CVE Vulnerabilities


External Control of Assumed-Immutable Web Parameter

Published: Feb 04, 2021 | Modified: Nov 07, 2023
CVSS 3.x
CVSS 2.x

Multiple vulnerabilities in the web-based management interface of Cisco Small Business RV160, RV160W, RV260, RV260P, and RV260W VPN Routers could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code as the root user on an affected device. These vulnerabilities exist because HTTP requests are not properly validated. An attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities by sending a crafted HTTP request to the web-based management interface of an affected device. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to remotely execute arbitrary code on the device.


The web application does not sufficiently verify inputs that are assumed to be immutable but are actually externally controllable, such as hidden form fields.

Affected Software

Name Vendor Start Version End Version
Rv160w_wireless-ac_vpn_router_firmware Cisco * (excluding)

Extended Description

If a web product does not properly protect assumed-immutable values from modification in hidden form fields, parameters, cookies, or URLs, this can lead to modification of critical data. Web applications often mistakenly make the assumption that data passed to the client in hidden fields or cookies is not susceptible to tampering. Improper validation of data that are user-controllable can lead to the application processing incorrect, and often malicious, input. For example, custom cookies commonly store session data or persistent data across sessions. This kind of session data is normally involved in security related decisions on the server side, such as user authentication and access control. Thus, the cookies might contain sensitive data such as user credentials and privileges. This is a dangerous practice, as it can often lead to improper reliance on the value of the client-provided cookie by the server side application.

Potential Mitigations

  • Assume all input is malicious. Use an “accept known good” input validation strategy, i.e., use a list of acceptable inputs that strictly conform to specifications. Reject any input that does not strictly conform to specifications, or transform it into something that does.
  • When performing input validation, consider all potentially relevant properties, including length, type of input, the full range of acceptable values, missing or extra inputs, syntax, consistency across related fields, and conformance to business rules. As an example of business rule logic, “boat” may be syntactically valid because it only contains alphanumeric characters, but it is not valid if the input is only expected to contain colors such as “red” or “blue.”
  • Do not rely exclusively on looking for malicious or malformed inputs. This is likely to miss at least one undesirable input, especially if the code’s environment changes. This can give attackers enough room to bypass the intended validation. However, denylists can be useful for detecting potential attacks or determining which inputs are so malformed that they should be rejected outright.