Security Experts:

Cisco Fixes Vulnerabilities in Small Business Routers

In an advisory published on Wednesday, Cisco revealed that four of its small business RV series routers are affected by multiple vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious actors for various purposes.

The affected devices are the Cisco RV220W Wireless Network Security Firewall, the Cisco RV120W Wireless-N VPN Firewall running firmware versions prior to 1.0.5.9, the Cisco RV180 VPN Router with firmware versions prior to 1.0.4.14, and the Cisco RV180W Wireless-N Multifunction VPN Router with firmware versions prior to 1.0.4.14.

Cisco LogoA total of three vulnerabilities have been identified in these routers by Yorick Koster of Securify. The first is a command injection flaw (CVE-2014-2177) that can be exploited by a remote, authenticated attacker  to execute arbitrary commands on vulnerable systems.

"The vulnerability is due to improper validation of user-supplied input. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a crafted HTTP request to an affected device. An exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary commands on the device with root privileges," Cisco wrote in its advisory.

The second security hole is a HTTP referer header vulnerability (CVE-2014-2178) that can be exploited by a remote, unauthenticated attacker for cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks. The attacker can perform actions on the router's administrative web pages if he can get an authenticated user to click on a maliciously crafted link.

The last issue is an insecure file upload vulnerability (CVE-2014-2179) that can be leveraged by a remote, unauthenticated attacker to upload files to arbitrary locations on affected RV series routers. The flaw can be exploited by sending a specially crafted HTTP request to the affected device.

Cisco has released firmware version 1.0.4.14 to address the vulnerabilities in the Cisco RV180 VPN Router and the Cisco RV180W Wireless-N Multifunction VPN Router. In Cisco RV120W Wireless-N VPN Firewall, the bugs have been fixed with the release of firmware version 1.0.5.9. Updates are not available for Cisco RV220W Wireless Network Security Firewall, but the company expects to have the fixes ready sometime this month.

As a workaround, Cisco advises customers of its small business RV series routers to disable remote management. In cases where remote management is needed, users can limit remote management access to trusted IP addresses.

Last month, the company released software updates to fix a three-year-old vulnerability affecting the AsyncOS operating system that powers Cisco security appliances. 

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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.