Cisco issues critical patches for Data Center Network Manager

According to multiple security advisories from Cisco, two critical patches were released for vulnerabilities in the Data Center Network Manager. Both vulnerabilities register as a 9.8 out of 10 on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) scale. In layman’s terms, this is about as serious as a security flaw can get. Here’s a closer look at both vulnerabilities.

The first critical vulnerability is (CVE-2019-1620), which has been dubbed the “Cisco Data Center Network Manager Arbitrary File Upload and Remote Code Execution Vulnerability.” Cisco explains the mechanics of the flaw, as well as what attackers can do with it, in the following advisory excerpt:

The vulnerability is due to incorrect permission settings in affected DCNM software. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by uploading specially crafted data to the affected device. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to write arbitrary files on the filesystem and execute code with root privileges on the affected device.

The second severe flaw is (CVE-2019-1619) which, yet again, is given a verbose name. Entitled the “Cisco Data Center Network Manager Authentication Bypass Vulnerability,” the critical vulnerability is explained as follows:

The vulnerability is due to improper session management on affected DCNM software. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a crafted HTTP request to the affected device. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to gain administrative access on the affected device.

One major point to note is that in the case of both vulnerabilities for the Data Center Network Manager, there are no workarounds that sysadmins can employ. The only way to end the possibility of a threat actor leveraging these flaws against your network is to patch. Especially now that the intricate details of the vulnerabilities are public knowledge, thanks to the security advisories, it is imperative to take care of this as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to be that person who is responsible for a security incident that was entirely preventable.

Featured image: Wikimedia/Lalantha123madushanka

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