Cisco launches code review after Juniper's spyware disclosure

No unauthorised code has been found yet but the review continues

Cisco Systems has launched an internal code review following Juniper's disclosure last week of unauthorised spying code found in its enterprise firewall products.

So far, "we have no indication of unauthorised code in our products," wrote Anthony Grieco, senior director of Cisco's Security and Trust Organisation, in a blog post Monday.

The code review was initiated by Cisco and not the result of contact by law enforcement, Grieco wrote.

Juniper said on Thursday an internal audit uncovered code that could allow secret remote access and also compromise encrypted VPN connections. The code was found in some versions of an operating system called ScreenOS that powers firewall devices.

Juniper is investigating but has not commented so far on how it suspects the code was inserted. The company's forthright admission has been met with praise but with hopes more details are released.

Juniper's problem is the latest in a string of issues that have affected major networking vendors, whose routers and firewalls have deep access to an organisation's Internet traffic. The devices are pivotal points to launch spying campaigns.

Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 showed how Western intelligence agencies have sought to compromise equipment made by Juniper, Huawei and Cisco.

Grieco wrote that Cisco's development practices prohibit the insertion of "backdoors" in its products. Backdoors allow covert access, such as undocumented account credentials, covert communication channels or undocumented traffic diversion tools.

No indicators similar to those discovered by Juniper have been found in Cisco's code, Grieco wrote. Cisco's processes include penetration testing and code reviews by networking and cryptography engineers, he wrote.

"Although our normal practices should detect unauthorized software, we recognise that no process can eliminate all risk," Grieco wrote.

Since the Snowden documents became public, Cisco has put significant effort into debunking suspicions that it willingly worked with spy agencies such as the NSA.

In May 2014, Cisco's then-CEO John Chambers sent a letter to President Obama in May 2014, warning that spying operations that interfered with its equipment "undermine confidence in our industry."

Huawei has been shut out of major business in countries such as the US and Australia over unfounded beliefs it works with Chinese intelligence agencies.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags ciscojuniper networks

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

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?