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Cisco and Fortinet say vulnerabilities disclosed in ‘NSA hack’ are legit

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A group calling itself the Shadow Brokers dumped data online this weekend that it claimed to have stolen from the Equation Group, a hacking team widely believed to be associated with the NSA. Firewall makers Cisco and Fortinet have now confirmed that vulnerabilities included in the data dump affected their products — a disclosure that lends credence to the theory that the Equation Group is indeed an NSA operation.

Cisco said in a security advisory that two vulnerabilities in the Shadow Brokers’ data could be used to breach its Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software used in its firewalls. “An exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code and obtain full control of the system or to cause a reload of the affected system,” Cisco’s disclosure says.

The data being offered for sale by the Shadow Brokers is dated between 2010 and 2013, so Cisco firewalls may have been vulnerable for years.

Fortinet also said that some of its products released prior to August 2012 contained a vulnerability that would allow an attacker to take execution control over a firewall. More recent versions should not be affected, Fortinet said, although the company noted that its investigation into the code released by the Shadow Brokers is continuing. – READ MORE

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