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

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.