Feeds

Critical Kerberos bugs surface

Action stations

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Multiple vulnerabilities have been reported in version five of the widely-used Kerberos authentication protocol. The most serious could be exploited by crackers to gain root control to authentication servers.

Exploits are yet to surface and patches are available. All releases of MIT Kerberos 5 up to and including krb5-1.3.4 are affected. At fault are "double-free vulnerabilities" in MIT Kerberos 5 implementation's Key Distribution Center (KDC) program and libraries. Double free vulnerabilities arise when programs try to free up the same portion of system memory twice, in this case creating a possible means for a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on target systems.

Also, an error in the ASN.1 decoder of MIT Kerberos 5 could be used to cause vulnerable systems to hang. An attacker would be able to carry out this denial of service attack without first having to log onto vulnerable systems.

Developers are advised to update to version krb5-1.3.5, when it becomes available. In the meantime, MIT has published patches to address the vulnerability in earlier versions of its code. A summary of the products affected - along with responses from vendors - is here. Some users of Cisco VPN 3000 Series Concentrators will, for example, need to update their software .

Kerberos was developed by MIT and is a popular means for securely authenticating a request for a service in a computer network. The name derives from Greek mythology, where Cerberus is the three-headed dog guarding the gates of Hades. ®

Related stories

Kerberos Redux?
Kerberos bug bites
Sun library bug affects *Nix and Kerberos

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
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
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
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
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
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

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
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.