Upcoming Events

Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

Register Now!

A Network Computing Webinar:
SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

Register Now!

More Events »

Subscribe to Newsletter

  • Keep up with all of the latest news and analysis on the fast-moving IT industry with Network Computing newsletters.
Sign Up

Cisco Password Fumble: Hardware Security At Risk

Password implementation error results in easy-to-crack Type 4 passwords in latest versions of IOS and IOS XE operating systems that run Cisco's switches and routers.

Cisco has released a security bulletin warning that a move to strengthen passwords on some devices resulted in making passwords much easier to crack.

The vulnerability affects recently released versions of the IOS and IOS XE operating system that runs on Cisco routers and switches. The problem stems from Cisco's use of the Type 4 password algorithm in the operating system, and its failure to salt – add random bits to -- passwords or use PBKDF2, which randomizes passphrases and adds a salt, thus deriving a cryptographic key that's more difficult to crack.

"Due to an implementation issue, the Type 4 password algorithm does not use PBKDF2 and does not use a salt, but instead performs a single iteration of SHA-256 over the user-provided plaintext password," said the Cisco security warning. "This approach causes a Type 4 password to be less resilient to brute-force attacks than a Type 5 password of equivalent complexity."

The flaw affects only devices that have been upgraded to versions of IOS or IOS XE that support Type 4 passwords, and only affects those devices' "'enable secret ' and 'username secret ' commands," according to the security advisory. "No other Cisco IOS or IOS XE features use this algorithm to hash passwords or keys." Previous versions of IOS and IOS XE used the Type 5 algorithm.

Some caveats about the vulnerability: Cisco said that Type 4 passwords must have been purposefully generated, because no preexisting passwords on its devices would have been automatically updated. "There is no automatic conversion of existing Type 5 passwords to Type 4 passwords after upgrading a device to a Cisco IOS or Cisco IOS XE release that has support for Type 4 passwords," said Cisco.

... Read full story on InformationWeek

Post a comment to the original version of this story on InformationWeek

Related Reading

More Insights

Network Computing encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Network Computing moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing/SPAM. Network Computing further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | Please read our commenting policy.
Vendor Comparisons
Network Computing’s Vendor Comparisons provide extensive details on products and services, including downloadable feature matrices. Our categories include:

Research and Reports

Network Computing: April 2013

TechWeb Careers