Cisco patches vulnerabilities in VPN client, security appliances

Cisco released security updates for AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client and several hardware security appliances

Networking equipment vendor Cisco Systems released multiple security updates on Wednesday to address vulnerabilities in its AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client, ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances, Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series ASA Services Module and Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE) software.

The newly released versions of Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client -- Cisco's VPN and remote access product for businesses -- address four vulnerabilities located in the software's Web-based downloader components.

AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client updates can be distributed in several ways, one of which involves accessing a website that loads special ActiveX or Java-based downloader components. This is known as a WebLaunch-initiated deployment.

"During a malicious attack, any website that hosted a copy of the vulnerable component could masquerade as a trustworthy site and attempt to convince the user to instantiate the vulnerable component," Cisco explained in a security advisory published on Wednesday.

Two of the vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to execute malicious code on a user's system, while the other two could allow an attacker to downgrade the client to an older version.

One of the code execution vulnerabilities only affects older 64-bit Linux versions of the software. The other three affect Windows, Mac OS X and Linux versions alike.

The software updates for the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series ASA Services Module address a vulnerability that could allow a remote, unauthenticated, attacker to force devices to reboot.

In order to be vulnerable to such an attack, the affected devices would have to run in transparent firewall mode, have IPv6 enabled and be configured to log message ID 110003, Cisco said in its corresponding advisory.

The Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE) security updates address a vulnerability that might cause an administrator to log into an unintended context (virtual instance), if an ACE appliance or module is running in multicontext mode and is configured with the same management IP address.

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Lucian Constantin

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