Feeds

Networks on yellow alert over ICMP flaw

Industry reels from IP bug

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

ISPs and enterprises were this week advised to update their internet communications infrastructure following the discovery of a vulnerability affecting a raft of major suppliers including Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft and IBM to varying degrees.

Security researchers have discovered that multiple TCP/IP implementations fail to adequately validate Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) error messages. As a result, hackers could reset or slow an established connection using spoofed ICMP error messages.

Applications that depend on long-lived, low latency or high throughput TCP connections would be particularly affected by such an attack. In order to spoof an ICMP message, an attacker would need to know or guess the source and destination TCP port. Security clearing house US CERT warns that Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) transmissions fall into both these categories and are therefore most at risk from attack. Such an attack would be far from trivial to mount but could have devastating consequences.

BGP is used to provide critical routing information. A sustained attack targeting vulnerable routers running the protocol may create ongoing net degradation, US CERT warns. A list of affected suppliers, with links to security notices where available, can be found here.

Network administrators are advised to upgrade or apply a patch (where available). Alternatively users can try to filter ICMP messages as a workaround. The UK National Information Security Co-ordination Centre has published a UNIRAS alert on the vulnerability here. ®

Related stories

Eight patches - five critical - in MS April patch batch
Unholy trio pose DDoS risk for Cisco kit
Cisco issues network security brown alert
UK.gov deploys IT early warning system

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?