cisco ios-xe CVE-2023-20198 is a vulnerability in Cisco IOS XE
Published on October 16, 2023

Cisco is providing an update for the ongoing investigation into observed exploitation of the web UI feature in Cisco IOS XE Software. We are updating the list of fixed releases and adding the Software Checker. Our investigation has determined that the actors exploited two previously unknown issues. The attacker first exploited CVE-2023-20198 to gain initial access and issued a privilege 15 command to create a local user and password combination. This allowed the user to log in with normal user access. The attacker then exploited another component of the web UI feature, leveraging the new local user to elevate privilege to root and write the implant to the file system. Cisco has assigned CVE-2023-20273 to this issue. CVE-2023-20198 has been assigned a CVSS Score of 10.0. CVE-2023-20273 has been assigned a CVSS Score of 7.2. Both of these CVEs are being tracked by CSCwh87343.

Vendor Advisory NVD

Known Exploited Vulnerability

This Cisco IOS XE Web UI Privilege Escalation Vulnerability is part of CISA's list of Known Exploited Vulnerabilities. Cisco IOS XE Web UI contains a privilege escalation vulnerability in the web user interface that could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to create an account with privilege level 15 access. The attacker can then use that account to gain control of the affected device.

The following remediation steps are recommended / required by October 20, 2023: Verify that instances of Cisco IOS XE Web UI are in compliance with BOD 23-02 and apply mitigations per vendor instructions. For affected products (Cisco IOS XE Web UI exposed to the internet or to untrusted networks), follow vendor instructions to d

Vulnerability Analysis

CVE-2023-20198 is exploitable with network access, and does not require authorization privileges or user interaction. This vulnerability is considered to have a low attack complexity. It has the highest possible exploitability rating (3.9). The potential impact of an exploit of this vulnerability is considered to be critical as this vulnerability has a high impact to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of this component.

Products Associated with CVE-2023-20198

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What versions of IOS XE are vulnerable to CVE-2023-20198?