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Lock up your top-of-racks, says Cisco, there's a bug in the USB code

It's almost 2016 and Nexus 5000 switches can be flummoxed by a dud driver

By Richard Chirgwin, 7 Dec 2015

It's 2015, and the right stuff on a USB stick can still crash a substantial switch.

Cisco hasn't yet worked out how to fix this vulnerability, and as a result, the details it offers in the advisory are sparse.

What we can glean from the note is that the crash can only be triggered by a local user. Here's how Cisco explain the problem:

“The vulnerability is due to insufficient handling of USB input parameters. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending crafted USB parameters to be processed by the kernel of an affected device”

Naturally enough, the Borg hasn't detailed exactly what you have to load on a USB key to trigger the crash, but it'd be nice to think that most data centres will notice someone suspicious taking down their top-of-rack switches. ®

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