Menu
Hardcoded SSH key gives backdoor access to Cisco communications manager

Hardcoded SSH key gives backdoor access to Cisco communications manager

Cisco released new software versions to fix the issue and patch another serious vulnerability

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.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags unified communicationsNetworkingCisco SystemspatchesAccess control and authenticationExploits / vulnerabilitiesSANS Technology Institute

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments