Cisco customers targeted using leaked NSA hacking tools

Networking giant says there isn’t a workaround for the issue

Hackers have targeted some Cisco customers using a new vulnerability found thanks to leaked NSA cyber tools.

The tools were released in August by a hacker group dubbed ShadowBrokers and are confirmed to belong to the Equation Group which has strong ties with the NSA. It is the second such vulnerability to be found by Cisco as a result of the data dump made by the hackers; Cisco has already fixed a flaw in the SNMP implementation in its ASA firewalls.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Cisco has warned its customers that all versions of its IOS, IOS XE and IOS XR software are vulnerable to one of the many exploits released on August 15. The networking firm hasn't revealed which of its customers may have already been breached but the issue impacts firewalls, routers and switches made by the firm, enabling hackers to get hold of critical and confidential information from its customers.

"The vulnerability is due to insufficient condition checks in the part of the code that handles IKEv1 security negotiation requests. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a crafted IKEv1 packet to an affected device configured to accept IKEv1 security negotiation requests," the firm said in a security advisory blog.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

But despite stating that its incident response team was aware of exploitation of the vulnerabilities of those customers running affected platforms, Cisco hasn't yet developed a patch for the flaw and has said no workarounds are available. Instead, it has released IPS signatures and Snort rules to mitigate the risks for its customers.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The exploit is called BENIGNCERTAIN and is made up of three binaries, each of which can be exploited to obtain RSA private key data and VPN configuration details if used against Cisco PIX firewalls.

Cisco isn't the only networking company to have exploits revealed. The ShadowBrokers data dump included exploits for Juniper and Fortinet, amongst others.

French Caldwell, former Gartner fellow and chief evangelist at GRC apps company MetricStream, warned other spy agencies particularly the other Five Eyes members that they too are vulnerable to a similar hack.

"If the NSA was hacked, the chances that they too have been targeted are certainly more than 50-50," he said.

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/ransomware/356292/university-of-california-gets-fleeced-by-hackers-for-114-million
ransomware

University of California gets fleeced by hackers for $1.14 million

30 Jun 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/356289/australia-announces-135b-investment-in-cybersecurity
cyber security

Australia announces $1.35 billion investment in cyber security

30 Jun 2020
Visit/cloud/cloud-security/356288/csa-and-issa-form-cybersecurity-partnership
cloud security

CSA and ISSA form cyber security partnership

30 Jun 2020
Visit/security/ethical-hacking/356252/poorly-secured-banking-apps-lead-to-cyber-threats
ethical hacking

Mobile banking apps are exposing user data to attackers

26 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/google-android/356373/over-2-dozen-additional-android-apps-found-stealing-user-data
Google Android

Over two dozen Android apps found stealing user data

7 Jul 2020
Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/cloud/356260/the-road-to-recovery
Sponsored

The road to recovery

30 Jun 2020