Cisco has revealed that six servers it operates in conjunction with earlier versions of its virtual internet routing lab personal edition (VIRL-PE) product were compromised following the disclosure of critical vulnerabilities in SaltStack.
Finnish security vendor F-Secure said earlier this month that critical vulnerabilities in SaltStack digital infrastructure automation systems were being exploited.
The flaws affect the SaltStack salt-master, which sends updates to salt minions that control servers.
Cisco said in an advisory that two of its products - Cisco modeling labs corporate edition (CML) and Cisco VIRL-PE - “incorporate a version of SaltStack that is running the salt-master service that is affected by these vulnerabilities.”
VIRL-PE is described as a network modelling and simulation environment, while CML is similarly a network simulation platform.
Cisco advised that "CML and VIRL-PE software releases 2.0 and later do not run the salt-master service."
However, earlier versions are impacted in various ways spelled out by the advisory, depending on “how the product has been deployed” - and workarounds have been released.
“For any installation that is found with salt-master service running, Cisco would recommend either inspecting the machine for compromise or doing a re-image of the machine and installing the latest version of Cisco CML or Cisco VIRL-PE,” the vendor advised.
Cisco said its own infrastructure teams maintained the salt-master servers used with Cisco VIRL-PE, and that six of these were compromised using the SaltStack flaws.
“Cisco identified that the Cisco maintained salt-master servers that are servicing Cisco VIRL-PE releases 1.2 and 1.3 were compromised,” it said.
“The servers were remediated on May 7, 2020.”
It listed the compromised servers as: us-1.virl.info, us-2.virl.info, us-3.virl.info, us-4.virl.info, vsm-us-1.virl.info and vsm-us-2.virl.info.
“Cisco VIRL-PE connects back to Cisco maintained Salt Servers that are running the salt-master service,” it said.
“These servers are configured to communicate with a different Cisco salt-master server, depending on which release of Cisco VIRL-PE software is running.
“Administrators can check the configured Cisco salt-master server by navigating to VIRL Server > Salt Configuration and Status.”
Cisco added that its CML product “does not connect back to any Cisco maintained Salt servers”.