Feeds

Serious TCP/IP vuln exposed

But don't panic

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The UK's National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre yesterday reported a fundamental flaw with the core Internet protocol - TCP/IP - which creates a mechanism for hackers to crash vulnerable routers and severely disrupt Internet traffic. The problem stems from the fact that it's far easier to reset TCP/IP sessions using spoofed packets than previously thought.

Routers running Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) are most severely affected by the vulnerability because the protocol relies on a persistent TCP session between BGP peers. These sessions, though easily restarted, could be disrupted as a result of the flaw. Other application protocols such as DNS (Domain Name System) and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) are potentially vulnerable but to a lesser extent than BGP.

The vulnerability is serious but early predictions of doom are somewhat wide of the mark. Various workarounds exist and vendors like Cisco are rushing out fixes. Also, the attack does not directly compromise data integrity or confidentiality. The worst aspect of the problem is that a huge range of networking kit (firewalls, switches, and routers) from multiple vendors need attention.

The National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre advisory on the vulnerability follows months of behind-the-scenes work on the issue. Security researcher Paul A. Watson is credited with mathematical analysis that first highlighted the potential problem, as explained by US-CERT here. ®

Related stories

MS score card: four patches, 20 vulns, heaps of trouble
Blaster worm spreading rapidly
UK.gov aims to demystify security for SMEs

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.