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Cisco Elastic Services Controller REST API Authentication Bypass Vulnerability

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Advisory ID:
First Published:
2019 May 7 16:00 GMT
Version 1.0:
No workarounds available
Cisco Bug IDs:
CVSS Score:



  • A vulnerability in the REST API of Cisco Elastic Services Controller (ESC) could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to bypass authentication on the REST API.

    The vulnerability is due to improper validation of API requests. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a crafted request to the REST API. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary actions through the REST API with administrative privileges on an affected system.

    Cisco has released software updates that address this vulnerability. There are no workarounds that address this vulnerability.

    This advisory is available at the following link:


Affected Products
  • Vulnerable Products

    This vulnerability affects Cisco Elastic Services Controller running Software Release 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, or 4.4 when the REST API is enabled. The REST API is not enabled by default.

    Determining Whether the REST API Is Enabled

    To determine whether the REST API is enabled on the ESC virtual machine, administrators can use sudo netstat -tlnup | grep '8443|8080' and refer to the output of the command. The following example shows the output of the command for a machine that has the REST API service enabled on port 8443.

    ~/# sudo netstat -tlnup | grep '8443|8080'
    tcp6  0  0 :::8443        :::*  LISTEN 2557/java   

    Products Confirmed Not Vulnerable

    Only products listed in the Vulnerable Products section of this advisory are known to be affected by this vulnerability.

  • There are no workarounds that address this vulnerability.


Fixed Software
  • Cisco has released free software updates that address the vulnerability described in this advisory. Customers may only install and expect support for software versions and feature sets for which they have purchased a license. By installing, downloading, accessing, or otherwise using such software upgrades, customers agree to follow the terms of the Cisco software license:

    Additionally, customers may only download software for which they have a valid license, procured from Cisco directly, or through a Cisco authorized reseller or partner. In most cases this will be a maintenance upgrade to software that was previously purchased. Free security software updates do not entitle customers to a new software license, additional software feature sets, or major revision upgrades.

    When considering software upgrades, customers are advised to regularly consult the advisories for Cisco products, which are available from the Cisco Security Advisories and Alerts page, to determine exposure and a complete upgrade solution.

    In all cases, customers should ensure that the devices to be upgraded contain sufficient memory and confirm that current hardware and software configurations will continue to be supported properly by the new release. If the information is not clear, customers are advised to contact the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) or their contracted maintenance providers.

    Customers Without Service Contracts

    Customers who purchase directly from Cisco but do not hold a Cisco service contract and customers who make purchases through third-party vendors but are unsuccessful in obtaining fixed software through their point of sale should obtain upgrades by contacting the Cisco TAC:

    Customers should have the product serial number available and be prepared to provide the URL of this advisory as evidence of entitlement to a free upgrade.

    Fixed Releases

    This vulnerability is fixed in Cisco Elastic Services Controller Release 4.5.

    Customers are advised to apply the patch specifically created to address this vulnerability for the release that they are running. This patch is available for the following software releases:


  • Cisco Elastic Services Controller Major Release Software Releases with Available Patch
    Prior to 4.1 Not vulnerable
    4.5 Not vulnerable


Exploitation and Public Announcements
  • The Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) is not aware of any public announcements or malicious use of the vulnerability that is described in this advisory.


  • This vulnerability was found during internal security testing.




Revision History
  • Version Description Section Status Date
    1.0 Initial public release. Final 2019-May-07


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