The reasons behind relying on VPNs are that the corporate users want to control access to their networks and don’t want to disclose secrets over insecure connections. However, some of the VPNs may not have been living up to that standard. Recently, Juniper Network revealed a problem that affected its NetScreen firewalls, their security devices that are supposed to help protect networks from being hacked.
“During a recent internal code review, Juniper discovered unauthorized code in ScreenOS that could allow a knowledgeable attacker to gain administrative access to NetScreen® devices and to decrypt VPN connections,” Juniper wrote in its blog post.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is conducting the investigation to find out whether it let hackers working for overseas regimes spy on the US government and private companies for up to three years. Among them China and Russia are top suspected governments- CNN reported.
Large corporations and agencies like FBI, treasury department, defense department and the US government buy computers and other security products from Juniper. Using the hacked device, the hackers could potentially spy on any organizations.
Juniper had issued only an emergency patch to fix the problem without mentioning how long that “unauthorized code” has been there. However, it had mentioned that there were no reports of taking advantages of these vulnerabilities.
Its security fix is meant to shut the back door that the hackers generated so that they could remotely log into VPN networks used in general to spy on communications that were supposed to be among the most secure. According to its alert, there would be no trace of their activity left behind as they might remove security logs that would show a breach.
“Note that a skilled attacker would likely remove these entries from the log file, thus effectively eliminating any reliable signature that the device had been compromised,” the security alert said.
Back in 2013, the NSA had done something similar by putting code on Juniper security products to enable the NSA to spy, which was part of the Edward Snowden NSA spying revelations. Recently Twitter also alerted about a state-sponsored attack. Looks like the more digital we are being, the more security flaws that are generated.