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Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) IKEv1 and IKEv2 contains a buffer overflow vulnerability

Vulnerability Note VU#327976

Original Release Date: 2016-02-11 | Last Revised: 2016-02-16


Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Internet Key Exchange versions 1 and 2 (IKEv1 and IKEv2) contains a buffer overflow vulnerability that may be leveraged to gain remote code execution.


CWE-119: Improper Restriction of Operations within the Bound of a Memory Buffer - CVE-2016-1287

According to the advisory by Exodus Intelligence:

The algorithm for re-assembling IKE payloads fragmented with the Cisco fragmentation protocol contains a bounds-checking flaw that allows a heap buffer to be overflowed with attacker-controlled data. A sequence of payloads with carefully chosen parameters causes a buffer of insufficient size to be allocated in the heap which is then overflowed when fragment payloads are copied into the buffer. Attackers can use this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code on affected devices.

Systems that are configured to terminate IKEv1 and IKEv2 VPN connections are vulnerable to exploitation. The Cisco security advisory describes how to determine if a system is configured in a vulnerable manner by checking the running crypto maps.


By sending specially crafted UDP packets directly to affected devices, a remote, unauthenticated attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code and gain full control of affected systems.


Apply an update

Cisco has issued updates for several versions of ASA to address this vulnerability. Users are encouraged to update to the latest version.

Note that Cisco ASA versions 7.2, 8.2, 8.3, and 8.6 are affected but no longer supported by the vendor. Users of these versions should strongly consider migrating to a supported solution.

Detect and filter malicious packets

According to the advisory by Exodus Intelligence:

Looking for the value of the length field of a Fragment Payload (type 132) IKEv2 or IKEv1 packet allows detecting an exploitation attempt. Any length field with a value < 8 must be considered as an attempt to exploit the vulnerability. The detection also has to deal with the fact that the multiple payloads can be chained inside an IKEv2 packet, and that the Fragment Payload may not be the only/first payload of the packet.

Network administrators may consider implementing rules to detect or block attacks.

Vendor Information


Cisco Affected

Updated:  February 11, 2016



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor References


Cisco ASA versions 7.2, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.6, 8.7, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, and 9.5 are affected. Note that versions 7.2, 8.2, 8.3, and 8.6 are end of life and will not receive updates addressing this vulnerability.

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector
Base 10 AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C
Temporal 7.8 E:POC/RL:OF/RC:C
Environmental 5.9 CDP:ND/TD:M/CR:ND/IR:ND/AR:ND



Cisco credits David Barksdale, Jordan Gruskovnjak, and Alex Wheeler of Exodus Intelligence for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Joel Land.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2016-1287
Date Public: 2016-02-11
Date First Published: 2016-02-11
Date Last Updated: 2016-02-16 18:35 UTC
Document Revision: 15

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