Palo Alto Networks Security Advisories / CVE-2020-1979

CVE-2020-1979 PAN-OS: A format string vulnerability in PAN-OS log daemon (logd) on Panorama allows local privilege escalation

Severity 8.1 · HIGH
Attack Vector NETWORK
Attack Complexity HIGH
Confidentiality Impact HIGH
Privileges Required NONE
Integrity Impact HIGH
User Interaction NONE
Availability Impact HIGH


A format string vulnerability in the PAN-OS log daemon (logd) on Panorama allows a network based attacker with knowledge of registered firewall devices and access to Panorama management interfaces to execute arbitrary code, bypassing the restricted shell and escalating privileges.

This issue affects only PAN-OS 8.1 versions earlier than PAN-OS 8.1.13 on Panorama.

This issue does not affect PAN-OS 7.1, PAN-OS 9.0, or later PAN-OS versions.

Product Status

PAN-OS 9.1None>= 9.1.0
PAN-OS 9.0None>= 9.0.0
PAN-OS 8.1< 8.1.13>= 8.1.13
PAN-OS 7.1None>= 7.1.0

Required Configuration for Exposure



CVSSv3.1 Base Score:8.1 (CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H)

Weakness Type

CWE-134 Use of Externally-Controlled Format String


This issue is fixed in PAN-OS 8.1.13 and all later PAN-OS 8.1 versions.

Workarounds and Mitigations

This issue affects the management interface of Panorama and is mitigated by following best practices for securing the Panorama management interface. Our best practices guidelines reduce the exposure of the management interface to potential attackers. Please review the Best Practices for Securing Administrative Access in the PAN-OS 8.1 technical documentation, available at:


This issue was discovered by Nicholas Newsom of Palo Alto Networks during an internal security review.


Updated attack vector, description and acknowledgement.
Initial publication
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