Security Experts:

Critical Flaw Exposes Cisco Collaboration Products to Hacking

A dozen Cisco collaboration products using the company’s Voice Operating System (VOS) are exposed to remote hacker attacks due to a critical vulnerability, users were warned on Wednesday.

According to Cisco, the flaw affects an upgrade mechanism of products based on VOS. A remote, unauthenticated attacker can exploit the security hole, tracked as CVE-2017-12337, to gain access to vulnerable devices with root privileges.

“The vulnerability occurs when a refresh upgrade or Prime Collaboration Deployment (PCD) migration is performed on an affected device,” Cisco said in its advisory. “When a refresh upgrade or PCD migration is completed successfully, an engineering flag remains enabled and could allow root access to the device with a known password.”

Exploiting the vulnerability over SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) can allow an attacker to take complete control of an affected system, Cisco warned.

The list of impacted products includes Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Emergency Responder, Unity Connection, Prime License Manager, Hosted Collaboration Mediation Fulfillment, Unified Contact Center Express, SocialMiner, Unified Intelligence Center, Finesse, and MediaSense. Products such as Identity Service, Prime Collaboration, and Virtualized Voice Browser are not vulnerable.

Cisco has released software updates that address the vulnerability and pointed out that the security hole is also plugged if an affected device is upgraded to an Engineering Special Release, service update, or a new major update via a standard upgrade method.

The advisory published by the company provides information on all the affected versions and the patches that can be applied for each of them.

Cisco credited researchers of the State Farm Penetration Testing Team for finding the vulnerability, and said it was not aware of any malicious attacks exploiting it.

US-CERT has also published an alert to warn users about this critical vulnerability.

Related: Cisco Fixes Severe Flaws in Prime Collaboration Product

Related: Cisco Patches Serious Flaws in Collaboration Products

Related: Cisco Closes Backdoor to Umbrella Virtual 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.