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Barracuda Networks released an update to mitigate a hole that attackers could leverage to gain access to some of its network security appliances through backdoor accounts.

In addition to closing the hole, the company promised to look into additional ways to strengthen remote support functionality.

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Two weeks ago, security researchers from Austria-based SEC Consult, found Barracuda Networks appliances contain several undocumented backdoor accounts.

In addition, the default firewall configuration of those devices made it possible for attackers to access the undocumented accounts from a predefined set of public IP addresses, some of which did not belong to Barracuda Networks.

Cyber Security

The company quickly released a “Security Definition” update it said “drastically minimized attack vectors” by disabling remote access to non-essential accounts. However, the company took the next step and released a new update — Security Definition 2.0.7 — to further mitigate the issue by removing the unauthorized IP address ranges from the default firewall rules.

“The security and remote access functionality recently reported by a security researcher were implemented years ago, and were not diligently updated as our network evolved,” Barracuda Networks co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Zach Levow said in a blog post.

“Over the years, we’ve made support our main focus, doing as much as possible to provide the best support to our customers,” Levow said. “However, I realize that in doing so, we missed the balance required in today’s security and network environment. We overlooked the importance of not putting support controls front and center in the user interface, and the issues related to making support access opt-out rather than opt-in if certain appliances are not behind a firewall. I regret now some of the choices we made and apologize to our customers and partners who feel misled or deceived by the way it was implemented.”

Levow said Barracuda Backup, Barracuda NG Firewall, Barracuda Firewall, Barracuda Load Balancer, Barracuda Link Balancer and Barracuda Web Application Firewall (versions 7.7 and later) do not suffer from this issue, despite the initial reports.

The affected appliances are Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall, Barracuda Web Filter, Barracuda Message Archiver, Barracuda SSL VPN, Barracuda Web Application Firewall version 7.6.4 and earlier, and CudaTel, he said.

While the new security updates considerably restrict the ability of attackers to gain unauthorized access to Barracuda devices through the remote support feature, they do not remove the feature completely. Barracuda support technicians can still remotely access appliances if they directly connect to the Internet.

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