Cisco Security Advisory: Cisco IOS XR Software Border Gateway Protocol Vulnerabilities

Official document on Cisco Security Advisory website

Summary

Cisco IOS XR Software contains multiple vulnerabilities in the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) feature. These vulnerabilities include:

Cisco IOS XR Software will reset a BGP peering session when receiving a specific invalid BGP update.

The vulnerability manifests when a BGP peer announces a prefix with a specific invalid attribute. On receipt of this prefix, the Cisco IOS XR device will restart the peering session by sending a notification. The peering session will flap until the sender stops sending the invalid/corrupt update. This vulnerability was disclosed in revision 1.0 of this advisory.

Cisco IOS XR BGP process will crash when sending a long length BGP update message.

When Cisco IOS XR sends a long length BGP update message, the BGP process may crash. The number of AS numbers required to exceed the total/maximum length of update message and cause the crash are well above normal limits seen within production environments.

Cisco IOS XR BGP process will crash when constructing a BGP update with a large number of AS prepends.

If the Cisco IOS XR BGP process is configured to prepend a very large number of Autonomous System (AS) Numbers to the AS path, the BGP process will crash. The number of AS numbers required to be prepended and cause the crash are well above normal limits seen within production environments.All three vulnerabilities are different vulnerabilities from what was disclosed in the Cisco Security Advisory “Cisco IOS Software Border Gateway Protocol 4-Byte Autonomous System Number Vulnerabilities” on the 2009 July 29 1600 UTC.

Affected Products

The “Cisco IOS XR Software will reset a BGP peering session when receiving a specific invalid BGP update” vulnerability affects all Cisco IOS XR Software devices after and including software release 3.4.0 configured with BGP routing.

The other two vulnerabilities affect all Cisco IOS XR Software devices configured with BGP routing.

Workarounds

Cisco IOS XR Software will reset a BGP peering session when receiving a specific invalid BGP update.
There are no workarounds on the affected device itself. Co-ordination is required with the peering neighbor support staff to filter the invalid update on their outbound path. The following procedure explains how to help mitigate this vulnerability:

Using the peer IP address in the log message that was generated when the Cisco IOS XR Software device received the invalid update; capture the notification message hex dump from the CLI command show bgp neighbor and contact the Cisco TAC, who can assist with a decode. Details on how to contact Cisco TAC are contained within the “Obtaining Fixed Software” section of this advisory.

For illustrative purposes, the following example shows a log message generated by an affected device when it receives an invalid/corrupt update message:

RP/0/RP0/CPU0:Aug 17 13:47:05.896 GMT: bgp[122]: %ROUTING-BGP-5-ADJCHANGE : neighbor 192.168.0.1 Down - BGP Notification sent: invalid or corrupt AS path

These details can be captured and provided to Cisco TAC to decode the update message. show bgp neighbors [ip address of neighbor from above log message]:

RP/0/RP0/CPU0:CRS#show bgp neighbors 192.168.0.1        

<capture output and provide to Cisco TAC>

Working with Cisco TAC, the decode of the above will display the AS path in a manner illustrated below.

ATTRIBUTE NAME:  AS_PATH

 AS_PATH: Type 2 is AS_SEQUENCE
 AS_PATH: Segment Length is 4 (0x04) segments long
 AS_PATH: 65533  65532 65531 65531

Working cooperatively with your peering partner, request that they filter outbound prefix advertisements from the identified source AS (in this example 65531) for your peering session. The filters configuration methods will vary depending on the routing device operating system used. For Cisco IOS XR Software the filters will be applied using Routing Policy Language (RPL) policies or with Cisco IOS Software via applying route-maps that deny advertisements matching that AS in their AS-PATH. Once these policies are applied, the peering session will be re-established.

For further information on Cisco IOS XR RPL consult the document “Implementing Routing Policy on Cisco IOS XR Software” at the following link: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/ios_xr_sw/iosxr_r3.0/routing/configuration/guide/rc3rpl.html#wp1118699.

For further information on Cisco IOS route maps with BGP, consult the document “Cisco IOS BGP Configuration Guide, Release 12.4T” at the following link: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/ios/12_2sr/12_2srb/feature/guide/tbgp_c.html.

Cisco IOS XR BGP process will crash when sending a long length BGP update message
While the long length BGP update message can be caused by any number of attributes, then most common would be the AS Path. Limiting the number of AS numbers in the AS Path Attribute should mitigate this vulnerability. The following shows an example of filtering on AS paths within Cisco IOS XR Software:

route-policy maxas-limit
# Check number of AS Numbers in AS Path attribute.
# If greater than 100 drop the update.
# If less than 100 pass the update.
  if as-path length ge 100 then
        drop
  else
        pass
  endif
end-policy

router bgp 65533
 neighbor 192.168.0.1
  remote-as 65534
   address-family ipv4 unicast
     policy maxas-limit in
     policy maxas-limit out

For further information on Cisco IOS XR RPL consult the document “Implementing Routing Policy on Cisco IOS XR Software” at the following link: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/ios_xr_sw/iosxr_r3.0/routing/configuration/guide/rc3rpl.html#wp1118699.

Cisco IOS XR BGP process will crash when constructing a BGP update with a large number of AS prepends
There is no workaround for this vulnerability, other than reducing the number of AS path prepends configured within Cisco IOS XR.

I must admit that after reading the document above, a big question sign appeared in my head about the BGP functionality on IOS XR and if we can rely on this in a working environment. I’m sure that Cisco will mitigate this issues as the currently workarounds are just a temporary solution.

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