By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
26th May 2010
Cisco Systems has warned of serious vulnerabilities in a device that
connects a building's ventilation, lighting, security, and energy supply
systems so they can be controlled by IT workers remotely.
The networking giant on Wednesday urged users of the Cisco Network
Building Mediator products to patch the vulnerabilities, which among
other things allow adversaries to obtain administrative passwords. No
authentication is required to read the system configuration files,
making it possible for outsiders to take control of a building's most
critical control systems.
"Successful exploitation of any of these vulnerabilities could result in
a malicious user taking complete control over an affected device," a
Cisco advisory stated. The notice also warned that the vulnerabilities
are present in the legacy products from Richards-Zeta, the
Cisco-acquired company that originally designed the system. The bugs
were discovered during internal testing.
Another flaw makes it possible for low-level employees to gain full
control of the device by accessing default administrative accounts.
Other bugs allowed malicious insiders to intercept traffic as it travels
between an administrator and the Building Mediator and to escalate
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