Feeds

Networks left open to SNMP scans

Minority of networks leave out welcome mat for hackers

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Some sysadmins are leaving their networks open to hacking attack by allowing Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) configurations to be read across the internet.

Using SNMP scans, a range of devices including Windows servers, BT Voyager 2000 routers, and HP JetDirect printers might be prompted to cough up username credentials and passwords, according to Adrian Pastor of GNUCitizen.

SNMP is a core component of the internet management architecture and is used in tools such as HP Openview and Cisco Works. The protocol is unsecured, but defending against attacks is a simple matter of blocking external SNMP requests at the firewall.

However, a scan of 2.5 million random IP addresses by GNUCitizen revealed that 5,320 (about one in 500) responded to the submitted SNMP requests. Read access to SNMP configuration lets hackers spy on targeted networks.

The security weakness might easily enable hackers to change device configurations using a spoofed IP address - if a valid write community string is identified or cracked. This invasive hacking attack was not tested by the GNUCitizen scan.

Read-only access might be bad news, Pastor notes. "Even if a cracker only gained read access to a device or server via a SNMP community string, sometimes it would be possible to extract sensitive information such as user names and passwords which would eventually lead to a compromise of the targeted systems." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI
A stranger turns up YOUR heat with default password 1234
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.