Cisco Systems VPN Client

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Cisco Systems VPN Client
Cisco VPN Client on Windows 7.
Developer(s) Cisco Systems
Stable release
  • Windows -[1] / March 15, 2011 (2011-03-15)
  • Mac OS X -[2] / February 5, 2009 (2009-02-05)
Preview release for Mac / July 27, 2010 (2010-07-27)
Operating system Windows, Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5, Solaris UltraSPARC, Linux (Intel)[3]
  • x86 - 7.63 MB
  • x64 - 4.78 MB
Available in English
Type VPN software
License Proprietary

The Cisco Systems VPN Client was a software application for connecting to a virtual private network. The client makes remote resources of another network available in a secure way as if the user were connected directly to that "private" network.

In July 29, 2011, Cisco announced the end of life of the product. No further product updates were released after July 30, 2012, and support ceased in July 29, 2014.[4] A suggested migration option for customers is the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.[5]


The client is normally distributed with an executable installer and profile file(s), which contain all the necessary information to easily connect to a network.

A .pcf (or profile configuration file) is used to configure the VPN client for connecting to the remote server.


The software is not free but is often installed on university and business computers in accordance with a site-license. As with most corporate licenses, administrators are allowed to freely distribute the software to users within their network.


VPN Client beta added support for Mac OS X 10.6.[6] Stable version appears to lack that support; explicitly did not support versions of Mac OS X later than 10.5.[7]

VPN Client added support for 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.[8]


The client uses profile configuration files (.pcf) that store VPN passwords either hashed with type 7, or stored as cleartext. A vulnerability has been identified,[9] and those passwords can easily be decoded using software or online services.[10] To work around these issues, network administrators are advised to use the Mutual Group Authentication feature, or use unique passwords (that aren't related to other important network passwords).[9]

See also[edit]