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Cisco Secure Desktop Privilege Escalation Vulnerability

11.08.06

BACKGROUND

Cisco Secure Desktop allows secure VPN connections from remote PCs and offers functionality to ensure PCs meet administrator approved security policies as well as having features that securely wipe downloaded data after disconnect. More information is available on the vendors site at:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6742/prod_release_notes_list.html

DESCRIPTION

Local exploitation of an insecure permissions vulnerability in Cisco Systems Secure Desktop product could allow privilege escalation attacks to be conducted by local users.

When Cisco Secure Desktop Web VPN product is installed on a NTFS formatted drive, permissions are set on all files to grant full control to all users. Certain files run as a system service and can be easily replaced.

ANALYSIS

Exploiting this vulnerability allows unprivileged local users to gain system-level permissions to their local PCs. Exploitation is trivial and no exploit code is required. Binaries for locally running services can be renamed while they are running, making exploitation straight forward.

DETECTION

iDefense has confirmed this vulnerability exists on Cisco Secure Desktop version 3.1.1.27. Previous versions are suspected to be vulnerable.

WORKAROUND

Correcting the file permissions of the Secure Desktop installation directory would prevent exploitation.

VENDOR RESPONSE

Cisco has addressed this vulnerability within version 3.1.1.45 of the Cisco Secure Desktop Software. More information can be obtained from Cisco's advisory at:

http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/707/cisco-sa-20061108-csd.shtml

CVE INFORMATION

A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not been assigned yet.

DISCLOSURE TIMELINE

10/04/2006 Initial vendor notification
10/06/2006 Initial vendor response
11/08/2006 Coordinated public disclosure

CREDIT

This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by Titon of Bastard Labs.

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LEGAL NOTICES

Copyright © 2006 Verisign, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express written consent of iDefense. If you wish to reprint the whole or any part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please e-mail customer service for permission.

Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.