Description of Cisco IOS Vulnerabilities Essay

Description of Cisco IOS Vulnerabilities Essay

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In the computer age, vulnerabilities and back doors into devices are proving heaven for hackers and hell for administrators. Every week it seems that new vulnerabilities are discovered in different devices. Cisco IOS is no different and numerous vulnerabilities can be found in their devices. The aim of the report is to research vulnerabilities in Cisco's IOS operating system. Tools available in Backtrack 5 will be used to exploit the vulnerabilities. GNS3 will be used to set up a working topology to work in conjunction with Backtrack 5 to demonstrate the tools. The report also contains screenshots of the tools that will aid the readers understanding.

2. Cisco IOS Vulnerabilities

3. GNS3 Setup

A network topology in GNS3 (Graphical Network Simulator) is used in conjunction with Backtrack 5 to demonstrate the exploit tools of Cisco. The topology consists of three routers connected to one switch which is connected to a cloud. The cloud will act as Backtrack. The network address is Each router is configured with separate IP addresses in the network. Backtrack is connected to the cloud on the same Vmnet custom network. (See Figure 3-1 below).

Figure 3-1. GNS3 Topology.

4. Cisco Auditing Tool

The Cisco Auditing Tool's main function is to scan cisco routers to look for well known vulnerabilties. The tool accomplishes three main tasks which are, brute forcing the telnet password if telnet is running, it tries to brute force the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) community strings, and finally it looks for the IOS history bug. (Ali and Heriyanto, 2011, p 144).

Telnet is a program that connects a PC to the server or router on the network. The default port for telnet is 23. SNMP is a p...

... middle of paper ...

Mati Aharoni, William M. Hidalgo (2010) Cisco SNMP configuration attack with a GRE tunnel
[online] available from
< > [08 March 2014].

Faircloth J, Beale J, Temmingh R, Meer H, van der Walt C, Moore HD (2006) Penetration Testers Open Source Toolkit.
3rd edn. Massachusetts : Elsevier Syngress Publishing.
Kevin Orrey (2008) Cisco Torch [online] available from
<> [08 March 2014].

Ali, S. and Heriyanto T. (2011) BackTrack 4: Assuring Security by Penetration Testers.
1st edn. Birmingham: Packt Publishing.
Alfredo Andres Omella, David Barroso Berrueta (2010) Yersinia Man Page [online] available from
<> [08 March 2014].

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