Cisco IOS Software contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a targeted device.
The vulnerability is due to errors in the Smart Install feature. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code on the device, possibly resulting in complete compromise.
Cisco confirmed the vulnerability in a security advisory and released updated software.
Indicators of Compromise
Cisco has published a list of affected Cisco IOS Software releases in the security advisory. The Vendor Announcements section of this alert contains a link to the advisory.
The vulnerability is due to errors in the Smart Install feature of Cisco Catalyst Switches that use Cisco IOS Software. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability through unspecified means to execute arbitrary code on the system with elevated privileges.
Only Cisco Catalyst Switches that use the Smart Install feature are vulnerable to exploitation.
Cisco indicates through the CVSS score that functional exploit code exists; however, the code is not known to be publicly available.
Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.
Administrators may consider using IP-based access control lists (ACLs) to allow only trusted systems to access the affected systems.
Administrators may consider disabling the Smart Install feature.
Administrators are advised to monitor affected systems.
The Cisco Applied Intelligence team has created the following companion document to guide administrators in identifying and mitigating attempts to exploit this vulnerability prior to applying updated software: cisco-amb-20110928-smart-install
Cisco customers with active contracts can obtain updates through the Software Center at the following link: Cisco. Cisco customers without contracts can obtain upgrades by contacting the Cisco Technical Assistance Center at 1-800-553-2447 or 1-408-526-7209 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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Cisco Multivendor Vulnerability Alerts respond to vulnerabilities identified in third-party vendors' products. These alerts contain information compiled from diverse sources and provide comprehensive technical descriptions, objective analytical assessments, workarounds and practical safeguards, and links to vendor advisories and patches.