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Cisco Finds Critical Flaw in Industrial Routers

Cisco informed customers on Wednesday that some of its industrial routers are exposed to attacks due to a critical remote code execution vulnerability in the IOx application environment.

The flaw, identified as CVE-2017-3853, affects the Data-in-Motion (DMo) process of IOx and is caused by the lack of proper bounds checking. A remote, unauthenticated attacker can exploit the vulnerability to trigger a stack overflow by sending specially crafted packets that are forwarded to the DMo process for evaluation.Cisco industrial router vulnerability

Successful exploitation of the security hole can allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code with root privileges in the virtual instance running on the vulnerable device. However, Cisco pointed out that the router itself is not impacted.

The vulnerability affects Cisco IR809 and IR829 industrial integrated services routers running IOx versions and Users can determine what version is running on their devices through the IOx Local Manager interface.

The flaw has been patched with the release of IOx and Cisco says it’s not aware of any attacks exploiting this vulnerability.

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On Wednesday, Cisco also published seven other advisories describing high severity vulnerabilities affecting IOS software, and the application-hosting framework (CAF) component of IOx.

The CAF weaknesses, described as arbitrary file creation and path traversal issues, affect not only 800 series industrial routers, but also 4000 series integrated services routers (ISR4K) and ASR 1000 series aggregation services routers (ASR1K).

A majority of the IOS and IOS XE problems allow remote attackers to cause devices to reload and enter a denial-of-service (DoS) condition, and one can be exploited to inject arbitrary commands with root privileges. Only the command injection exploit requires authentication.

These flaws were discovered by Cisco and there is no evidence of exploitation. All the security bugs have been patched.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.