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Cisco warns of critical security hole in SoHo routers

18 Jul 2014
Cisco warns of SoHo router security flaw

Cisco has released a security update for multiple versions of its Small Office/Home Office (SoHo) routers, fixing a critical flaw that left users open to attack by hackers.

Cisco issued the threat advisory on Thursday, warning customers that the issue stems from a flaw in the way the routers process HTTP requests.

"The vulnerability is due to incorrect input validation for HTTP requests. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a crafted HTTP request to the affected device," read the advisory.

"Successful exploitation could allow the attacker to crash the web server and execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges. This vulnerability exists whether the device is configured in Router mode or Gateway mode."

The vulnerability is present in Cisco's DPC3212, DPC3825 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0, EPC3212, EPC3825 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0, DPC3010 DOCSIS 3.0 8x4, DPC3925 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0, DPQ3925 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0, EPC3010 DOCSIS 3.0 and EPC3925 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0 products.

At the time of publishing Cisco had not responded to V3's request for comment on whether it has seen any evidence that the flaw is being actively exploited by hackers.

Cisco said SoHo users should install the update as soon as possible, because "workarounds that mitigate this vulnerability are not available".

The new flaw is one of many security issues uncovered in Cisco's SoHo routers in recent months.

Researchers at the security firm Team Cymru traced a campaign that successfully compromised 300,000 SoHo routers using man-in-the-middle attacks to two UK IP addresses in March.

The news will troubling for small businesses using the affected products. Research from PwC and the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) revealed cyber attacks are costing small organisations up to £115,000 per breach in April.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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