Vulnerability Note VU#639507

Cisco PIX Firewall Manager stores enable password in plain text

Original Release date: 31 Oct 2001 | Last revised: 31 Oct 2001


A vulnerability exists in the way the Cisco Pix Firewall Manager stores authentication credentials which could allow local attackers to have read access to the enable password for the Cisco Pix Firewall.


The PIX Firewall Manager (PFM) is a software package designed to allow system administrators to remotely configure Cisco Pix Firewalls from a Windows NT workstation. When the PIX Firewall Manager (PFM) connects to a Cisco Pix Firewall, the Firewall Manager stores the 'enable' password (the password used to gain access to the firewall) in plaintext on the Windows NT workstation running the PFM software. Additionally, the password is stored in a location that is accessible to all users on the workstation. If the workstation is compromised, it's trivial to retrieve the password and gain access to the Pix Firewall.


An attacker can gain administrative access to a Cisco Pix Firewall. Once the attacker has obtained this access, he or she can do anything the legitimate firewall administrator could do. It is important to note that in order to exploit this vulnerability, an intruder must first obtain access to a local user account on the workstation where the PIX Firewall Manager (PFM) resides. This may be a difficult task, as the management station is most likely on the internal network. However, it is important to understand that intruders may exist on the inside of your network perimeter.


Use the PIX Device Manager instead of the PIX Firewall Manager (PFM). Additionally, make sure that you are running software version 6.0 or later on your Pix Firewall.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
CiscoAffected-31 Oct 2001
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A



Florencio Umel Jr. of Novacoast International Inc. has been publicly credited with discovering this vulnerability.

This document was written by Ian A. Finlay.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: Unknown
  • Date Public: 01 Oct 2001
  • Date First Published: 31 Oct 2001
  • Date Last Updated: 31 Oct 2001
  • Severity Metric: 6.28
  • Document Revision: 44


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