Security researchers today expressed deep concern over the disclosure by Juniper Networks this week that it had discovered unauthorized code in its ScreenOS firewall operating system that could allow an attacker to decrypt VPN communications or take complete administrative control of a compromised system.
In an out-of-cycle advisory issued yesterday, Juniper senior vice president and CIO Bob Worrall said the company discovered the code during an internal review recently and had moved quickly to patch the vulnerabilities. “We launched an investigation into the matter, and worked to develop and issue patched releases for the latest versions of ScreenOS,” Worrall said.
According to the company, all Juniper NetScreen devices running versions OS 6.2.0r15 through 6.2.0r18 and 6.3.0r12 through 6.3.0r20 of ScreenOS are vulnerable and need to be patched immediately.
In a separate advisory, Juniper said the code causes two security issues. “The first issue allows unauthorized remote administrative access to the device over SSH or telnet. Exploitation of this vulnerability can lead to complete compromise of the affected system,” the company noted. Certain entries in the log file would indicate if someone had exploited the vulnerability, Juniper said.
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