Cisco Systems has warned customers about the public release of computer code which exploits multiple security vulnerabilities in Cisco products.
Using exploits for nine software vulnerabilities, the program could allow malicious hackers to compromise Cisco's popular Catalyst switches or a wide variety of machines running versions of the company's Internetwork Operating System (IOS).
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The program, called the "Cisco Global Exploiter", appeared to give users a menu of choices, depending on the system they are trying to crack.
While many of the exploits can only be used to shut down affected Cisco devices in denial-of-service attacks, at least one enables remote attackers to run malicious code on the affected system without needing to supply a user name or password, according to the Cisco security notice.
Computer code for a program matching the description in the Cisco security notice was posted on a French language computer security exploit website on Sunday.
An Italian security research group calling itself "BlackAngels" took responsibility for the new tool, but denied any responsibility for "incorrect or illegal use of this software or for eventual damages to others systems", according to the post on the K-Otik.com website.
The group describes itself as a "group of Italian teenager boys, expert in the network security field and programming".
The networking equipment maker advised customers to patch software vulnerabilities exploited by the program to protect against malicious hackers using the tool.
Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service