Bangalore,September 16 2015: Security specialists have alerted enterprises to cyber attacks that are targeting routers made by CISCO. India is in the short list of four countries where routers have been known to come implanted with malicious software called SYNful Knock, which can help Net baddies scoop up all and any of the data traffic passing through the routers.
The alert came from a top US-based Net security specialist -- FireEye-- which published a blog yesterday, on the subject which said: "A router implanted with a backdoor provides attackers a very easy entry point to establish a foothold and compromise other hosts and critical data.... While this attack could be possible on any router technology, in this case, the targeted victims were Cisco routers. The Mandiant* team found 14 instances of this router implant, dubbed SYNful Knock, across four countries: Ukraine, Philippines, Mexico, and India.... We believe that the detection of SYNful Knock is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to attacks utilizing modified router images (regardless of vendor). As attackers focus their efforts on gaining persistent access, it is likely that other undetected variants of this implant are being deployed throughout the globe. (*Mandiant,is a FireEye company, provides incident response and security assessment services)
In August 2015, Cisco had issued an alert or Security Activity Bulletin about this type of attack.
This is not the first instance of Cisco routers being targeted: In Glenn Greenwald's 2014 book " No Place to Hide" ( Hamish Hamilton, Rs 599) he reproduces material provided by US National Security Agency whistle blower Edward Snowden that show that murky US agencies were intercepting shipments of networking hardware from Cisco to insert spy hardware." “We simply cannot operate this way" CISCO Chairman John Chambers protested to President Obama. The book includes a slide (on page 149 of the book) which purportedly shows operatives intercepting a Cisco consignment.
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