Palo Alto Networks Security Advisories / CVE-2020-2013

CVE-2020-2013 PAN-OS: Panorama context switch session cookie disclosure

Severity 8.3 · HIGH
Attack Vector NETWORK
Attack Complexity HIGH
Privileges Required NONE
User Interaction REQUIRED
Confidentiality Impact HIGH
Integrity Impact HIGH
Availability Impact HIGH


A cleartext transmission of sensitive information vulnerability in Palo Alto Networks PAN-OS Panorama that discloses an authenticated PAN-OS administrator's PAN-OS session cookie. When an administrator issues a context switch request into a managed firewall with an affected PAN-OS Panorama version, their PAN-OS session cookie is transmitted over cleartext to the firewall. An attacker with the ability to intercept this network traffic between the firewall and Panorama can access the administrator's account and further manipulate devices managed by Panorama.

This issue affects:

PAN-OS 7.1 versions earlier than 7.1.26;

PAN-OS 8.1 versions earlier than 8.1.13;

PAN-OS 9.0 versions earlier than 9.0.6;

PAN-OS 9.1 versions earlier than 9.1.1;

All version of PAN-OS 8.0;

Product Status


9.1< 9.1.1>= 9.1.1
9.0< 9.0.6>= 9.0.6
8.1< 8.1.13>= 8.1.13
7.1< 7.1.26>= 7.1.26

Severity: HIGH

CVSSv3.1 Base Score: 8.3 (CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:H/PR:N/UI:R/S:C/C:H/I:H/A:H)

Weakness Type

CWE-319 Cleartext Transmission of Sensitive Information


This issue is fixed in PAN-OS 7.1.26, PAN-OS 8.1.13, PAN-OS 9.0.6, PAN-OS 9.1.1, and all later PAN-OS versions.

PAN-OS 8.0 is now end-of-life as of October 31, 2019, and is no longer covered by our Product Security Assurance policies.

Workarounds and Mitigations

One possible vulnerability mitigation is to shorten the length of administrator session idle timeout. This reduces the likelihood the exposed administrator’s session cookie is valid at time of attack.

This issue affects the management interface of PAN-OS and is strongly mitigated by following best practices for securing the PAN-OS management interface. Please review the Best Practices for Securing Administrative Access in the PAN-OS technical documentation, available at:


This issue was found by Ben Nott of Palo Alto Networks during internal security review.


Initial publication
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