tacacs authentication stopped working on pix

Unanswered Question
Dec 11th, 2007

Up until a few hours ago I was able to ssh to my pix firewall and login with my tacacs account. It mysteriously stopped working. My account isn't locked and I can ssh to the standby ip address (the failover pix) and log in via tacacs (proves routing, ACLs and TACACS works). Any ideas why this happened and what I can do to fix it? I've compared both configs (from primary and failover firewalls) and they are exactly the same.

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Richard Burts Tue, 12/11/2007 - 13:49


I can not tell from your post whether you are accessing the PIX from inside or from outside? Can you clarify?

Is it possible that the primary PIX is having a problem with one of its interfaces that might impact the access to the device (so that it never attempts to authenticate) or that interferes with the attempt to authenticate?

On the TACACS server do you see authentication attempts when you attempt to SSH to the primary firewall?



sonjam Tue, 12/11/2007 - 14:32

This is access from the inside.

It is possible that the pix is having interface problems, but it's also very coincidental. I look into that.

And no, I don't see any attempts on the TACACS server from that pix.

Could there be something else stopping TACACS or any new sessions on the pix itself?

Richard Burts Wed, 12/12/2007 - 09:45


It would seem that either the PIX is not generating the authentication request, or that it is generating the request but is not able to send the request.

Do you have access to this PIX by some means other than SSH (telnet, console, etc)? Can you verify whether data traffic is going through the PIX ok?



cisco24x7 Thu, 12/13/2007 - 10:27

I had the exact same issue you're facing with

about 6 months ago. I could not ssh into

active Pix with local account. no issue with

ssh to the standby Pix. By the way,

we're accessing this device from the inside

interface. Telnet to the active pix had

no issue

I engaged Cisco TAC to troubleshoot this

problem. They spent about six hours

troubleshooting this issue. They finally

gave up and blamed it on hardware issue.

I still have that issue today.

tq.captaris Fri, 12/14/2007 - 00:26

try reboot or restart the interface on the TACACS server. it might have cached the MAC for the PIX IP if there was a little hiccup on the PIX pair.


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