A vulnerability in the Nokia Gateway GPRS support node (GGSN) may allow a remote attacker to cause a denial of service.
A vulnerability in the GGSN may allow a remote attacker to restart the device. For technical details, please see the @stake Security Advisory Nokia GGSN (IP650 Based) DoS Issues.
Nokia describes the GGSN as follows:
The Nokia GGSN is the network element that provides the interface between the GPRS network and external IP networks, such as the Internet and corporate intranet. By providing secure connections to external packet networks, the GGSN links the GPRS network to the Internet, ISPs and corporate intranets. The GGSN also provides allocation of IP address.
A remote attacker may be able to restart the GGSN, which will disrupt connectivity within the GPRS network that the GGSN is responsible for.
Obtain an upgraded IPSO from Nokia.
Nokia recommends the following:
As an interim measure operators can perform the following preventative configuration changes to their networks. Ensure that all IP packets with non standard IP options are dropped by boarder firewalls on the Gi interface. Within the Gn network ensure that the GTP aware firewall (if present) also drops all encapsulated IP packets with non standard IP options. This may introduce latency however it will mitigate against the attack until the patch has been fully deployed and tested.
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Updated: August 20, 2003
No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.
The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.
@stake has indicated that Nokia sent the following text to their customers.
NOKIA CUSTOMER CONFIDENTIAL, GGSN RELEASE 1 VULNERABILITY
Under exceptional circumstances Nokia GGSN release 1 is
potentially vulnerable to a "Denial Of Service" style of
attack from a malicious user equipped with a computer and a
mobile phone. When the vulnerability is exploited the GGSN
restarts. There is no damage to the configuration, but some
charging data may be lost. Changing a normal Access Point to
tunneled (GRE or IP in IP) prevents the attacks from mobile
The same applies for the Gi interface though routers and
firewalls would normally drop this kind of packets. The
problem has been detected and reported by @stake and has been
reproduced by Nokia in collaboration with @stake. Nokia and
@stake are jointly working to eliminate the problem.
This vulnerability is corrected in IPSO version 3.4 and all
subsequent versions. Thus, GGSN release 2 is not vulnerable,
GGSN release 1 is. Nokia advices all the customers still
running GGSN release level 1 to upgrade on GGSN release level 2.
As an interim measure operators can perform the following
preventative configuration changes to their networks. Ensure
that all IP packets with non standard IP options are dropped
by boarder firewalls on the Gi interface. Within the Gn
network ensure that the GTP aware firewall (if present) also
drops all encapsulated IP packets with non standard IP
options. This may introduce latency however it will mitigate
against the attack until the patch has been fully deployed
Due to the severity of this vulnerability @stake has
confirmed that they will not be releasing this information
publicly on their research page (<http://www.atstake.com/research/>)
until Nokia has confirmed that all affected operators have fully
patched and tested all affected elements. However @stake would
ideally like to release this information no later than 1st June
Neither @stake nor Nokia are aware of this attack being used
in the wild as it was discovered by @stake within a lab
environment and subsequently tested on a number of operators
for whom they have worked for.
---[End Nokia Notice]---
If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.
Group | Score | Vector
Base | N/A | N/A
Temporal | N/A | N/A
Environmental | | N/A
This vulnerability was discovered by @stake, Inc.
This document was written by Ian A Finlay.
CVE IDs: | CVE-2003-0368
Severity Metric:** | 5.63
Date Public: | 2003-06-09
Date First Published: | 2003-08-20
Date Last Updated: | 2003-08-20 14:24 UTC
Document Revision: | 10