Advisory ID: cisco-sa-20020410-solaris-bin-login
For Public Release 2002 April 10 16:00 UTC (GMT)
This advisory describes a vulnerability that affects Cisco products and
applications that are installed on the Solaris operating system, and is based
on the vulnerability of an common service within the Solaris operating system,
not due to a defect of the Cisco product or application. A vulnerability in the
"/bin/login" program was discovered that enables an attacker to execute
arbitrary code under Solaris OS. This vulnerability was discovered and publicly
announced by Internet Security Systems Inc. All Cisco products and applications
that are installed on Solaris OS are considered vulnerable to the underlying
operating system vulnerability, unless steps have been taken to disable access
services such as "bin/login."
We are investigating other Solaris-based products.
This vulnerability can be mitigated in many cases (not all), by
limiting interactive logins to trusted hosts using access control list (ACL) or
other mechanisms such as firewalls.
This advisory is available at the
This section provides details on affected products.
All products and all releases that are running on top of Solaris OS are
vulnerable because the vulnerability is within Solaris and not within the other
The following products are affected:
Media Gateway Controller (MGC) and Related
Products running on Solaris 2.5.1 are vulnerable unless CSCOh008.pkg
release 1.0(8) has been installed. The product that is based on this version of
Solaris is Signaling Controller 2200 (SC2200).
Products running on Solaris 2.6 are vulnerable unless CSCOh007.pkg
release 1.0(7) has been installed. The products that are based on this version
of Solaris are:
- Cisco Virtual Switch Controller (VSC3000)
- Cisco PGW2200 Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) Gateway
- Cisco Billing and Management Server (BAMS)
- Cisco Voice Services Provisioning Tool (VSPT)
All releases of Cisco Secure Intrusion Detection System (IDS,
formerly Netranger) up to, but excluding, 3.0(5)Sx, where "5" is the Service
Pack and not the Signature Update field.
Other Cisco software applications may run on Solaris platforms and
where those products have not specifically been identified, customers should
install security patches regularly in accordance with their normal maintenance
We are investigating other Solaris-based products.
PGW2200 release 9.2(2) running on Solaris 2.8 is not affected. The
installation CD set contains the package CSCOh015, version 2.0.1, that includes
the patch for this issue.
No other Cisco products are currently known to be affected by these
All implementations of the "login" program (also known as "/bin/login"
due to its location on the file system) derived from the SysV implementation
are vulnerable to a buffer overflow. This vulnerability can be exploited to
gain unauthorized access to a computer system without possessing legitimate
credentials. The only prerequisite for exploiting this vulnerability is to have
Telnet or other remote login access to the computer because there are multiple
ways to access a computer remotely. Telnet, rlogin, rsh, SSH, and X term are
the most commonly known methods. This vulnerability can be exploited locally
By gaining unauthorized access an attacker can view and modify any part
of the operating system possibly leading to a breach of confidentiality and
integrity of the system.
When considering software upgrades, also consult
and any subsequent advisories to determine exposure and a complete upgrade
In all cases, customers should exercise caution to be certain the
devices to be upgraded contain sufficient memory and that current hardware and
software configurations will continue to be supported properly by the new
release. If the information is not clear, contact the Cisco Technical
Assistance Center ("TAC") or your contracted maintenance provider for
MGC and Related Products
For the SC2200, the package CSCOh008.pkg release 1.0(8) contains the
fix. The installation instruction is included within the package.
For the products based on Solaris 2.6, the package CSCOh007.pkg
release 1.0(7), or higher, contains the fix. The installation instruction is
included within the package. This is applicable to the following products:
- PGW2200 PSTN Gateway
Both packages are available at
For all MGC and related products, you may also consult "Cisco Security
Advisory: Hardening of Solaris OS for MGC" located at
For IDS, release 3.0(5) is the first fixed release. The fixed software
can be downloaded from
Cisco has made free software available to address this vulnerability
for affected customers. Prior to deploying software, customers should consult
their maintenance provider or check the software for feature set compatibility
and known issues specific to their environment.
Customers may only install and expect support for the feature sets they
have purchased. By installing, downloading, accessing or otherwise using such
software upgrades, customers agree to be bound by the terms of Cisco's software
license terms found at
or as otherwise set forth at Cisco.com Downloads at
Do not contact either "email@example.com" or "firstname.lastname@example.org"
for software upgrades.
Customers with contracts should obtain upgraded software through their
regular update channels. For most customers, this means that upgrades should be
obtained through the Software Center on Cisco's worldwide website at
Customers whose Cisco products are provided or maintained through prior
or existing agreement with third-party support organizations such as Cisco
Partners, authorized resellers, or service providers should contact that
support organization for guidance and assistance with the appropriate course of
action in regards to this advisory.
The effectiveness of any workaround or fix is dependent on specific
customer situations such as product mix, network topology, traffic behavior,
and organizational mission. Due to the variety of affected products and
releases, customers should consult with their service provider or support
organization to ensure any applied workaround or fix is the most appropriate
for use in the intended network before it is deployed.
Customers who purchase direct 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 get
their upgrades by contacting the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC). 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)
Have your product serial number available and give the URL of this
notice as evidence of your entitlement to a free upgrade. Free upgrades for
non-contract customers must be requested through the TAC.
for additional TAC contact information, including special localized telephone
numbers and instructions and e-mail addresses for use in various
This vulnerability has been discovered by ISS Inc. and has been
disclosed publicly. The advisories are published at:
The Cisco PSIRT is not aware of any public announcements or malicious
use of the vulnerabilities described in this advisory.
THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS AND DOES NOT IMPLY ANY KIND OF GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY, INCLUDING THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR USE. YOUR USE OF THE INFORMATION ON THE DOCUMENT OR MATERIALS LINKED FROM THE DOCUMENT IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. CISCO RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE OR UPDATE THIS DOCUMENT AT ANY TIME. CISCO EXPECTS TO UPDATE THIS DOCUMENT AS NEW INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.
A stand-alone copy or Paraphrase of the text of this document that omits the distribution URL in the following section is an uncontrolled copy, and may lack important information or contain factual errors.
This advisory will be posted on Cisco's worldwide website 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@example.com (includes CERT/CC)
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.
Initial public release