Cisco Rolls Major Patches to TCP Flaw

Routing and switching giant Cisco said a security flaw in the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) specification that could lead to major disruption of the Internet is also a potential threat to its product lines and needs to be addressed.

Cisco issued a blanket advisory Wednesday, warning that new information on the existing TCP flaw affected all products that contain a TCP stack.

The Cisco alert included a long list of affected products, including non-IOS based switches, routers, content delivery managers, intrusion detection systems, VoIP phones and wireless access points.

“The successful exploitation enables an adversary to reset any
established TCP connection in a much shorter time than was previously
discussed publicly. Depending upon the attacked protocol, a successful attack may have additional consequences beyond terminated connection which must be considered,” Cisco warned.

, first reported in 2001, could lead to a shutdown of parts of the Internet. According to the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC), new information on the vulnerability suggest an attacker could crash vulnerable products that rely on TCP in a much shorter time than previously established.

The CERT/CC advisory
included a firm warning that routers that support the Border Gateway
Protocol (BGP) are considered high risk. The impact of this
vulnerability varies by vendor and application but in some deployment
scenarios, it is considered critical.

In Cisco’s case, the flaw could cause widespread disruption for customers
using non-IOS products. The company issued separate advisories for products
that do not run IOS software.

The latest alerts come on the heels of a more recent confirmation from
Cisco that some of its VoIP products that use the H.323 protocol could lead
to security problems. Earlier this year, Cisco released
to plug the flaw, confirming that all products that run the
Cisco IOS software and support H.323 packet processing are affected,
including devices configured for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) or Media
Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP).

Affected products included the Cisco IOS 11.3T and later versions; Cisco
CallManager versions 3.0 through 3.3; Cisco Conference Connection (CCC);
Cisco Internet Service Node (ISN); Cisco BTS 10200 Softswitch; Cisco 7905 IP
Phone H.323 Software Version 1.00 and the Cisco ATA 18x series products
running H.323/SIP loads with versions earlier than 2.16.1.

Separately, Cisco warned of a denial-of-service bug
in the Cisco IOS 12.x and Cisco IOS R12.x products. That ale
included a warning that an error within the processing of solicited
SNMP requests could be exploited to crash unpatched systems.

Cisco said an attacker could exploited by sending a SNMP request with a solicited operation to a vulnerable device on port 162/UDP or the random SNMP UDP high port. “Successful exploitation causes the device to reload.”

For Cisco, the security issues could become a public relations humbug. In recent times, the company made a splash in the integrated security space, rolling out products and services in areas like security management, virtual private networks and threat protection.

Cisco has also rolled out anti-virus offerings and made security-related acquisitions to beef up its security product line.

Ryan Naraine
Ryan Naraine
Ryan Naraine is an eSecurity Planet, ServerWatch, and eWEEK contributor.

Latest articles

Top Cybersecurity Companies

Get the Free Newsletter!
Subscribe to Cybersecurity Insider for top news, trends & analysis
This email address is invalid.
Get the Free Newsletter!
Subscribe to Cybersecurity Insider for top news, trends & analysis
This email address is invalid.

Related articles