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CERT Coordination Center

Cisco Catalyst switches allow access to "enable mode" without password

Vulnerability Note VU#443257

Original Release Date: 2003-05-05 | Last Revised: 2004-02-23


Cisco Catalyst OS 7.5(1) contains a vulnerability that allows anyone who can obtain command line access to gain "enable" mode access without knowledge of the "enable" password.


Cisco Catalyst OS is an operating system for Cisco's line of Catalyst switches. Version 7.5(1) of Catalyst OS contains a vulnerability that could allow an intruder with command line access to gain access to "enable" mode. Enable mode provides access to administrative functions of the switch. The problem affects "all users of Cisco Catalyst 4000, 6000, and 6500 with the Catalyst OS software version 7.5(1) only," according to the Cisco Advisory. This vulnerability does not affect Catalyst hardware running any version of IOS. Furthermore, this vulnerability is distinct from a similar vulnerability described in a previous Cisco advisory.


An intruder who can gain access to the command line can gain access to functions protected by "enable" mode without knowledge of the "enable" password.


Apply a patch as described in the Cisco Advisory.

Vendor Information


Cisco Systems Inc. Affected

Notified:  April 24, 2003 Updated: May 05, 2003



Vendor Statement


Vendor Information

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


The CERT/CC has no additional comments at this time.

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

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Thanks to Don Strickler of San Francisco State University for reporting this vulnerability to us. Cisco has credited Marco P. Rodrigues for reporting the vulnerability.

This document was written by Shawn V Hernan.

Other Information

CVE IDs: None
Severity Metric: 17.81
Date Public: 2003-04-24
Date First Published: 2003-05-05
Date Last Updated: 2004-02-23 22:35 UTC
Document Revision: 6

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