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Cisco Fixes XSS Vulnerability in AsyncOS Management Interface

Cisco has addressed a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability affecting the Web management interface of Cisco AsyncOS, the operating system used for some of the company’s security appliances.

The flaw, CVE-2014-3289, was reported by William Costa on February 17 and it impacts Cisco Email Security Appliance (ESA) 8.0 and earlier, Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA) 8.0 and earlier, and Content Security Management Appliance (SMA) 8.3 and earlier.

Cisco hasn’t provided any technical details about the vulnerability, but an advisory published on Tuesday by the CERT at Carnegie Mellon University revealed that the issue impacts the “reports overview” page of the AsyncOS management interface. According to the report, an attacker could execute arbitrary code in the context of the end-user's Web browser session through the “date_range” parameter by convincing the victim to access a malicious link.

Cisco has advised customers to update their AsyncOS installations as soon as possible. As a workaround for organizations that are unable to update the software, CERT recommends restricting connections from untrusted hosts and networks in order to prevent an attacker from accessing the Web interface using stolen credentials.

This isn’t the first AnyncOS security hole addressed by Cisco this year. In March, the company addressed a vulnerability that could have been exploited by a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with root privileges.

Despite being highly common, XSS vulnerabilities should be treated seriously as they could lead to serious problems for an organization. On Wednesday, Twitter was forced to shut down its TweetDeck application after an XSS flaw was exploited to create a network worm.

Another interesting issue disclosed this week was caused by a bug in Yahoo Toolbar which led to XSS payloads being triggered on several major online services, including Flickr, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Amazon and Pinterest.

In May, Google launched an XSS game to teach Web application developers how to write secure code.

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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.