CERT: Flaws in SNMP could threaten 'Net

Flaws in how SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is implemented in a raft of products could allow attackers to stage denial of service attacks, take over systems and threaten the Internet, according to a new alert from the federally funded computer security body CERT/CC (Computer Emergency Response Team/Coordination Center).

Information about the vulnerabilities has already begun to surface in attacker communities, CERT/CC said, and administrators should act quickly to apply available patches.

SNMP is a protocol used by many vendors to enable network and systems administrators to remotely monitor and configure any number of network devices, including routers, switches and operating systems, CERT/CC said.

The vulnerabilities were first discovered by the Secure Programming Group of Finland's Oulu University, according to CERT/CC. The team at Oulu found multiple vulnerabilties in the way SNMP version one is implemented in many vendors' products. The vulnerabilities involve the way in which SNMP implementations handle warning and error messages, along with requests, CERT/CC said.

The flaws in the products are particularly serious because "many of the affected products provide key services to the Internet infrastructure. Large-scale outages of these devices could disable significant portions of the global network," CERT/CC said in its alert.

Vendors whose products are affected include Avaya, 3Com, Caldera Systems, Cisco Systems, Compaq Computer, Computer Associates International, Hewlett-Packard, Juniper Networks, Lotus Software Group, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, Netscape Communications, Nokia, Novell, Silicon Graphics and Sun Microsystems. Different vendors have responded to the vulnerabilties in different ways, with many of them already offering patches, though some have not, according to the alert.

Though some vendors have issued fixes, the challenge to network administrators may still be great, according to CERT/CC's alert. Administrators will need to apply patches and make changes to many different kinds of devices throughout their networks, changes which may not be easy to make, the organization said.

The team from Oulu University has materials to test products for the flaw at http://www.ee.oulu.fi/research/ouspg/protos/testing/c06/snmpv1/0100.html/. A list of affected vendors and the progress of their fixes is available at http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2002-03.html#vendors/.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sam Costello

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?