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Cisco, F5 Networks Investigate libssh Vulnerability Impact

Cisco and F5 Networks are investigating the possible impact of the recently patched libssh vulnerability on their products, while other vendors have concluded similar investigations.

Cisco and F5 Networks are investigating the possible impact of the recently patched libssh vulnerability on their products, while other vendors have concluded similar investigations.

The bug, discovered by Peter Winter-Smith, security consultant at NCC Group, could allow an attacker to authenticate on a server without credentials. Specifically, the attacker could send the server a message to trick it into believing that authentication has been successful even if the process didn’t even start.

The flaw was reported to libssh developers on June 25 and impacts versions 0.6 and later of the library. Tracked as CVE-2018-10933, the vulnerability was addressed with the release of libssh 0.8.4 and 0.7.6 last week.

There are thousands of servers using libssh to implement the Secure Shell (SSH) remote login protocol (many operated by Verizon Wireless and Sprint PCS), but not all of them might be impacted, Winter-Smith suggested. Only libssh operating in server mode, but not the usual client mode, appears affected.

GitHub, which uses the library, said last week it wasn’t impacted, although it did apply the provided patch. OpenSSH, libssh2, curl, and libcurl aren’t affected either.

Within days after the flaw was made public, vendors have started to investigate the impact on their products, and some even confirmed they are affected.

For the past several days, Cisco has been trying to determine which of the products that use the library are affected. The company has published a list of possibly impacted applications, but has yet to confirm the vulnerability in any of them.

F5 Networks too has been looking into its product line, and discovered that BIG-IP application delivery controllers are exposed (only BIG-IP AFM SSH virtual servers that use key-based authentication are vulnerable). Other products are either not impacted or haven’t been yet confirmed to be affected.

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Extras has been confirmed vulnerable, the same as Debian (fixed in version 0.7.3-2+deb9u1), Ubuntu (18.04 LTS, 16.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS, and derivatives), and SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 and 15.

Teamspeak uses libssh, but not in a way that is susceptible to the vulnerability. Alert Logic says it isn’t impacted by the bug and that the Alert Logic appliance is not vulnerable. Netgate’s pfSense isn’t affected, and neither is Centrify DirectControl. Cyber exposure company Tenable has also assessed the weakness and determined that its products are not impacted.

In addition to exploit code for the vulnerability being published online, tools that can be used to identify this vulnerability have been released too.

The “likelihood of exploitation in the wild is low,” the co-founder and director of Hacker House suggests.

Related: Libssh Vulnerability Exposes Servers to Attacks

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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