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4/8/2004
02:11 PM
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Nasty Security Flaw Found In Cisco's Wireless LAN Products

The holes in Cisco's wireless LAN applications follow the publishing of a hacker toolkit that targeted Cisco customers.

Cisco Systems is warning customers that certain versions of its wireless-LAN-management software contain a security hole that would let attackers redirect users to a potentially malicious Web site or take complete control of a wireless LAN.

In a security advisory, Cisco warned that the flaws are within CiscoWorks WLSE, a management tool for the company's wireless LAN hardware and software, and the Cisco Hosting Solution Engine, which enables data-center services and monitors data-center performance. According to the advisory, the software versions at risk for WLSE include 2.0, 2.0.2, and 2.5. The Hosting Solution Engine-vulnerable software versions include 1.7, 1.7.1, 1.7.2, and 1.7.3.

The security flaw is identical for both applications: There's a default user name and password combination that has been hard-coded into the software.

"Any user who logs in using this user name has complete control of the device. One can add new users or modify details of the existing users and change the device's configuration," Cisco warns in its advisory. For WLSE, it says, such a compromise could cause, among other things, systemwide outages and the ability for attackers to hide so-called rogue, or unauthorized, wireless access points. The Hosting Solution Engine flaw could let attackers redirect Web traffic to a site of their choice.

Cisco says there's no workaround for these flaws. More details, including patches, are available here.

This is the second major security threat to Cisco customers in less than two weeks. Last week, a hacker-attack tool, dubbed "CISCO Global Exploiter," surfaced on the Internet. The hacker toolkit made it easy for attackers to exploit 10 vulnerabilities found in various Cisco products.

Last week, Network Associates Inc.'s McAfee Avert security researchers advised Cisco customers to make sure they're not vulnerable to the following security holes:

  • Cisco 677/678 Telnet Buffer Overflow Vulnerability
  • Cisco OIS Router Denial-of-Service Vulnerability
  • Cisco OIS HTTP Authentication Vulnerability
  • Cisco OIS HTTP Configuration Arbitrary Administrative Access Vulnerability
  • Cisco Catalyst SSH Protocol Mismatch Denial-of-Service Vulnerability
  • Cisco 675 Web Administration Denial-of-Service Vulnerability
  • Cisco Catalyst 3500 XL Remote Arbitrary Command Vulnerability
  • Cisco IOS Software HTTP Request Denial-of-Service Vulnerability
  • Cisco 514 UDP Flood Denial-of-Service Vulnerability
  • CiscoSecure ACS Vulnerability

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