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2016-07 Security Bulletin: SRX Series: Upgrades using 'partition' option may allow unauthenticated root login (CVE-2016-1278)

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Categories:
Security Advisories ID: JSA10753
Last Updated: 09 Jan 2017
Version: 3.0

Product Affected:
This issue can affect any SRX Series devices upgraded using the 'partition' option.

Problem:
Using the 'request system software' command with the 'partition' option on an SRX Series device upgrading from Junos OS releases prior to 12.1X46-D65 can leave the system in a state where root CLI login is allowed without a password due to the system reverting to a "safe mode" authentication triggered by the failed upgrade. Additionally, valid authentication credentials fail to work due to the same issue.  Only root with no password will work.

This issue can affect SRX Series devices upgraded from Junos OS releases prior to those listed as Resolved below. No other platform or version of Junos OS is affected by this vulnerability, and no other Juniper Networks products or platforms are affected by this issue.

Note: The issue exists with the 'partition' option of 'request system software' executed on the release from which the upgrade is being performed.  Upgrading from an affected release to a fixed release will not resolve this issue.

Juniper SIRT is not aware of any malicious exploitation of this vulnerability.

This issue has been assigned CVE-2016-1278.

Solution:
The following software releases have been updated to resolve this specific upgrade issue: Junos OS 12.1X46-D65 and all subsequent releases.  Upgrading from these releases will no longer exhibit the vulnerability.  However, simply upgrading to a fixed release will not recover authenticated login credentials.

This issue is being tracked as PRs 1118748, 1153914, 1206115, and 1223443 which are visible on the Customer Support website.

KB16765 - "In which releases are vulnerabilities fixed?" describes which release vulnerabilities are fixed as per our End of Engineering and End of Life support policies.

Workaround:
Avoid using the 'partition' option when upgrading an SRX Series device to Junos OS 12.1X46 prior to 12.1X46-D65.

Note that the symptoms are immediately obvious after an affected upgrade and may be remediated by rebooting the device post-upgrade.

Implementation:
How to obtain fixed software:

Security vulnerabilities in Junos are fixed in the next available Maintenance Release of each supported Junos version. In some cases, a Maintenance Release is not planned to be available in an appropriate time-frame. For these cases, Service Releases are made available in order to be more timely. Security Advisory and Security Notices will indicate which Maintenance and Service Releases contain fixes for the issues described. Upon request to JTAC, customers will be provided download instructions for a Service Release. Although Juniper does not provide formal Release Note documentation for a Service Release, a list of "PRs fixed" can be provided on request.

Modification History:

2016-07-13: Initial publication
2016-08-17: Clarified that the issue affects the from release, and cannot be resolved by simply upgrading to a fixed release.
2017-01-09: Updated fixed release from 12.1X46-D50 to 12.1X46-D65 which contains a more complete solution.

Related Links:

CVSS Score:
7.8 (CVSS:3.0/AV:L/AC:L/PR:N/UI:R/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H)

Risk Level:
High

Risk Assessment:
Information for how Juniper Networks uses CVSS can be found at KB 16446 "Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) and Juniper's Security Advisories."

 
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