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pix 501 security

Posted on 2011-02-17
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
I have a pix 501 ver 6.3.4.   Is this hardware/software combination still considered secure? Are there any known issues or vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited? Reason I ask is this is an older version and I was wondering if it's still a viable platform as far as securing a small lan.

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Question by:netlabz
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by:Kendzast
ID: 34923904
I would reccomend to upgrade you IOS to latest version. I'm not sure about PIX 501 but I think 8.x version is the last. If you have some budget for upgrade, change PIX501 for ASA5505.  
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Pete Long earned 125 total points
ID: 34924158
Stop! the 501 cannot be upgraded past 6.3(5) See my website here http://www.petenetlive.com/KB/Article/0000065.htm Yes it's still secure, its not as robust as a its modern equiv (ASA55505) but if its working fine then why bother replacing it :)

Pete
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by:Kendzast
Kendzast earned 125 total points
ID: 34924432
I don't have PIX 501. Just visited cisco website and download manager said that latest available version for PIX 501 is 8.0.4.28.
If you say that it cannot be upgraded to higer version as  6.3(5), thats the reason why to upgrade to ASA 5505. 6.3(5) version on PIX501 release date is 31/JUL/2008. You think it's still secure to use device with IOS 3 years old ? I don't think so.  
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by:Ernie Beek
Ernie Beek earned 125 total points
ID: 34925710
I have a number of sites still running with 501's. As long as you configure them correctly they are still secure. The only thing is that they are EOL and getting near end of support: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/vpndevc/ps5708/ps5709/ps2030/ps2031/prod_eol_notice0900aecd80731dec.html

And let's remember, security is not only a good firewall.................
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by:gavving
gavving earned 125 total points
ID: 34948859
Another factor to consider is that with broadband connections providing >3mbit these days, the PIX-501 can't keep up with it.  A 501 may be able to do about 10mbit of regular traffic, but it would be pushing it.  And 3mbit of VPN at DES is about the limit as well.  Also over the last couple of years I've replaced alot of them that have failed in rather odd ways.  Extremely low traffic flow, inside interface failing completely even though 'ethernet1' still shows up, etc.  The 501 was a great device for it's time, but it's time was 3 years ago at best.
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