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Very Pwnable Network: Cisco AnyConnect Security Analysis

Roitburd, Gerbert ; Ortmann, Matthias ; Hollick, Matthias ; Classen, Jiska (2021)
Very Pwnable Network: Cisco AnyConnect Security Analysis.
IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security. virtual Conference (04.-06.10.2021)
doi: 10.1109/CNS53000.2021.9705023
Conference or Workshop Item, Bibliographie

Abstract

Corporate Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) enable users to work from home or while traveling. At the same time, VPNs are tied to a company’s network infrastructure, forcing users to install proprietary clients for network compatibility reasons. VPN clients run with high privileges to encrypt and reroute network traffic. Thus, bugs in VPN clients pose a substantial risk to their users and in turn the corporate network. Cisco, the dominating vendor of enterprise network hardware, offers VPN connectivity with their AnyConnect client for desktop and mobile devices. While past security research primarily focused on the AnyConnect Windows client, we show that Linux and iOS are based on different architectures and have distinct security issues. Our reverse engineering as well as the follow-up design analysis and fuzzing reveal 13 new vulnerabilities. Seven of these are located in the Linux client. The root cause for privilege escalations on Linux is anchored so deep in the client’s architecture that it only got patched with a partial workaround. A similar analysis on iOS uncovers three AnyConnect-specific bugs as well as three general issues in iOS network extensions, which apply to all kinds of VPNs and are not restricted to AnyConnect.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Erschienen: 2021
Creators: Roitburd, Gerbert ; Ortmann, Matthias ; Hollick, Matthias ; Classen, Jiska
Type of entry: Bibliographie
Title: Very Pwnable Network: Cisco AnyConnect Security Analysis
Language: English
Date: 7 October 2021
Publisher: IEEE
Book Title: 2021 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security (CNS)
Event Title: IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security
Event Location: virtual Conference
Event Dates: 04.-06.10.2021
DOI: 10.1109/CNS53000.2021.9705023
Abstract:

Corporate Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) enable users to work from home or while traveling. At the same time, VPNs are tied to a company’s network infrastructure, forcing users to install proprietary clients for network compatibility reasons. VPN clients run with high privileges to encrypt and reroute network traffic. Thus, bugs in VPN clients pose a substantial risk to their users and in turn the corporate network. Cisco, the dominating vendor of enterprise network hardware, offers VPN connectivity with their AnyConnect client for desktop and mobile devices. While past security research primarily focused on the AnyConnect Windows client, we show that Linux and iOS are based on different architectures and have distinct security issues. Our reverse engineering as well as the follow-up design analysis and fuzzing reveal 13 new vulnerabilities. Seven of these are located in the Linux client. The root cause for privilege escalations on Linux is anchored so deep in the client’s architecture that it only got patched with a partial workaround. A similar analysis on iOS uncovers three AnyConnect-specific bugs as well as three general issues in iOS network extensions, which apply to all kinds of VPNs and are not restricted to AnyConnect.

Divisions: 20 Department of Computer Science
20 Department of Computer Science > Sichere Mobile Netze
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2022 08:00
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 08:00
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