Cisco Secure Boot Hardware Tampering Vulnerability

A vulnerability in the logic that handles access control to one of the hardware components in Cisco’s proprietary Secure Boot implementation could allow an authenticated, local attacker to write a modified firmware image to the component. This vulnerability affects multiple Cisco products that support hardware-based Secure Boot functionality.

The vulnerability is due to an improper check on the area of code that manages on-premise updates to a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) part of the Secure Boot hardware implementation. An attacker with elevated privileges and access to the underlying operating system that is running on the affected device could exploit this vulnerability by writing a modified firmware image to the FPGA. A successful exploit could either cause the device to become unusable (and require a hardware replacement) or allow tampering with the Secure Boot verification process, which under some circumstances may allow the attacker to install and boot a malicious software image.

This advisory will be updated as additional information becomes available.

Cisco will release software updates that address this vulnerability. There are no workarounds that address this vulnerability.

This advisory is available at the following link:
https://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20190513-secureboot

Security Impact Rating: High

CVE: CVE-2019-1649

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