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Technology vendor Cisco is pushing out security updates to customers to address a critical vulnerability found in its recently introduced line of FirePower firewall products. The vulnerability, according to Cisco, allows attackers to slip malware onto critical systems without detection. The flaw is also impacts  Snort, an open source network-based intrusion detection system also owned by Cisco. Cisco alerted customers of the vulnerability (CVE-2016-1345) last week classifying it as “high severity”. The networking firm has released software updates that address the vulnerability in Cisco Firepower System Software and later, and later and 6.0.1 and later.


Security researchers at Check Point Security are credited for finding the vulnerability. According to Cisco and Check Point, both are unaware of any known compromised systems tied to the vulnerability. Impacted Cisco hardware include several Firepower firewall appliances, its Next Generation Intrusion Prevention System for both Blue Coat and VMware security services. A full list of impacted Cisco appliances and services are listed on Cisco’s website. Alternatively, customers can check Cisco configurations (Policies>Access Control>Malware and File). Cisco says if the policy setting is “Block Files, Block Malware, or Detect Files” the system is vulnerable. For Snort customers, Cisco reports, if the Snort source code is compiled with the “enable-file-inspect configuration flag” then the system is also vulnerable to the malware exploit. According to the Cisco bulletin, the vulnerability is tied to improper input validation of fields in the HTTP headers that could allow attackers to exploit by “sending a crafted HTTP request to an affected system.” Doing so allows malware to be installed on systems without detection. Snort users can download the patch with is designed for versions and later of the software. Since the beginning of March, Cisco has released information regarding 30 vulnerabilities – one critical, 16 high severity and 13 medium severity. Last month, Cisco released both the Firepower Management Center and its Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall. Cisco touts the two as being first to market with a “fully integrated” and threat-focused firewall. Cisco did not return requests for comment on this report.