A security vulnerability in Alcatel SA’s OmniSwitch 7000 series LAN switches could lead to an attacker gaining full control over the switches. It affects Alcatel OmniSwitch 7700 and 7800 switches running the Alcatel Operating System Version 5.1.1, Alcatel said in a security advisory last month. In the vulnerable systems, a telnet server listens for connections on TCP Port 6778 and accepts connections without requiring a password, creating a back door that provides full administrative control over the switch. Users should immediately create an access control list blocking all access to Port 6778, Alcatel said. A patch to close the back door also is available.

Metro Ethernet Forum allies with ITU

The Metro Ethernet Forum last month announced the establishment of a relationship with the International Telecommunication Union to facilitate the implementation of metropolitan Ethernet standards. The forum said it will deliver its Metro Ethernet Services specifications by mid-2003. Also, the forum’s technical committee moved 16 technical documents pertaining to Ethernet services, protocol and transport, management and architecture to ballot or straw ballot phase; and advanced to draft status the Ethernet Interworking Network-to-Network Interface technical specification. This specification will let service providers interconnect and extend service coverage.

IEEE exploring 10G Ethernet on copper standard

The IEEE is exploring whether to set a standard for running 10Gbps Ethernet over Category 5 wiring, which would be in addition to the existing standard for 10G Ethernet over fibre. So far, proposed implementations of the technology on copper vary widely, and that will have to be sorted out in a work group that could start meeting as early as January. Last week, the IEEE put out a call for interest that will result in a group that will start dealing with technical issues. All the proposed schemes would use all four wire pairs in a Category 5 cable and would support distances up to 328 feet.

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