Author: Melodie Foster

Date: 18th November 2020


Sensitive information can be accessed by remote, unauthenticated attackers due to a critical path-traversal flaw in Cisco’s Security Manager. A proof-of-concept exploit code was published for the critical flaw which led to Cisco hurrying out a patch released the next day.

Cisco Security Manager is a security management application for enterprise administrators which lets them control different security policies, troubleshoot security issues and manage a range of devices. Therefore, for the application to have a vulnerability that could potentially allow remote, unauthenticated attacker to access sensitive data, it has been rated critical. It is been given a CVSS score of 9.1 out of 10.

Cisco said about the flaw, “An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a crafted request to the affected device. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to download arbitrary files from the affected device.”

The vulnerability is due to the improper validation of directory traversal character sequences within requests to an affected device according to Cisco. If an attacker manipulates variables references files with “../” sequences it is possible to access arbitrary files and directories stored on the files system including application source code or critical systems files[1].



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