Urgent Patch Issued for Vulnerability in Cisco Unified Communications

Urgent Patch Issued for Vulnerability in Cisco Unified Communications

In a recent development, Cisco, a global leader in networking technology, has successfully addressed a critical vulnerability in its Unified Communications products. This flaw posed a significant threat, allowing remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected devices. Cisco Unified Communications customers are strongly advised to promptly apply the patches or implement mitigation strategies to reduce the risk associated with this high-severity vulnerability.

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Details of the Vulnerability

The critical vulnerability, identified as CVE-2024-20253, has received a severity rating of 9.9 out of 10 on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). This rating emphasizes the urgency and critical nature of the issue. The vulnerability stems from insecure processing of user-supplied data loaded into memory, creating a potential avenue for exploitation.

Exploitation Potential

The vulnerability could be exploited remotely by unauthenticated attackers. Specifically, by sending a carefully crafted message to one of the network communication ports opened on the device, attackers could execute arbitrary commands on the underlying operating system. This would grant them privileges associated with the web services user, potentially leading to the establishment of root access on the affected device.

Consequences of a Successful Exploit

In its advisory, Cisco outlined the potential consequences of a successful exploit. An attacker gaining access to the underlying operating system could execute arbitrary commands, posing a severe threat to the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the impacted device. With root access, the attacker could further escalate their privileges, potentially causing extensive damage and compromise.

Affected Products

Apart from the critical vulnerability in Unified Communications, Cisco has also addressed medium-severity vulnerabilities in its Small Business Series Switches and Cisco Unity Connection. These patches are essential for maintaining a robust security posture across Cisco’s product ecosystem.

Additional Vulnerabilities and Impacted Products

In addition to the critical vulnerability CVE-2024-20253 addressed by Cisco, it’s crucial to note that this security concern impacts multiple products in their default configurations. The affected products include Unified Communications Manager (Unified CM), Unified Communications Manager IM & Presence Service (Unified CM IM&P), Unified Communications Manager Session Management Edition (Unified CM SME), Unified Contact Centre Express (UCCX), Unity Connection, and Virtualized Voice Browser.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Vulnerability in Cisco Unity Connection

Cisco Unity Connection, part of the impacted products, has received attention for another vulnerability. Tracked as CVE-2024-20305, this flaw is categorized as a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in its web-based management interface. With a CVSS rating of 4.8, the vulnerability could be exploited by attackers to trick authenticated users into clicking on specially crafted links. Upon execution, arbitrary code is run in the context of the Unity Connection interface, potentially allowing unauthorized access and the extraction of sensitive information.

Cisco Business 250 and 350 Series Switches

Furthermore, Cisco has addressed a vulnerability (CVE-2024-20263) in its Business 250 Series Smart Switches and Business 350 Series Managed Switches. While rated with medium severity, this vulnerability allows unauthenticated remote attackers to bypass access control lists in a stacked switch configuration. It’s important to note that the conditions for exploitation arise only during specific events, such as a full stack reload or power cycle of the primary or backup switches.

Recommended Actions

Cisco Unified Communications customers are strongly urged to take immediate action. Applying the provided patches is the most effective way to mitigate the risk associated with this critical vulnerability. For those unable to apply patches immediately, Cisco recommends implementing temporary mitigation measures to minimize exposure.


The prompt and effective response by Cisco in patching these vulnerabilities underscores the importance of continuous vigilance in the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats. Organizations relying on Cisco Unified Communications products, Small Business Series Switches, and Cisco Unity Connection should prioritize the application of these security patches to safeguard their networks from potential exploitation.

In conclusion, proactive and timely security measures are crucial in mitigating risks posed by vulnerabilities. Cisco’s swift response serves as a reminder to the broader cybersecurity community about the necessity of staying vigilant and responsive in the face of emerging threats.

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