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Re: Addressing Cisco Security Issues
From: neal rauhauser <neal () lists rauhauser net>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004 18:49:28 +0000

   Cisco is going through convulsions right now due to counterfeiting

   Previously you could purchase a service contract with either advanced
hardware replacement(CON-AR-PKGxx) or advanced replacement with software
support (CON-SNT-PKGxx). The advance replacement (much cheaper) dried up
a while ago for smaller systems and now they're requiring that service
packages be processed through a Cisco reseller rather than via the old
web registration for anyone with a browser & contract. This makes it
much harder to register volumes of used equipment and it might just be
stemming the tide of counterfeits a bit, too.

   I've seen counterfeit Cisco 1721s with internal deformities (no
MOD1700 slot), I've got a couple examples of WICs in a drawer here that
*almost* work, and I hear the whole 1721/2600-XM line and all the
related NMs, WICs, VICs, etc are available as well as some of the
Catalyst line.

   The big tip off for counterfeits? They've got a valid Cisco serial
number, but if you try to put the device on contract it'll already be in
the Cisco contracts system registered to someone else. Leaking
destruction and manufacturing facilities have plagued Cisco for years,
now portions of the product support database have slipped out as well. I
hear tell of a strong correlation between the bogus part serial numbers
and one of the big three stocking distributors of Cisco equipment, but
I'm too shy to name names :-)

  Soooo ... if you're having trouble getting Cisco's attention on a code
security issue just understand that this is a distant second to floods
of gear that they didn't build but for which they're liable for support
and market perception of quality.

I have to post this because I consider this to be a security issue in it's
own right.

Recently there were a number of exploits released for cisco equipment, among
the affected equipment were the 677 and 678 consumer DSL routers of which
there are millions in use.

I have one such router, the DSL circuit is provided by Alltel and I work for
the ISP who provides the actual internet access.

So upon reading recent warning notice sent to the security email lists about
the exploits being publicly available I went and read
http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/707/CBOS-DoS.shtml which pretty much says
any router running a version of CBOS prior to 2.4.5 (actually you need 2.4.6
because of later exploits) is vulnerable.

So like a good netizen I contacted cisco TAC via telephone, gave them my 678
serial number and they informed me that they could not provide the security
update because my router is registered to alltel (alltel did provide the
router when I ordered the DSL circuit), please call Alltel to get it. Ok so
then I called Alltel, who told me no problem we can email you the update and
asked for my email address. Except since Alltel is not the ISP I don't have
an alltel email address so then they won't email it to me, please contact
your ISP. I then informed Alltel that I AM MY ISP to which they replied they
still could not provide the patch and that I would have to get it from

So then I call Cisco TAC again, this time I explain the full details of all
I've just been thru and the tech decides to ask someone. Comes back and says
if I register on the cisco website that he can open a ticket and get someone
to call me back on it. (I'm presently waiting for that call)

In the mean time I decided to google for it and low and behold I found 2.4.6
on a website (url not posted to protect the life saving individuals who put
it on the web). Now of course I've no way to know if this version I just
found is safe or not but HELLO CISCO???

If you are going to issue security alerts that require ISP's and consumers
to patch their hardware devices then you had better damn well make sure that
folks can actually GET THE PATCHES. It would require no effort at all to
post a bogus version full of back doors and whatnot on the web and after
seeing the nightmare it is to obtain the patch thru official channels it's
clear to me that this would be a very popular download.


mailto:neal () lists rauhauser net http://www.rauhauser.net fcc:K0BSD
Cisco, Soekris, OpenBSD, or Amateur Radio? See my web page ...

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