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Cisco provides denial-of-service attack patches to its gear

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September 10, 2015

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Cisco internet security appliance customers have some patching to do in order to fix newly revealed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack and other security issues that could also affect email services.

Cisco has issued no less than two security advisories for its Web security appliances, one covering a DDoS hole and the other addressing an issue with DNS resolution.

In the DNS resolution problem, a remote attacker can subvert the appliance by sending high-rate TCP proxy traffic, crashing DNS name resolution in the device.

Users get a '503 service unavailable' error, meaning they can't get past the appliance to the internet.

The security issue has so far been confirmed on Cisco WSA versions 8.0.6-078 and 8.0.6-115, and others might also be vulnerable, the company warns network admins.

In the second web security appliance vulnerability, attackers can supply malformed HTTP server responses to the device in a man-in-the-middle attack.

This causes two problematic conditions-- TCP connections closing improperly and a memory fail-to-free condition, resulting in what Cisco calls a partial DDoS.

Since there's no software update as yet, network administrators need to use access control lists (ACLs) to restrict access to WSA 8.0.7 units to trusted IP addresses.

The security vulnerability in Cisco's Email Security Appliance has been confirmed in versions 7.6.0 and 8.0.0.

Once again, crafted HTML from the attacker can override part of the device's memory and cause at least a partial DoS.

While Cisco says it is currently working on a patch to resolve the issue, ACLs are again the best protection for the time being.

Source: Cisco.

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