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Some versions of Alcatel's LAN switch software can yield backdoor access to crackers, the company warns.

The vulnerability could give crackers full administrative control over Alcatel OmniSwitch 7700/7800 switches running Alcatel Operating System (AOS) version 5.1.1.

A CERT advisory explains this flaw could result in, but is not limited to, unauthorised access, unauthorised monitoring, information leakage, or denial of service.

So it's bad, then.

In mitigation, Alcatel suggests the main risk come from in-house ne'er-do-wells. So that's OK, then. Also there is a straightforward fix. Users are advised to upgrade from AOS version 5.1.1 to AOS 5.1.1.R02 or AOS 5.1.1.R03.

The flaw is blamed on an oversight by Alcatel's developers. Alcatel explains: "During an NMAP audit of the AOS 5.1.1 code that runs on the Alcatel OmniSwitch 7700/7800 LAN switches, it was determined a telnet server was listening on TCP port number 6778. This was used during development to access the Wind River's VX-Works operating system."

"Due to an oversight, this access was not removed prior to product release," it says. ®

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