Cisco says FTP feature in IOS is a hacker backdoor

Software fixes and workarounds are available for Cisco router and switch users

Cisco says a flaw in the FTP server utility in its IOS router/switch software could be used as a backdoor by attackers.

IOS FTP, which comes disabled by default in IOS, is used to upload IOS software images and other software to routers and switches remotely. However, Cisco says attackers could exploit a vulnerability in the FTP server to gain access to the file system of an IOS-based router or switch and affect configuration settings.

"Unauthorized users could retrieve the device's startup-config file from the filesystem," Cisco says. "This file may contain information that could allow the attacker to gain escalated privileges."

Cisco is offering customers software fixes with the FTP server removed from IOS.

In the meantime, Cisco says users should shut down IOS FTP if they are running the server on an affected system. (The command to do this is "no ftp-server enable".) The company says users can upload software to IOS devices through other methods, such as the "Secure Copy" feature in the software. Users can also set up access control lists to restrict FTP access to a router or switch, Cisco adds.

The affected IOS versions are: 11.3, 12.0, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3 and 12.4. Cisco's IOS XR is not vulnerable, and non-IOS Cisco devices are also safe. Cisco says it will remove the FTP feature in IOS because of this, and other past issues with the code. The company says it may add a secure FTP server to IOS in the future.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Phil Hochmuth

Network World

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?