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Cisco Security Advisory

Default Credentials for Root Account on Tandberg E, EX and C Series Endpoints

Advisory ID: cisco-sa-20110202-tandberg

Revision 1.0

For Public Release 2011 February 2 16:00  UTC (GMT)


Tandberg C Series Endpoints and E/EX Personal Video units that are running software versions prior to TC4.0.0 ship with a root administrator account that is enabled by default with no password. An attacker could use this account in order to modify the application configuration or operating system settings.

Resolving this default password issue does not require a software upgrade and can be changed or disabled by a configuration command for all affected customers. The workaround detailed in this document demonstrates how to disable the root account or change the password.

This advisory is posted at

Affected Products

Vulnerable Products

This vulnerability affects Tandberg C Series Endpoints and E/EX Personal Video units, including software that is running on the C20, C40, C60, C90, E20, EX60, and EX90 codecs. The software version of the Tandberg unit can be determined by logging into the web-based user interface (UI) or using the "xStatus SystemUnit" command.

Users can determine the Tandberg software version by entering the IP address of the codec in a web browser, authenticating (if the device is configured for authentication), and then selecting the "system info" menu option. The version number is displayed after the "Software Version" label in the System Info box.

Alternatively the software version can be determined from the device's application programmer interface using the "xStatus SystemUnit" command. The software version running on the codec is displayed after the "SystemUnit Software Version" label. The output from "xStatus SystemUnit" will display a result similar to the following:

xStatus SystemUnit
*s SystemUnit ProductType: "Cisco TelePresence Codec"
*s SystemUnit ProductId: "Cisco TelePresence Codec C90"
*s SystemUnit ProductPlatform: "C90"
*s SystemUnit Uptime: 597095
*s SystemUnit Software Application: "Endpoint"
*s SystemUnit Software Version: "TC4.0"
*s SystemUnit Software Name: "s52000"
*s SystemUnit Software ReleaseDate: "2010-11-01"
*s SystemUnit Software MaxVideoCalls: 3
*s SystemUnit Software MaxAudioCalls: 4
*s SystemUnit Software ReleaseKey: "true"
*s SystemUnit Software OptionKeys NaturalPresenter: "true"
*s SystemUnit Software OptionKeys MultiSite: "true"
*s SystemUnit Software OptionKeys PremiumResolution: "true"
*s SystemUnit Hardware Module SerialNumber: "B1AD25A00003"
*s SystemUnit Hardware Module Identifier: "0"
*s SystemUnit Hardware MainBoard SerialNumber: "PH0497201"
*s SystemUnit Hardware MainBoard Identifier: "101401-3 [04]"
*s SystemUnit Hardware VideoBoard SerialNumber: "PH0497874"
*s SystemUnit Hardware VideoBoard Identifier: "101560-1 [02]"
*s SystemUnit Hardware AudioBoard SerialNumber: "N/A"
*s SystemUnit Hardware AudioBoard Identifier: ""
*s SystemUnit Hardware BootSoftware: "U-Boot 2009.03-65"
*s SystemUnit State System: Initialized
*s SystemUnit State MaxNumberOfCalls: 3
*s SystemUnit State MaxNumberOfActiveCalls: 3
*s SystemUnit State NumberOfActiveCalls: 1
*s SystemUnit State NumberOfSuspendedCalls: 0
*s SystemUnit State NumberOfInProgressCalls: 0
*s SystemUnit State Subsystem Application: Initialized
*s SystemUnit ContactInfo: ""
** end

Products Confirmed Not Vulnerable

No other Cisco products are currently known to be affected by these vulnerabilities.


Tandberg devices are part of the Cisco TelePresence Systems that provide Cisco TelePresence endpoints for immersive environments, conference rooms, individual desktops and home offices. The C Series Endpoints are typically deployed as Multipurpose Room Systems and the E/EX Personal Video units are desktop devices.

These devices contain a root user that is enabled for advanced debugging that is unnecessary during normal operations. The root account is not the same as the admin and user accounts. The root user is enabled by default in software versions prior to TC 4.0.0. The default configuration prior to TC 4.0.0 does not set a password for the root user.

