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Compliant Product - Cisco Catalyst 9400/9600 Series Switches running IOS-XE 17.6

Certificate Date:  2022.06.30

Validation Report Number:  CCEVS-VR-VID11246-2022

Product Type:    Network Device

Conformance Claim:  Protection Profile Compliant

PP Identifier:    collaborative Protection Profile for Network Devices Version 2.2e
  Extended Package for MACsec Ethernet Encryption Version 1.2

CC Testing Lab:  Acumen Security

CC Certificate [PDF] Security Target [PDF] Validation Report [PDF]

Assurance Activity [PDF]

Administrative Guide [PDF]

Product Description

The TOE is the Cisco Catalyst 9400/9600 Series Switches all running Internetworking Operating System (IOS)-XE 17.6. The TOE is a purpose-built, switching and routing platform with Open System Interconnection (OSI) Layer2 and Layer3 traffic filtering capabilities.  The TOE also supports Media Access Control Security (MACsec) encryption for switch-to-switch (inter-network device) security.

Evaluated Configuration

The TOE consists of one or more physical devices, as defined in Table 3 of the ST, and the Cisco IOS-XE 17.6 software.  The TOE has two or more network interfaces and is connected to at least one internal and one external network.  The Cisco IOS-XE configuration determines how packets are handled to and from the TOE’s network interfaces.  The switch configuration will determine how traffic flows received on an interface will be handled. Typically, packet flows are passed through the internet working device and forwarded to their configured destination.

In addition, if the Catalyst 9400/9600 Series Switches are to be remotely administered, then the management workstation must be connected to an internal network.  SSHv2 is used to securely connect to the switch.  A syslog server is used to store audit records, where IPsec is used to secure the transmission of the records.  If these servers are used, they must be attached to the internal (trusted) network.  The internal (trusted) network is meant to be separated effectively from unauthorized individuals and user traffic. The internal (trusted) network is in a controlled environment where implementation of security policies can be enforced.

Security Evaluation Summary

The evaluation was carried out in accordance with the Common Criteria Evaluation and Validation Scheme (CCEVS) process and scheme. The criteria against which the Cisco Catalyst 9400/9600 Series Switches running IOS-XE 17.6 was evaluated are described in the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation, Version 3.1, Revision 5, April 2017.  The evaluation methodology used by the evaluation team to conduct the evaluation is the Common Methodology for Information Technology Security Evaluation, Version 3.1, Revision 5, April 2017.  The product, when delivered configured as identified in the Catalyst 9400/9600 Series Switches Common Criteria Configuration Guidance, Version 0.7, 28 June 2022, satisfies all of the security functional requirements stated in the Cisco Catalyst 9400/9600 Series Switches running IOS-XE 17.6 Common Criteria Security Target, Version 0.10, May 26, 2022. The project underwent CCEVS Validator review.  The evaluation was completed in June 2022.  Results of the evaluation can be found in the Common Criteria Evaluation and Validation Scheme Validation Report prepared by CCEVS.

Environmental Strengths

The TOE is comprised of the following security features which are described in more detail in the subsections below.   

Security Audit

The Cisco Catalyst 9400/9600 Series Switches provides extensive auditing capabilities. The TOE generates a comprehensive set of audit logs that identify specific TOE operations. For each event, the TOE records the date and time of each event, the type of event, the subject identity, and the outcome of the event.

Auditable events include:

•   failure on invoking cryptographic functionality such as establishment, termination and failure of cryptographic session establishments and        connections

•   creation and update of Secure Association Key

•   modifications to the group of users that are part of the Authorized Administrator roles

•   all use of the user identification mechanism

•   any use of the authentication mechanism

•   Administrator lockout due to excessive authentication failures

•   any change in the configuration of the TOE

•   changes to time

•   initiation of TOE update

•   indication of completion of TSF self-test

•   maximum sessions being exceeded

•   termination of a remote session

•   attempts to unlock a termination session 

•   initiation and termination of a trusted channel


The TOE is configured to transmit its audit messages to an external syslog server. Communication with the syslog server is protected using IPsec and the TOE can determine when communication with the syslog server fails.  If that should occur, the TOE will store all audit records locally and when the connection to the remote syslog server is restored, all stored audit records will be transmitted to the remote syslog server.

The audit logs can be viewed on the TOE using the appropriate IOS-XE 17.6 commands.  The records include the date/time the event occurred, the event/type of event, the user associated with the event, and additional information of the event and its success and/or failure.  The TOE does not have an interface to modify audit records, though there is an interface available for the Authorized Administrator to clear audit data stored locally on the TOE.

Cryptographic Support

The TOE provides cryptography in support of TOE security functionality. All the algorithms claimed have Cryptographic Algorithm Validation Program (CAVP) certificates running on the processors specified in the ST.  The TOE leverages the IOS Common Cryptographic Module (IC2M), firmware version Rel5a. 

