Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Hackers to target Cisco next

#107 Being a gorilla makes you a big target. Just ask Microsoft. Now that the heat seems to be off Microsoft for a while, there is speculation that Cisco is next. Virus writers rub their hands in glee imagining the havoc the could wreak by compromising one router.

Vulnerability researchers predict the emergence of router worms: malware designed to automatically spread from router to router like wildfire, thereby bringing down vast segments of network infrastructure. Researchers for security vendor McAfee Inc. have designated router worms a major future threat. “It’s now the rage to find vulnerabilities and it was easy to find them in Microsoft operating systems. Then people started going after Apple, so you’re starting to hear more about those. When they exhaust these easy things, then they’ll start going after Cisco boxes,” says Jimmy Kuo, fellow for the McAfee Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team (AVERT).

How should the perplexed network manager prepare to deal with a threat that may or may not materialize? According to this article, an attitude change is needed. "Many system administrators think of routers as a VCR or toaster, but they need to start thinking of it as a computer because it can be attacked in the same way as a computer can be. If people want to protect themselves against router attacks, it comes down to paying the same attention to routers as their Windows system."

Now that is food for thought isn't it?
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