Security Experts:

Cisco Patches Serious Flaws in Security, Wireless Appliances

Cisco has released software updates to address a series of critical and high severity vulnerabilities affecting some of the company’s security and wireless appliances.

The most serious of the flaws disclosed on Wednesday is a command injection vulnerability (CVE-2015-6298) affecting the certificate generation process in the administration web interface of the Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA). The vulnerability, caused by improper parameter validation, can be exploited by a remote attacker to execute arbitrary commands with root privileges.

The Cisco Web Security Appliance is also affected by a couple of high severity denial-of-service (DoS) vulnerabilities that can be exploited to cause the device to run out of system memory. One of these security bugs affects the file-range request functionality of Cisco AsyncOS (CVE-2015-6293), while the other impacts the AsyncOS proxy cache functionality (CVE-2015-6292).

Vulnerabilities in AsyncOS components also affect the Cisco Email Security Appliance (ESA). One of these issues, a DoS flaw identified as CVE-2015-6321, can be used by a remote attacker to cause the device to stop accepting new TCP connections. The second issue, first disclosed in June, can be exploited by a remote, unauthenticated attacker to bypass the appliance’s anti-spam functionality.

Cisco has also announced patching a couple of high severity vulnerabilities in the Mobility Services Engine, a platform designed to help organizations increase visibility into their network, strengthen security, and deploy location-based mobile services via Wi-Fi.

Security researcher Jeremy Brown discovered that the platform has a user account protected by a default and static password (CVE-2015-6316). An unauthenticated attacker can use it to remotely log in to the Mobility Services Engine. However, Cisco has pointed out that the account in question doesn’t have full admin privileges.

Brown has also found a privilege escalation vulnerability in the Mobility Services Engine (CVE-2015-4282). The flaw can be exploited by a local, authenticated attacker to escalate their privileges to root.

Cisco has released software updates to address these vulnerabilities and workarounds are also available in some cases. The networking giant says its Product Security and Incident Response Team (PSIRT) has not found any evidence that these flaws have been leveraged for malicious purposes.

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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.