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Network Automation is Not Your Safe Haven: Protocol Analysis and Vulnerabilities of Autonomic Networks

Omar Eissa

2 vote(s)

Autonomic systems are smart systems which do not need any human management or intervention. Cisco is one of the first companies to deploy the technology in which only 5 commands are needed to build a complete automated smart network of hundreds of nodes. It is already supported in pretty much all of the recent software images for enterprise level and carrier grade routers/switches.

This is the bright side of the technology. On the other hand, the configuration is hidden and the interfaces are inaccessible. The protocol is proprietary and there is no mechanism to know what is running within your network.

In this presentation, we will start with a quick overview of Cisco’s Autonomic Network Architecture followed by the methodology used to reverse-engineer the proprietary protocol. The last part of the presentation covers four high-risk security vulnerabilities that were found during the reverse engineering process. One of these vulnerabilities allows to crash Cisco devices remotely by sending a specifically crafted packet to the IPv6 address of the device.

About Omar Eissa

Omar Eissa is a security Analyst working for ERNW. His interests are network security and reverse-engineering. He is a professional Cisco engineer with various years of experience in enterprise and ISPs networks. He has given talks and workshops at various telco events and conferences like Troopers17 and Black Hat USA 2017.