Cisco Patches Denial-of-Service Vulnerabilities in IOS

Cisco released patches for denial-of-service vulnerabilities in its IOS software used in networking gear such as routes and switches.

Cisco this week patched a handful of denial-of-service vulnerabilities in its IOS software. The security updates are part of a biannual release from Cisco; the next one is due in September.

Five of the six patches handle denial-of-service vulnerabilities in its flagship IOS used in most of its routers and network switches. The sixth patch also repairs a DoS bug, but in its Cisco 7600 Series Route Switch Processor 720 with 10 Gb Ethernet uplinks.

Successful exploits of these bugs could not only crash the networking gear, but also force reboots, Cisco said.

Perhaps the most severe vulnerabilities addressed by Cisco are in IOS’ implementation of network address translation (NAT). The update patched two vulnerabilities that an attacker could use to remotely crash networking gear running IOS. Cisco said the vulnerability is in the Application Layer Gateway module in IOS.

“The vulnerability is due to the way certain malformed DNS packets are processed on an affected device when those packets undergo Network Address Translation (NAT). An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending malformed DNS packets to be processed and translated by an affected device,” Cisco said in its advisory. “An exploit could allow the attacker to cause a reload of the affected device that would lead to a DoS condition.”

The second NAT vulnerability is in the TCP Input module that could allow a remote attacker to cause a memory leak or reboot of the flawed device.

“The vulnerability is due to the way certain sequences of TCP packets are processed on an affected device when those packets undergo Network Address Translation (NAT). An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a specific sequence of TCP packets to be processed by an affected device,” Cisco said. “An exploit could allow the attacker to cause a memory leak or reload of the affected device that would lead to a DoS condition.”

Cisco also patched a DoS bug in the IOS SSL VPN subsystem, which fails to process certain HTTP requests. An attacker can send the VPN malicious requests that would consume memory causing it to crash.

“A three-way TCP handshake must be completed for each malicious connection to an affected device; however, authentication is not required,” Cisco said. “The default TCP port number for SSLVPN is 443.”

Cisco also updated the IPv6 protocol stack in IOS and IOS XE to address a vulnerability that could lead to memory consumption. An attacker would need to send a malformed IPv6 request to exploit the bug.

“The vulnerability is due to incorrect processing of crafted IPv6 packets. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending specially crafted IPv6 packets to the affected device,” Cisco said. “An exploit could allow the attacker to trigger I/O memory depletion, causing device instability and could cause a device to reload.”

IOS and IOS XE were also vulnerable to an exploit of a DoS bug in their Internet Key Exchange version 2 module. An IOS device improperly processes malformed IKEv2 packets, enabling an attacker to exploit the bug by sending malformed packets to the device causing it to crash.

The final IOS vulnerability was found in the Session Initiation Protocol implementation of the operating system. A remote attacker could cause IOS to reboot by sending a malicious SIP message if it configured to process SIP messages.

“The vulnerability is due to incorrect processing of specific SIP messages. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending specific SIP messages, which may be considered well-formed or crafted to the SIP gateway,” Cisco said. “An exploit could allow the attacker to trigger a device reload.”

Finally, the patch for the Cisco 7600 Series processor vulnerability addresses a security issue with the Kailash field-programmable gate array (FPGA) versions prior to 2.6, Cisco said.

“An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending crafted IP packets to or through the affected device,” Cisco said. “An exploit could allow the attacker to cause the route processor to no longer forward traffic or reboot.”

Image courtesy Lee LeBlanc

Suggested articles

Discussion

Subscribe to our newsletter, Threatpost Today!

Get the latest breaking news delivered daily to your inbox.