When a device is upgraded to TC 4.0.0, the root user is disabled. System software for Tandberg C Series Endpoints and E/EX Personal Video units is available for download at: For instructions on how to set a root password or disable the root user on other software versions, see the workaround section of this advisory.

This vulnerability has been assigned the CVE ID CVE-2011-0354.

Vulnerability Scoring Details

Cisco has provided scores for the vulnerabilities in this advisory based on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). The CVSS scoring in this Security Advisory is done in accordance with CVSS version 2.0.

CVSS is a standards-based scoring method that conveys vulnerability severity and helps determine urgency and priority of response.

Cisco has provided a base and temporal score. Customers can then compute environmental scores to assist in determining the impact of the vulnerability in individual networks.

Cisco has provided an FAQ to answer additional questions regarding CVSS at .

Cisco has also provided a CVSS calculator to help compute the environmental impact for individual networks at .

Root account enabled by default with no password

Calculate the environmental score of this bug

CVSS Base Score - 10

Access Vector

Access Complexity


Confidentiality Impact

Integrity Impact

Availability Impact







CVSS Temporal Score - 8.3


Remediation Level

Report Confidence





Successful exploitation of the vulnerability may allow an unauthorized user to modify the application configuration and the operating system settings or gain complete administrative control of the device.

Software Versions and Fixes

When considering software upgrades, also consult and any subsequent advisories to determine exposure and a complete upgrade solution.

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 assistance.


The root user is disabled in the default configuration starting in the TC4.0.0 software version. To disable the root account, an administrator should log in to the applications programmer interface and use the command "systemtools rootsettings off" to temporarily disable the account, or the command "systemtools rootsettings never" to permanently disable the root user.

The root user is enabled for advanced debugging. If the root user is needed, the password should be configured when the account is enabled. This can be done through the command "systemtools rootsettings on [password]".

Devices running software version TC 4.0.0 or later

The root user is disabled in the default configuration starting in the TC4.0.0 software version. To disable the root account, an administrator should log in to the applications programmer interface and use the command "systemtools rootsettings off" to temporarily disable the account, or the command "systemtools rootsettings never" to permanently disable the root user.

The root user is enabled for advanced debugging. If the root user is needed, the password should be configured when the account is enabled. This can be done through the command "systemtools rootsettings on [password]".

The default configuration of devices running TC4.0.0 does not contain a password for the administrator account. The password for the administrator account should be set with the command "xCommand SystemUnit AdminPassword Set Password: [password].

Devices running software versions prior to TC 4.0.0

The root user cannot be disabled on devices running software versions prior to TC4.0.0. The password for the root account is the same as the administrator password. The administrator password is set with the command "xCommand SystemUnit AdminPassword Set Password: [password]".

Obtaining Fixed Software

Cisco has released software updates that address these vulnerabilities. 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 Downloads at .

Do not contact or for software upgrades.

Customers with Service Contracts

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 Using Third-Party Support Organizations

Customers whose Cisco products are provided or maintained through prior or existing agreements 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 Without Service Contracts

Customers who purchase direct from Cisco but do not hold a Cisco service contract, and customers who purchase through third-party vendors but are unsuccessful in obtaining fixed software through their point of sale should obtain software patches and bug fixes 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)
  • e-mail:

Customers should have the product serial number available and be prepared to provide the URL of this notice as evidence of entitlement to a software patch or bug fix. Customers without service contracts should request a software patch or bug fix through the TAC.

Refer to for additional TAC contact information, including localized telephone numbers, and instructions and e-mail addresses for use in various languages.

Exploitation and Public Announcements

This vulnerability has been discussed in the article "Hacking and Securing the Tandberg C20" published in Volume 27, Number 3 of the 2600 Magazine.

Status of This Notice: Final


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 is 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.


Future updates of this advisory, if any, will be placed on Cisco's worldwide website, but may or may not be actively announced on mailing lists or newsgroups. Users concerned about this problem are encouraged to check the above URL for any updates.

Revision History

Revision 1.0


Initial public release.

Cisco Security Procedures

Complete information on reporting security vulnerabilities in Cisco products, obtaining assistance with security incidents, and registering to receive security information from Cisco, is available on Cisco's worldwide website at This includes instructions for press inquiries regarding Cisco security notices. All Cisco security advisories are available at

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