The TOE leverages the Firmware Image Signing module to perform the Firmware Integrity Check. The bootloader calls the Firmware Image Signing module at startup to perform a signature verification on the module firmware.  The TOE supports MACsec using the proprietary Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC).  The MACsec Controller (MSC) is embedded within the ASICs that are utilized within Cisco hardware platforms.

The TOE provides cryptographic support for IPsec, which is used to secure the session between the TOE and the authentication servers.  The TOE authenticates and encrypts packets between itself and a MACsec peer. The MACsec Key Agreement (MKA) Protocol provides the required session keys and manages the required encryption keys to protect data exchanged by the peers.

Identification and Authentication

The TOE performs two types of authentication: device-level authentication of the remote device (TOE peers) and user authentication for the Authorized Administrator of the TOE.  Device-level authentication allows the TOE to establish a secure channel with a trusted peer.  The secure channel is established only after each device authenticates the other.  Device-level authentication is performed via IKE/IPsec mutual authentication.  The IKE phase authentication for the IPsec communication channel between the TOE and authentication server and between the TOE and syslog server is considered part of the Identification and Authentication security functionality of the TOE.  

The TOE provides authentication services for administrative users to connect to the TOE’s secure Command Line Interface (CLI) administrator interface.  The TOE requires Authorized Administrators to authenticate prior to being granted access to any of the management functionality.  The TOE can be configured to require a minimum password length of 15 characters as well as mandatory password complexity rules.  The TOE provides administrator authentication against a local user database.  Password-based authentication can be performed on the local serial console or SSHv2 interfaces.  The SSHv2 interface also supports authentication using SSH keys.  The TOE supports use of a RADIUS AAA server (part of the IT Environment) for authentication of administrative users attempting to connect to the TOE’s CLI.  The connection to the remote authentication server is secured using IPsec.

The TOE also provides an automatic lockout when a user attempts to authenticate and enters invalid information.  When the threshold for a defined number of failed authentication attempts has exceeded the configured allowable attempts, the user is locked out until an Authorized Administrator can reenable the user account. 

The TOE uses X.509v3 certificates as defined by RFC 5280 to support authentication for IPsec connections.

Security Management

The TOE provides secure administrative services for management of general TOE configuration and the security functionality provided by the TOE.  All TOE administration occurs either through a secure SSHv2 session or via a local serial console connection.  The TOE provides the ability to securely manage:

•    Administration of the TOE locally and remotely

•    Configuration of warning and consent access banners

•    Configuration of session inactivity thresholds

•    Updates of the TOE software

•    Configuration of authentication failures

•    Configuration of the audit functions of the TOE

•    Configuration of the TOE provided services

•    Configuration of the cryptographic functionality of the TOE

•    Generate, install, and manage Pre-Shared Key (PSK)

•    Manage the Key Server, Connectivity Association Key (CAK) and MKA participants

•    Configure lockout time interval for excessive authentication failures

The TOE supports two separate administrator roles: non-privileged administrator and privileged administrator.  Only the privileged administrator can perform the above security relevant management functions.  The privileged administrator is the Authorized Administrator of the TOE who can enable, disable, determine, and modify the behavior of the security functions of the TOE as described in this document.

Protection of the TSF

The TOE protects against interference and tampering by untrusted subjects by implementing identification, authentication, and access controls to limit configuration to Authorized Administrators.  The TOE prevents reading of cryptographic keys and passwords.  Additionally, Cisco IOS-XE is not a general-purpose operating system and access to Cisco IOS-XE memory space is restricted to only Cisco IOS-XE functions.

The TOE can verify any software updates prior to the software updates being installed on the TOE to avoid the installation of unauthorized software.

The TOE detects replay of information received via secure channels (MACsec).  The detection is applied to network packets that terminate at the TOE, such as trusted communications between the TOE and an IT entity (e.g., MACsec peer).  If replay is detected, the packets are discarded.

The TOE internally maintains the date and time.  This date and time information is used as the timestamp that is applied to audit records generated by the TOE.  The TOE provides the Authorized Administrators the capability to update the TOE’s clock manually to maintain a reliable timestamp. 

Finally, the TOE performs testing to verify correct operation of the TOE itself and that of the cryptographic module.

TOE Access

The TOE can terminate inactive sessions after an Authorized Administrator configurable time-period.  Once a session has been terminated, the TOE requires the user to re-authenticate to establish a new session. 

The TOE can also display an Authorized Administrator specified banner on the CLI management interface prior to allowing any administrative access to the TOE.

Trusted path/Channels

The TOE allows a trusted path to be established to itself from remote administrators over SSHv2 and initiates outbound IPsec trusted channels to transmit audit messages to remote syslog servers.  In addition, IPsec is used as a trusted channel between the TOE and the remote authentication servers. 

The TOE supports MACsec secured trusted channels between itself and MACsec peers.

Vendor Information

Cisco Systems, Inc.
Cert Team
1 (800) 553-6387
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