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Cisco patch bundle lances multiple DoS flaws

Updates tackle router crash risks

Security for virtualized datacentres

Cisco has released a bundle of security updates, designed to fix a variety of flaws in its core IOS networking software.

The eight advisories cover security patches that address multiple vulnerabilities in the networking giant's implementation of networking protocols. Left unchecked the flaws create a possible mechanism for hackers to crash network hardware kit such as VoIP systems, remote access kit and routers running IOS. The eight updates relate to a number of TCP, UDP, Mobile and VPN-related vulnerabilities.

Seven of the eight flaws create a possible means to crash or force a reload of affected systems. In most of these cases there's nothing, in theory at least, to stop malicious hackers from doing this repeatedly to run a denial of service attack.

One flaw (an IOS secure copy privilege escalation bug) creates a means for an ordinary user to gain admin priviliges, thus posing a hacking risk. None of the vulnerabilities create a means for hackers to inject hostile code into vulnerable systems, the most serious class of risk.

Cisco's summary, which contains links to individual advisories, can be found here. The networking giant said it was "not aware of any public announcements or malicious use" of the vulnerabilities it details. Put another way, this means that none of the flaws have been used in denial of service attacks to date, but patching insecure networking kit is still a good idea.

The updates come as part of Cisco's twice a year (March and September) patching update cycle. The networking giant jumped onto the patching treadmill, like Microsoft and Oracle before it, a year ago in March 2008. ®

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