOAP API endpoint of Cisco DCNM. The same results of remote attack could occur through the use of a differing API than before.

A vulnerability (CVE-2019-15977) is also present in the web-based management interface of Cisco DCNM that could once again allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to bypass authentication on an affected device.

This time it's the presence of static credentials causing the problem. An attacker could use the static credentials to authenticate malware that attacks through the user interface. A successful attack could then access a specific section of the web interface and obtain confidential information from an affected device. This information could be used in further attacks against the system.

The Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) is not aware of any public announcements or malicious use of the vulnerabilities that they described in the advisory.

Security firm Tenable says that by utilizing these authentication bypass vulnerabilities, attackers could in their exploits leverage the remaining flaws patched by Cisco, which include command injection vulnerabilities (CVE-2019-15978, CVE-2019-15979), SQL injection vulnerabilities (CVE-2019-15984, CVE-2019-15985), path traversal vulnerabilities (CVE-2019-15980, CVE-15981, CVE-2019-15982) and an XML external entity vulnerability (CVE-2019-15983).

Eleven of the vulnerabilities were discovered and reported to Cisco by Steven Seeley of Source Incite. Cisco's software update also patched CVE-2019-15999, which is a vulnerability in the DCNM's JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) reported by Harrison Neal of PatchAdvisor. The authentication settings on the EAP were evidently incorrectly configured.

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Cloud Security Threats for 2021
Or Azarzar, CTO & Co-Founder of Lightspin,  12/3/2020
Why Vulnerable Code Is Shipped Knowingly
Chris Eng, Chief Research Officer, Veracode,  11/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27772
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in coders/bmp.c. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned int`. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but could po...
CVE-2020-27773
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/gem-private.h. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned char` or division by zero. This would most likely lead to an impact to appli...
CVE-2020-28950
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
The installer of Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool (KART) prior to KART 4.0 Patch C was vulnerable to a DLL hijacking attack that allowed an attacker to elevate privileges during installation process.
CVE-2020-27774
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/statistic.c. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of a too large shift for 64-bit type `ssize_t`. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but co...
CVE-2020-27775
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/quantum.h. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type unsigned char. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but c...