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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Cisco Policy Suite Static SSH Keys Vulnerability
4 November 2021
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: Policy Suite
Publisher: Cisco Systems
Operating System: Cisco
Impact/Access: Root Compromise -- Remote/Unauthenticated
CVE Names: CVE-2021-40119
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Cisco Policy Suite Static SSH Keys Vulnerability
Advisory ID: cisco-sa-cps-static-key-JmS92hNv
First Published: 2021 November 3 16:00 GMT
Version 1.0: Final
Workarounds: No workarounds available
Cisco Bug IDs: CSCvw24544
CVE Names: CVE-2021-40119
o A vulnerability in the key-based SSH authentication mechanism of Cisco
Policy Suite could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to log in to
an affected system as the root user.
This vulnerability is due to the re-use of static SSH keys across
installations. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by extracting a
key from a system under their control. A successful exploit could allow the
attacker to log in to an affected system as the root user.
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:
o Vulnerable Products
This vulnerability affects Cisco Policy Suite.
For information about which Cisco software releases are vulnerable, see the
Fixed Software section of this advisory.
Products Confirmed Not Vulnerable
Only products listed in the Vulnerable Products section of this advisory
are known to be affected by this vulnerability.
o There are no workarounds that address this vulnerability.
o Cisco has released free software updates that address the vulnerability
described in this advisory. Customers with service contracts that entitle
them to regular software updates should obtain security fixes through their
usual update channels.
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.
The Cisco Support and Downloads page on Cisco.com provides information
about licensing and downloads. This page can also display customer device
support coverage for customers who use the My Devices tool.
When considering software upgrades , customers are advised to regularly
consult the advisories for Cisco products, which are available from the
Cisco Security Advisories page , to determine exposure and a complete
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
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: https://www.cisco.com/c
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
Customers are advised to take appropriate actions as indicated in the
Cisco Policy Suite Software Vulnerability Remediation action
Earlier than 20.2.0 Vulnerable Upgrade to 21.1.0.
20.2.0 Vulnerable Contact TAC to get a patch
21.1.0 Vulnerable Change the default SSH keys.
21.2.0 and later Not vulnerable See footnote ^1
1. Releases 21.2.0 and later will automatically create new SSH keys during
installation but not during an upgrade. If a device is upgraded from
21.1.0, the keys should still be changed by using the following procedure.
Change the Default SSH Keys
To generate new SSH keys and propagate them to all the machines in the
deployment, follow these steps:
To generate new keys, execute the following command on installer VM
Update keys on CPS VMs and installer VM (Cluster Manager):
This procedure is documented in CPS Migration and Upgrade Guide, Release
The Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) validates only
the affected and fixed release information that is documented in this
Exploitation and Public Announcements
o The Cisco PSIRT is not aware of any public announcements or malicious use
of the vulnerability that is described in this advisory.
o This vulnerability was found during internal security testing.
Cisco Security Vulnerability Policy
o To learn about Cisco security vulnerability disclosure policies and
publications, see the Security Vulnerability Policy . This document also
contains instructions for obtaining fixed software and receiving security
vulnerability information from Cisco.
| Version | Description | Section | Status | Date |
| 1.0 | Initial public release. | - | Final | 2021-NOV-03 |
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