Over 840,000 Cisco devices can be infected by NSA-related exploit

It is reported that there are over 840,000 Cisco networking devices around the world contain a security flaw which can be easily hacked by a group of hackers who covertly serve U.S. National Security Agency.

The details of this vulnerability were just released by Cisco last week and it is found to have compromised the software installed on IOS, IOS XE, and IOS XR that are available on many of its networking devices. This security flaw has the ability to empower hackers to get entered into system and remotely gather the details in device’s memory, which is likely to expose user’s private or sensitive information to the Internet world.

The vulnerability is found to develop from the OS processes IKEv1 (Internet Key Exchange version 1) requests. This key exchange protocol is specifically designed for VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and other features that are commonly used in enterprise environments.

The Cisco researches discovered this flaw by themselves after analyzing an exploit for Cisco PIX firewalls that was exposed last month because of a hacking outfit named Shadow Brokers. The exploit served as one of the parts of certain attack tools that Shadow Brokers claimed to be applied by a cyberespionage group known as the Equation, believed to work for NSA.

Cisco made a decision to release a security advisory to inform its customers about the information of the vulnerability because other hackers group also can possibly discover it by analyzing the exploit leaked by Shadow Brokers.

The affected IOS, IOS XE, and IOS XR claimed that they have not had the resolution, but the detection signatures for invasion prevention systems published by Cisco can be applied to safeguard the networks from potential attacks.

An organization called Shadowserver Foundation who specializes in tracking cybercrime and assists with botnet takedowns, has launched an Internet-wide scan to search for the Cisco devices infested by the security flaws in order to report them to their owner.

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