Network Security

Cisco Router Vulnerability Puts Network Segmentation at Risk

The network vendor is urging customers to patch, as attackers actively exploit the CDPwn vulnerability. Data centers using Cisco routers with the IOS XR software need to be on alert. Cisco issued a warning last week that attackers were actively exploiting a vulnerability in the Cisco Discovery Protocol, part of a set of vulnerabilities called CDPwn. Cisco recommended that customers upgrade to a fixed version of the software. "There are no workarounds that address this vulnerability," the company said in its alert. However, a patch has been available since February. The vulnerability affects a Layer 2 protocol, meaning the attackers need to be in the same domain. What's significant about this particular vulnerability is that the Layer 2 protocols are the underpinning for all networks and serve as the foundation of network segmentation. These kinds of vulnerabilities can put the network infrastructure itself at risk, reducing the effectiveness of network segmentation as a security strategy, according to Ben Seri, VP of research at Armis, the security firm that originally discovered the problem. If attackers succeed in exploiting CDPwn, they trigger a stack overflow that allows them to execute code with…

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