Cisco Patches Its Operating Systems Against New IKE Crypto Attack


Cisco Patches Its Operating Systems Against New IKE Crypto Attack

CISCO SYSTEMS INC. IS THE WORLDWIDE LEADER in networking for the Internet. The company was founded in 1984 by two computer scientists from Stanford University seeking an easier way to connect different types of computer systems.

Cisco Systems shipped its first product in 1986 and is now a multi-national corporation, with over 35,000 employees in more than 115 countries. Today, Cisco solutions are the networking foundations for service providers, small to medium business and enterprise customers which includes corporations, government agencies, utilities and educational institutions.

Cisco, one of the world’s largest vendor of networking equipment, released security updates today to patch a vulnerability in the IOS and IOS XE operating systems that run the vast majority of its devices.

The vulnerability is tracked as CVE-2018-0131 and is one of four CVE identifiers for a new Bleichenbacher oracle cryptographic attack against the IKE (Internet  Key Exchange) protocol.






Patches address new cryptographic attack


Researchers say their attack works against the IKEv1 implementations of Cisco (CVE-2018-0131), Hua­wei (CVE-2017-17305), Cla­vis­ter (CVE-2018-8753), and ZyXEL (CVE-2018-9129).

The research team, made up of three academics from the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany and two from the University of Opole, Poland, say they notified vendors that had products vulnerable to this attack.

“All ven­dors pu­blis­hed fixes or re­mo­ved the par­ti­cu­lar au­then­ti­ca­ti­on me­thod from their de­vices’ firm­wares in re­s­pon­se to our re­ports,” researchers said.






Cisco IOS and IOS XE affected, but not IOS XR


Cisco was by far the biggest vendor affected by this flaw, and the hardest hit. CVE-2018-0131 affects the company’s main product, the IOS (Internetworking Operating System), and its Linux-based offshoot, IOS XE.

The IOS XR operating system, which runs on a different codebase and is used mainly for carrier-grade routers, is not affected.


operating system



Attackers can recover VPN sessions


According to Cisco, this flaw “could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to obtain the encrypted nonces of an Internet Key Exchange Version 1 (IKEv1) session.”

“The vulnerability exists because the affected software responds incorrectly to decryption failures. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability sending crafted ciphertexts to a device configured with IKEv1 that uses RSA-encrypted nonces,” Cisco said in a security advisory.







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