Cisco rushing to fix broken VoIP patch

A vulnerability in its VoIP phones which could enable hackers to eavesdrop on conversations is proving doubly troublesome for Cisco Systems.

The company said a patch it made to fix the problem is not working so it sent a team to work on a permanent patch and Cisco will soon issue a security advisory and detailed mitigation report on the issue later this week, a spokesperson said.
Ang Cui a, doctoral candidates and computer science professor Salvatore Stolfo, of Columbia University’s engineering department both discovered the vulnerability. While analyzing Unix-like firmware inside Cisco phones, they found that by tampering with a subset of Cisco’s unified IP phones it was possible to eavesdrop on private conversations.
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The phones which could be compromised are the 7900 series running a version of Cisco IP Phone software up to and including the 9.3.1-ES10.

Users of the hacked phone would have no inkling their conversation is being monitored and the attackers can also remotely turn up the device’s microphone to pick up sounds in the vicinity of the phone, the researchers said.

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