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Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch Web Interface Weak Session ID

During a penetration test, RedTeam Pentesting discovered a vulnerability in the management web interface of an Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 6450. This interface uses easily guessable session IDs, which allows attackers to authenticate as a currently logged-in user and perform administrative tasks.


  • Product: Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 6450, 6250, 6850E, 9000E, 6400, 6855
  • Affected Versions:
    • AOS 6.4.5.R02
    • AOS 6.4.6.R01
    • AOS 6.6.4.R01
    • AOS 6.6.5.R02
    • Fixed Versions:
    • AOS
    • AOS
  • Vulnerability Type: Session Management - low identifier entropy
  • Security Risk: high
  • Vendor URL:
  • Vendor Status: fixed version released
  • Advisory URL:
  • Advisory Status: published
  • CVE: CVE-2015-2804
  • CVE URL:


“The Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 6450 Gigabit and Fast Ethernet Stackable LAN Switches are the latest value stackable switches in the OmniSwitch family of products. The OmniSwitch 6450 was specifically built for versatility offering optional upgrade paths for 10 Gigabit stacking, 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks, from Fast to Gigabit user ports (L models) and Metro Ethernet services.”

(from the vendor’s homepage)

More Details

The management web interface of the OmniSwitch 6450 can be accessed using a web browser via HTTP. A switch with the example IP is accessible via the following URL:

A client is then redirected to the following URL:

For unauthenticated users the URL displays a login form and sets a session cookie with a session ID. A request to the URL with the command line HTTP client cURL shows the Set-Cookie header:

$ curl -I
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 08:25:42 GMT
Server: Agranat-EmWeb/R5_2_4
Set-Cookie: session=sess_11012;PATH=/

The session cookie has the name “session” and its value begins with the string “sess”. By repeatedly requesting the URL with cURL it became obvious that the suffix is always a number between 1 and 32,000. This suggests that there are only about 32,000 possible session IDs, resulting in only 15 bits of entropy. Our tests showed that it was possible to get a throughput of about 50 HTTP requests per second, this means that in order to try every possible session ID an attacker will need at most 11 minutes. On average, the time it takes to find a valid session ID for an active user is even lower.

Proof of Concept

For an attacker it is very easy to distinguish between a valid and an invalid session ID by looking at the HTTP response size. During our tests, requesting an invalid session ID always returned the login form, which was 3027 bytes in length. With a valid session ID, the management web interface is returned by the webserver and the response is larger.

A number of requests in the range of the possible session cookies can be easily executed using wfuzz (

./ -z range,1-32000 --hl 3027 -H "Cookie: session=sess_FUZZ"


Administrators should avoid using the management web interface and use the serial console or administrate the switch over SSH instead. The web interface can be disabled by executing the following commands:

  • no ip service http
  • no ip service secure-http

If the web interface is needed, it must be ensured that only authorised persons are able to even connect to the web server. In addition, the HTTP session timeout can be lowered to one minute with the following command:

  • session timeout http 1


Upgrade the firmware to a fixed version.

Security Risk

The vulnerability poses a high risk. An attacker can easily authenticate to a switch with the privileges of another user who is currently logged in. The attack is simple and fast. The only precondition is that a user is already using the switch during the attack. Attackers might actively trick administrators into logging in by social engineering.


  • 2015-03-16 Vulnerability identified
  • 2015-03-25 Customer approves disclosure to vendor
  • 2015-03-26 CVE number requested
  • 2015-03-31 CVE number assigned
  • 2015-04-01 Vendor notified
  • 2015-04-02 Vendor acknowledged receipt of advisories
  • 2015-04-08 Requested status update from vendor, vendor is investigating
  • 2015-04-29 Requested status update from vendor, vendor is still investigating
  • 2015-05-22 Requested status update from vendor
  • 2015-05-27 Vendor is working on the issue
  • 2015-06-05 Vendor notified customers
  • 2015-06-08 Vendor provided details about affected versions
  • 2015-06-10 Advisory released

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