Cisco, Apple Patch Security Glitches

Cisco issues three security fixes for its networking products and one for its Linksys brand routers, while Apple details a Java-related glitch present in its software update downloads.

Cisco Systems and Apple Computer each released new security patches meant to plug vulnerabilities discovered in their respective products.

The networking giant issued patches for several types of software, while industry watchdogs identified a separate issue in a discontinued model of its Linksys brand routers. For its part, Apple detailed an issue related to a Java-oriented element of its software update services.

Cisco specifically addressed a privilege escalation vulnerability identified by researchers in a number of its products that could allow attackers to take control of devices running the affected software. The issue is present in the companys Cisco Wireless LAN Solution Engine, Cisco Hosting Solution Engine, Cisco User Registration Tool, Cisco Ethernet Subscriber Solution Engine and CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution.

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The company issued patches aimed to fix the glitches in the Hosting Solution Engine and User Registration Tool, but said that it will not distribute updates for the Ethernet Subscriber Solution Engine and Works2000 Service Management package as both products are no longer supported, having reached "end of life" status. Organizations still using those products can retain assistance from the companys technical support staff, however.

The company issued a separate security advisory related to the Wireless LAN Solution Engine, which runs inside the Cisco networking appliance that bears the same name. According to the company, the appliance is affected by the privilege escalation vulnerability, along with an XSS (cross site scripting) vulnerability that could allow an attacker to gain administrative privileges on the system.

By exploiting the two vulnerabilities together, Cisco said an attacker can obtain complete control of the WLSE appliance. The company said there is no workaround for avoiding the issues, but issued software updates meant to patch the bugs. Cisco warned that customers should ensure that their devices contain sufficient memory and have been properly configured to install its latest software patch.

Cisco also issued an update aimed at fixing a security issue in its Cisco IOS XR networking device operating system. The company said that multiple MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching)-related vulnerabilities exist in the operating system, which could allow an attacker to reload the MSC (Modular Services Card) on one of its CRS-1 routers or the line cards on a Cisco 12000 series router. Repeated exploitation of the problem could result in a sustained denial-of-service attack, the company said.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or CERT, detailed several vulnerabilities in a discontinued VOIP (voice over IP) router built by Ciscos Linksys division. CERT contends that the Linksys RT31P2 VOIP router contains several vulnerabilities that could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to launch a denial-of-service attack.

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Specifically, the researchers said that the RT31P2 unit fails to properly handle malformed SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) messages used by VOIP systems, which could allow someone to disrupt phone service facilitated by the devices. Linksys representatives didnt immediately return calls seeking further details on the issue, and CERT said there is no known solution to the problem.

Apple, meanwhile, released a security bulletin detailing a glitch related to the security content of a version of Sun Microsystems J2SE (Java 2 Standard Edition) Release 4 that it has been making available over its Software Update and Apple Downloads services.

While the company did not disclose all the details of the issue, as it said that it is still investigating the problem, the hardware maker is already offering a patch that it said should alleviate two specific J2SE glitches. In one instance, the computer maker detailed a security vulnerability in the Java Web Start portion of the program that may allow an application to elevate its privileges.

A second issue, tied to vulnerabilities related to the use of "reflection" APIs in the Java Runtime Environment, could also allow a program applet to elevate its privileges, Apple said.

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