Home Security Vault 7: Cisco finds 0-day that affects 318 routers

Vault 7: Cisco finds 0-day that affects 318 routers

Cisco has released details of a vulnerability in its IOS and IOS XE software that would allow remote exploitation of any one of 318 of its routers.

The company said that it had discovered the vulnerability during a search of the Vault 7 document dump that WikiLeaks carried out a fortnight ago.

The documents, from the CIA, detailed many vulnerabilities in software from other companies as well, among them Microsoft, Apple, and Google, and also the Linux kernel.

However, in the latter cases, most of the bugs were for older versions of software and had already been fixed.

The Cisco flaw is in its cluster management protocol that uses telnet internally as a signalling and command protocol among cluster members.

The company said two factors combined to cause this flaw:

  • Failure to restrict the use of CMP-specific telnet options only to internal, local communications between cluster members and instead accept and process such options over any Telnet connection to an affected device; and
  • The incorrect processing of malformed CMP-specific telnet options.

"An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending malformed CMP-specific telnet options while establishing a telnet session with an affected Cisco device configured to accept Telnet connections," the Cisco advisory said.

"An exploit could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code and obtain full control of the device or cause a reload of the affected device."

A list of the 318 devices affected is on the Cisco website. The company said it would release fixes, adding that there were no workarounds.


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.