Security Experts:

Cisco Warns of Serious Flaws in IOS Software

Cisco has warned users that devices running the company’s IOS or IOS XE software are affected by several high severity vulnerabilities that can be exploited for remote code execution and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.

There are a total of nine flaws affecting the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) component of IOS and IOS XE software. Patches have yet to be made available by Cisco, but the networking giant has shared some workarounds.

An authenticated attacker who knows the SNMP read-only community string of the targeted system could execute code or cause the device to reload by sending a specially crafted SNMP packet via IPv4 or IPv6. If the attacker can execute code, they may be able to take full control of the affected system.

The vulnerabilities affect IOS devices running any version of SNMP if they are configured with one of nine management information bases (MIBs), which allow organizations to manage devices such as routers and switches in a network.

Cisco said it found these security holes during internal testing, but the company warned customers that individuals outside the company know about the vulnerabilities, which increases the chances of exploitation.

Vulnerabilities in Cisco Prime Infrastructure

Last week, Cisco informed customers of several high and medium severity vulnerabilities found by researchers at SEC Consult in its Prime Infrastructure and Evolved Programmable Network Manager products.

The flaws include SQL injection, XML external entity (XXE), local file disclosure and cross-site scripting (XSS) weaknesses that can be exploited remotely by authenticated or unauthenticated attackers. An advisory published by SEC Consult includes proof-of-concept (PoC) code for each of the vulnerabilities.

While Cisco was informed about these issues in November 2016, the company postponed the release of patches several times. Fixes were finally made available last week.

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Eduard Kovacs is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.