Data Centre

Networks

Seriously, Cisco? Another hard-coded password? Sheesh

In other nets news Qualcomm secures Wi-Fi, and mesh nets get a spec

By Richard Chirgwin

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Roundup Earlier this year, The Register observed that the less-lame replacement for WPA2, WPA3, should start landing in user devices this year.

That prediction got a kick along this week from Qualcomm, which announced it's going to roll WPA3 out on all wireless product lines.

The company told us in February the security standard would be implemented in its WCN3998 chipset.

Qualcomm's announcement name-checks the 2017 KRACK attack as driving the decision.

The chips will also carry OWE (Opportunistic Wireless Encryption) into more products to improve user protection when a hotspot only supports WPA2, the company said.

Wi-Fi mesh standard gets certification

The Wi-Fi Alliance is now putting its stamp on kit that conforms to its EasyMesh solution, which it expects will make mesh networking easier for ordinary users.

Wi-Fi Certified EasyMesh lets access points “self-organise”, the organisation said this week, as well as monitoring and self-adapting to network conditions, and connected devices like smartphones and tablets are guided to the optimal access point in the mesh – a particular attraction for in-home applications.

Sixteen candles to blow out from Cisco

Cisco's issued 16 patches, the silliest of which is CVE-2018-0222 because it's a hard-coded password in Switchzilla's Digital Network Architecture (DNA) Center.

"The vulnerability is due to the presence of undocumented, static user credentials for the default administrative account for the affected software," Cisco's admitted.

As you'd expect, "An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by using the account to log in to an affected system. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to log in to the affected system and execute arbitrary commands with root privileges."

Oh great.

Cisco's been here before, with its Aironet software. And who could forget the time Cisco set the wrong default password on UCS servers? Such good times.

The company's also reported a critical vulnerability in the way the same product runs Kubernetes and a nasty flaw in its network function virtualization infrastructure.

F5 gets the blues with Azure Stack

F5 Networks has announced it's adding Azure Stack support to its multi-cloud services.

The company said its Big-IP Virtual Edition will run identically in Azure and Azure Stack, for customers who want to develop in one environment and deploy to another.

The Big-IP VEs will start supporting 3 Gbps of throughput in Azure Stack, and are offered as subscription, enterprise license, or perpetual license.

Political correctness is going mad, MAD we tell you

Let it not be said that Vulture South is ignorant of the day's important issues.

A discussion on a network operators' forum (whose terms forbid linking) raise the vital question of how to describe “man-in-the-middle” attacks in the more enlightened world of 2018.

The thread kicked off with the (correct) observation that the network admin world has a “clear gender imbalance”, and suggested moving away from "gender discriminatory terminology" since an attack perpetrator could easily be a woman. The post suggested “person-in-the-middle” be substituted for “man-in-the-middle”.

He's right: many hypothetical PITM attack scenarios explicitly acknowledge this, in so far as the “man” in the middle between Alice and Bob is, in fact, Eve (only, regrettably, as a passive listener – an active attacker is conventionally called the moderately-genderless Mallory).

“Man in the Middle is a purely technical concept, where there is no place for gender specification and serves no purpose but to perpetuate gender stereotypes”, the poster added.

Hedy Lamarr Female Tech Pioneer for 2018: Dr Jennifer Andreoli-Fang

On a more serious note, even though the award is sponsored by our colleagues at LightReading, we don't mind making mention that the 2018 Hedy Lamarr Female Tech Pioneer is prominent networking expert Dr Jennifer Andreoli-Fang.

Dr Andreoli-Fang, a distinguished technologist for CableLabs, was recognised for contributions to unlicensed mobile technologies, LTE, cable Wi-Fi, DOCSIS 3.1, and Full Duplex DOCSIS. ®

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