Cisco patches communications manager to close backdoor access vulnerability
Cisco released new software versions to fix the issue and patch another serious vulnerability
IDG News Service - An unprotected SSH access key left inside the Cisco Unified Communications Domain Manager product for remote support purposes allows attackers to take complete control of affected deployments.
Cisco Systems released updates Wednesday for the CUCDM platform and application software to correct the backdoor issue and also fix another critical vulnerability that could allow attackers to execute arbitrary commands with privileged access.
CUCDM allows companies to manage their Cisco Unified Communications applications from a single platform. These applications provide video, voice, messaging, mobility, instant messaging (IM) and other collaboration services for enterprise environments.
Administrators are advised to upgrade the CUCDM platform software to version 4.4.2 and the CUCDM application software to version 8.1.4.
The SSH access key issue can be exploited by an unauthenticated remote attacker to access the CUCDM system's root account, which has the highest privileges.
"The vulnerability is due to the presence of a default SSH private key, which is stored in an insecure way on the system," Cisco said in a security advisory. "An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by obtaining the SSH private key. For example, the attacker might reverse engineer the binary file of the operating system."
The other flaw, which enables privilege escalation, is located in the CUCDM application software and stems from the improper implementation of authentication and authorization controls for the Web-based user interface. An attacker can exploit the flaw to change the credentials of an administrative user by opening a specifically crafted URL. The attacker needs to be authenticated as a different user in the system or to trick an active user to click on a malicious link.
The CUCDM application software is also affected by a separate vulnerability that allows unauthenticated attackers to access and modify the information of Web portal users such as settings in the user personal phone directory, speed dials, Single Number Reach, and call forward settings.
There is currently no patch for this vulnerability, but the company has provided mitigation instructions in a separate support document. The flaw will not affect version 10 of the CUCDM application software that's expected to be released in September.
"The vulnerability that is probably going to be exploited first is the backdoor Cisco left behind for support access," said Johannes Ullrich, dean of research at the SANS Technology Institute, in a blog post. "Filtering SSH access to the device at your border is a good first step to protect yourself if you can't patch right away," he said.
- Deep Security +VMware vSphere with Operations Management Most midsize organizations are highly virtualized on VMware, and while this has produced significant savings, it also has created new challenges when it...
- 3 Questions to Ask Your DNS Host about Lowering DDoS Risks Neustar has had wide-ranging conversations with clients wanting to know how they can optimize protection as DDoS attacks increase in frequency and size.
- The Danger Deepens: 2014 Neustar Annual DDoS Attacks and Impact Report This report compares DDoS findings from 2013 to 2012, based on a survey of 440 North American companies, including 139 businesses delivering technology...
- DDoS Infographic: How Are Attacks Evolving? For the third consecutive year, Neustar surveyed businesses across major industries to track the evolution of DDoS attacks. Are they more frequent? Larger?...
- How to Use Crowd-Sourced Threat Intelligence to Stop Malware in its Tracks Threat sharing networks have been around for a long time, however they have typically been "invitation-only", available to only large companies, or those...
- An Incident Response Playbook: From Monitoring to Operations As cyber-attacks grow more sophisticated, many organizations are investing more into incident detection and response capabilities. In this webcast, learn how to develop... All Malware and Vulnerabilities White Papers | Webcasts