Feeds

Hackers turn Cisco phones into remote bugging devices

Confidential communications tapped by default

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Internet phones sold by Cisco Systems ship with a weakness that allows them to be turned into remote bugging devices that intercept confidential communications in a fashion similar to so many Hollywood spy movies, SC Magazine reported.

The publication quoted consultants from Australia-based HackLabs, who said customers had lost $20,000 a day from exploits, which also included attacks that forced the devices to make calls to premium phone numbers. The consultants said the underlying weaknesses were present in the default settings and could be fixed only by making changes to the phones' configuration settings.

“The book says to shut off web services,” HackLabs' Peter Wesley was quoted as saying, referring to the manual that shipped with the phones. “Who's going to read all that.”

SC Magazine said that a Cisco spokesman advised users to “apply the relevant recommendations in manuals to secure their systems. There was no explanation why phones are by default open to the attacks described in the article. A more sensible policy might be to ship the phones with the features disabled and allow customers who have a specific need for them to turn them on.

The magazine didn't name the specific make of phone, which is also susceptible to denial of service attacks. The article is here. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
LIVE TODAY: Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.