Palo Alto Networks Security Advisories / CVE-2020-1981

CVE-2020-1981 PAN-OS: Predictable temporary filename vulnerability allows local privilege escalation

Severity 7 · HIGH
Attack Vector LOCAL
Attack Complexity HIGH
Confidentiality Impact HIGH
Privileges Required LOW
Integrity Impact HIGH
User Interaction NONE
Availability Impact HIGH


A predictable temporary filename vulnerability in PAN-OS allows local privilege escalation.

This issue allows a local attacker who bypassed the restricted shell to execute commands as a low privileged user and gain root access on the PAN-OS hardware or virtual appliance.

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

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:7 (CVSS:3.1/AV:L/AC:H/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H)

Weakness Type

CWE-377 Insecure Temporary File


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 PAN-OS and is mitigated by following best practices for securing the PAN-OS 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 found during an internal security review.


Initial publication
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