Unauthenticated Command Injection in Management Web Interface (PAN-SA-2016-0003)

Last revised: 03/24/2016


Palo Alto Networks PAN-OS implements an API to enable programmatic device configuration and administration of the device. An issue was identified where the management API incorrectly parses input to a specific API call, leading to execution of arbitrary OS commands without authentication via the management interface. (Ref. #89717) (CVE-2016-3655)

Severity: High

This issue can be exploited remotely by an unauthenticated user with network access to the device management web-based API

Products Affected

PAN-OS releases 5.0.17 and prior; 6.0.12 and prior; 6.1.9 and prior; 7.0.4 and prior

Available Updates

PAN-OS releases 5.0.18 and newer; 6.0.13 and newer; 6.1.10 and newer; 7.0.5 and newer

Workarounds and Mitigations

Emergency content update 563 contains an IPS signature (#38904) that can be used as an interim mitigation to protect PAN-OS devices until the device software is upgraded. Note that signatures 38904 must be applied to a firewall rule securing traffic destined for the device management web interface, and decryption must be applied. This issue is further mitigated by following security appliance management best practices, requiring that network access to the management interfaces be isolated and strictly limited only to security administration personnel.


Felix Wilhelm, ERNW Research