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Bug Businesses Encryption Networking Privacy Security BSD

Juniper OS Flaw Allowed Forged Certificates (arstechnica.com) 26

Slashdot reader disccomp shares an article from Ars Technica: In an advisory posted Wednesday, Juniper officials said they just fixed a bug in the company's Junos operating system that allowed adversaries to masquerade as trusted parties. The impersonation could be carried out by presenting a forged cryptographic certificate that was signed by the attacker rather than by a trusted certificate authority that normally vets the identity of the credential holder...

"It seems that Junos was accepting specially crafted, invalid certificates as trusted," said Stephen Checkoway, a computer scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago who recently focused on security in Juniper products. "This would enable anyone to create a VPN connection and gain access to the private network, e.g., a private, corporate network."

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Juniper OS Flaw Allowed Forged Certificates

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  • ... was to make the damn thing secure. That's why it exists. And they still failed. It's like selling a bread that doesn't taste or has the same ingredients like a real bread. But you still call it bread and sell it. These companies should be boycotted. It's our security that we're talking about! There should be repercussions for these kind of failures!
    • ... was to make the damn thing secure. That's why it exists. And they still failed. It's like selling a bread that doesn't taste or has the same ingredients like a real bread.

      Agreed...they had ONE job...all it had to do was what it's supposed to do, and they couldn't even get that right.

      I say we go into business selling square wheels and when clients find out that they don't work, we'll issue a "patch" to correct it: a triangular wheel.

      • Not to be critical, but you might want to release the triangle wheel first, that way the square wheel is an improvement over it (however still flawed), then after that a pentagon wheel, then a hexagon wheel... The users will feel the product is getting better and better with each release, even though the wheel still isn't round.
        • Not to be critical, but you might want to release the triangle wheel first, that way the square wheel is an improvement over it (however still flawed), then after that a pentagon wheel, then a hexagon wheel...

          You're absolutely right. In addition to the PR campaign bragging about the innovation in providing the upgrade, it'll cost a little more for the hexagon wheel. After all, it's a hexagon and many people have no idea what that means, so naturally it would cost more.

    • These companies should be boycotted.

      This *is* the general sentiment, but the fact is that there is only very few companies that can satisfy corporate needs in this area and all of these companies are ridden with identical problems. You'd essentially have to boycott them all.

    • by GNious ( 953874 )

      Forcibly rename the company, "I Can't Believe It's Not Security!" ?

  • Juniper already had a backdoor in VPN products. [arstechnica.com]

    Does it means they had NSA-corrupted engineers, or that they have better processes than others to find this kind of stuff that would happen everywhere?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That is the question, isn't it?

      We know that the NSA hunts SysAdmins [theintercept.com] in order to gain control over the systems and networks they manage [theintercept.com]. With that level of access inside Juniper, the NSA could easily have added these features themselves. In that case, kudos to Juniper for discovering the features and fixing them. Now they need to discover how they were added and what level of access the NSA has inside their systems.

      We also know that the NSA receives voluntary cooperation [wikipedia.org] from numerous network providers.

      • We know that the NSA hunts SysAdmins in order to gain control over the systems and networks they manage. With that level of access inside Juniper, the NSA could easily have added these features themselves.

        Hunting sysadmins is perfect to get access to data, but that is less effective to alter stuff. I am certain Juniper uses some version control tool. Modifying something leaves trails.

        I am more inclined to think about an NSA agent being hired by Juniper as developer (or a Juniper developer being hired by NSA) in order to add subtle security bug in a legitimate software change.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      I don't think the NSA is behind this. The NSA would have delivered backdoors that are very hard or impossible to find. These seem to be within reach of an ordinary in-detail security review of the system by anybody competent. A known backdoor is worthless.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Sunday July 17, 2016 @01:40PM (#52529069)

    My money is on incompetence, as this was obviously something people could find by just looking. IMO incompetence is worse because while intent can be fixed pretty fast if needed, incompetence cannot.

    It is also a pretty good indicator for the sad state of practical IT when a security element (!) does not even manage to get something as basic as certificate verification right.

    • Incompetence is also worse because there is an unknowable number of problems like this. At least with intent, someone somewhere has an exact list of what has been compromised. With incompetence, systems are compromised and no one knows until it's too late.
    • What do you want to bet an outsourced or h1b1 employee with no experience implemented this as a cost saving measure.

      Talented security professionals are expensive

//GO.SYSIN DD *, DOODAH, DOODAH

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