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.
Florencio Umel Jr. of Novacoast International Inc. has been publicly credited with discovering this vulnerability.
This document was written by Ian A. Finlay.
|Date First Published:||2001-10-12|
|Date Last Updated:||2001-10-31 21:16 UTC|