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Cisco 2014 Midyear Security Report: Brush Your Teeth, Change Your Passwords, Update Your Software

Listening to the radio on the way to work recently, I heard that hackers had stolen some 1.2 billion usernames and passwords, affecting as many as 420,000 websites. When asked what listeners could do to protect themselves, the security expert speaking recommended changing passwords.

He did not mention which ones. Indeed, the names of the compromised sites have not even been publicly named for fear of making the problem worse, so there is no way of knowing how to prioritize which passwords to change. Adding to my irritation, I had just changed several passwords in the wake of the Heartbleed/OpenSSL compromise a few months ago. Perhaps like you, I have more than 100 passwords. Changing them all is not really an option. Read More »

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New Standards May Reduce Heartburn Caused by the Next Heartbleed

Ed Paradise, Vice President of Engineering for Cisco’s Threat Response, Intelligence and Development Group

Much has been made of the industry-wide Heartbleed vulnerability and its potential exploitation. Cisco was among the first companies to release a customer Security Advisory when the vulnerability became public, and is now one of many offering mitigation advice.

Those dealing with this issue on a day-to-day basis know it’s not enough to just patch the OpenSSL software library. Organizations also need to revoke and reissue digital certificates for their Heartbleed-vulnerable sites. If your certificates were stored in a Trust Anchor Module (TAM), they are still safe. Otherwise, a few additional steps should be taken to ensure you and your customers are secure:
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Cisco, Linux Foundation, and OpenSSL

The recent OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability has shown that technology leaders must work together to secure the Internet’s critical infrastructure. That’s why Cisco is proud to be a founding supporter of the Linux Foundation initiative announced yesterday (April 24th).

The initiative will fund open source projects that are critical to core computing and Internet functions, and Cisco sees security technologies as a fundamental infrastructure component. The first project being considered for funding is OpenSSL. As a longtime contributor to open source and user, we’ve offered code and intellectual property to enhance OpenSSL. We’ve also provided patches and testing results to help address vulnerabilities. Today’s announcement takes that commitment a step further.

We are pleased to help form a critical mass of governance, funding, and focus that will support the output of open source communities like OpenSSL. By working together as an industry, we can expect greater security, stability, and robustness for components that are critical to the Internet.

For more Cisco-specific information on the Heartbleed vulnerability, please visit our event response page and Security Advisory. You may also be interested in our April 23 webinar titled, Heartbleed: Assessing and Mitigating Your Risk.

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OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability CVE-2014-0160 – Cisco products and mitigations

*** UPDATED 15-April 2014  ***

By now, almost everyone has heard of the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability with CVE id CVE-2014-0160. The vulnerability has to do with the implementation of the TLS heartbeat extension (RFC6520) and could allow secret key or private information leakage in TLS encrypted communications. For more detailed information, visit the VRT’s analysis.

Cisco maintains an Cisco Event Response Page with details and network mitigations about the vulnerability

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