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Blaster threat extends to Cisco kit

Appliances need patch application

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The Blaster worm, which has caused untold misery for Windows PC users this week, is also capable of affecting the operation of networking equipment.

As was the case with the Code Red worm, Cisco products that ship with Microsoft technology need protection against the Blaster worm. In the case of the latest Microsoft-targeted malware, however, vulnerable products are probably less exposed because of differences in the ways the two worms spread. With Code Red there was definite denial of service risk, this time its easier to tuck products behind a firewall and minimise the risk.

According to a Cisco advisory issued yesterday, a number of networking appliance software products that come with Microsoft technology need patching with Cisco-supplied fixes because of the worm. These include Cisco CallManager, Cisco Building Broadband Service Manager (v5.1, v5.2 and HotSpot 1.0 only), Cisco Customer Response Application Server, Cisco Personal Assistant, Cisco Conference Connection, Cisco Emergency Responder.

The networking giant is providing a free software upgrade for these products.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's patch needs to be applied to a separate range of Cisco's software products. These include: Cisco Unity, Cisco uOne Enterprise Edition, Cisco Network Registrar, Cisco Internet Service Node, Cisco Intelligent Contact Manager (ICM) (Hosted and Enterprise), Cisco IP Contact Center (IPCC) (Express and Enterprise), Cisco E-mail Manager, Cisco Collaboration Server, Cisco Dynamic Content Adapter, Cisco Media Blender and TrailHead (part of Cisco's Web Gateway product).

And there's more.

Cisco Networking Services for Active Directory (CNS/AD) and the driver to interface to Windows servers with Cisco SN 5400 Series Storage Routers also need patching, as do a substantial number of packages within the CiscoWorks network management suite.

Finally, Cisco Transport Manager, Cisco Broadband Troubleshooter, DOCSIS CPE Configurator and Cisco Secure Applications also need to be upgraded with Microsoft's fix.

Altogether quite a list. The potential vulnerability of a wide range of networking software and appliances represents a lot of extra work for hard pressed sysadmins, particularly those working in shops with a lot of deployed VoIP or Cisco call centre technology.

Fortunately the work is nowhere near as urgent as making sure corporate PCs and servers are protected against Slammer.

Since all the potentially vulnerable Cisco kit is enterprise product there's plenty of scope to minimise potential problems by blocking traffic at the firewall. Cisco's advisory has plenty to say about such workarounds, as well as information on the types of software fixes that eventually need to be applied. ®

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