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Cisco ACNS contains buffer overflow vulnerability in the authentication module when supplied an overly long password

Vulnerability Note VU#352462

Original Release Date: 2003-12-18 | Last Revised: 2003-12-23


Cisco Application and Content Networking Software (ACNS) contains a buffer overflow that may enable an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the affected device.


Cisco ACNS Software "...combines demand-pull caching and pre-positioning for accelerated delivery of web applications, objects, files, and streaming media; and runs on Cisco Content Engines, Content Distribution Manager, and Content Router hardware platforms." From

By entering an overly long password, it may be possible to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable device. This vulnerability affects all devices and hardware modules that are running ACNS software releases prior to 4.2.11 and 5.0.5.

According to the Cisco advisory the hardware models that supports ACNS are:

    • Content Routers 4400 series
    • Content Distribution Manager 4600 series
    • Content Engine 500 and 7300 series
    • Content Engine Module for Cisco Routers 2600, 3600 and 3700 series
This issue has been assigned Cisco bug IDs CSCeb25596 and CSCeb27087.


By supplying an overly long password, it is possible to trigger a buffer overflow in the authentication module. This may enable an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the affected device or cause denial of service.


Upgrade ACNS software as referenced in This vulnerability is fixed in 4.2.11 and 5.0.5 releases of ACNS.

Disable Content Engine GUI

The workaround is to disable the CE GUI server using the following command:

no gui-server enable

Vendor Information


Cisco Systems Inc. Affected

Updated:  December 18, 2003



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


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This vulnerability was reported by the Cisco Systems Product Security Incident Response Team.

This document was written by Robert C Seacord.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2003-0982
Severity Metric: 12.96
Date Public: 2003-12-10
Date First Published: 2003-12-18
Date Last Updated: 2003-12-23 15:05 UTC
Document Revision: 20

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