fortinetfortigate01100639334orig
Security

FortiGuard SSH backdoor found in more Fortinet security appliances

Network security vendor Fortinet has identified an authentication issue that could give remote attackers administrative control over some of its products.

The issue, which was described as a FortiGuard SSH (Secure Shell) backdoor, was originally disclosed earlier this month by an anonymous researcher, who also published exploit code for it.

Last week, Fortinet said that the problem was not an intentional backdoor, but the result of a management feature which relied on an undocumented account with a hard-coded password. Additionally the company noted that the issue was fixed in FortiOS back in July 2014, after being identified as a security risk by the company's own product security team.

FortiOS is the operating system that runs on Fortinet's FortiGuard network firewall appliances. The versions patched in 2014 were FortiOS 4.3.17 and FortiOS 5.0.8, while the newer 5.2 and 5.4 branches have never been affected.

However, after its statement last week, the company began investigating if the same issue also exists in other products and found that some versions of FortiSwitch, FortiAnalyzer and FortiCache are also affected.

"These versions have the same management authentication issue that was disclosed in legacy versions of FortiOS," the company said in a new blog post.

Customers are strongly advised to upgrade to the newly released FortiAnalyzer version 5.0.12 or 5.2.5, depending on which branch of the software they're using. The 4.3 branch is not affected.

FortiSwitch users should upgrade to version 3.3.3 and FortiCache users to version 3.0.8 or to the 3.1 branch, which is not affected.

The company has also provided manual workarounds for affected devices that cannot be immediately upgraded. These consist mainly of disabling SSH access to the devices and using the Web-based management interfaces instead.

"As previously stated, this vulnerability is an unintentional consequence of a feature that was designed with the intent of providing seamless access from an authorized FortiManager to registered FortiGate devices," the company said. "It is important to note, this is not a case of a malicious backdoor implemented to grant unauthorized user access."

The company is likely trying to differentiate this problem from an SSH backdoor found recently in network firewalls from Juniper Networks, one of its competitors. In Juniper's case, the backdoor was added to the company's source code without its knowledge and remained undetected for two years. That incident is reportedly being investigated by the FBI.

IDG Insider

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« Why did Linux Foundation cut independent board seats?

NEXT ARTICLE

Skype now hides your IP address to protect against attacks from online trolls »
author_image
IDG News Service

The IDG News Service is the world's leading daily source of global IT news, commentary and editorial resources. The News Service distributes content to IDG's more than 300 IT publications in more than 60 countries.

  • Mail

Recommended for You

Trump hits partial pause on Huawei ban, but 5G concerns persist

Phil Muncaster reports on China and beyond

FinancialForce profits from PSA investment

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Future-proofing the Middle East

Keri Allan looks at the latest trends and technologies

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?