Security Experts:

Cisco Products Vulnerable to POODLE Attacks

Cisco has been analyzing its products to determine which of them are affected by the recently disclosed Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) version 3 protocol flaw dubbed Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption (POODLE).

Many technology firms are still patching their products to ensure they are not vulnerable to ShellShock attacks and are forced to take steps to protect their customers against POODLE attacks, which can be leveraged to extract information from encrypted communications. 

Many of Cisco's products are still under investigation, but the company has published a list of solutions confirmed to be vulnerable or not vulnerable. Vulnerable products include Cisco Webex Social, Cisco AnyConnect, Cisco ACE, Cisco Standalone rack server CIMC, Cisco Wireless LAN Controller, Cisco Cloud Web Security, and various Cisco TelePresence devices.

Several network and content security devices, voice and communication devices, and routing and switching products are also vulnerable to POODLE attacks.

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager and Cisco Webex Messenger Service are not affected.

According to Cisco, some of its products are affected by the vulnerability (CVE-2014-3566) because they use SSL 3.0 for features such as Web-based administration interfaces over HTTPS, SSL VPNs, file transfer over HTTPS, or Secure SIP.

"Current clients negotiate TLS by default, but they can fall back to SSLv3 if the negotiation to use TLS has failed. An attacker performing a man-in-the-middle attack could trigger a protocol downgrade to SSLv3 and exploit this vulnerability to decrypt a subset of the encrypted communication," Cisco wrote in its advisory.

In order to be vulnerable to POODLE attacks, products must meet two criteria: they must support SSL 3.0, and a block cipher in CBC mode is one of the transform sets being offered. Products that don't support SSL 3.0, and in which no block cipher in CBC mode is offered in the transform set are not affected, Cisco said.

The company is working on developing patches for the impacted products. In the meantime, customers that don't require SSL 3.0 can disable the protocol to protect themselves. However, there are currently no workarounds for users requiring the functionality provided by SSL 3.0.

Apple has already produced software updates to address the vulnerability in OS X. The company fixed the issue by disabling CBC cipher suites when TLS connection attempts fail.


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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.