NSA/GCHQ Exploits against Juniper Networking Equipment
GCHQ currently has capabilities against:
- Juniper NetScreen Firewalls models Ns5gt, N25, NS50, NS500, NS204, NS208, NS5200, NS5000, SSG5, SSG20, SSG140, ISG 1000, ISG 2000. Some reverse engineering maybe required depending on firmware revisions.
- Juniper Routers: M320 is currently being worked on and we would expect to have full support by the end of 2010.
- No other models are currently supported.
- Juniper technology sharing with NSA improved dramatically during CY2010 to exploit several target networks where GCHQ had access primacy.
Yes, the document said “end of 2010” even though the document is dated February 3, 2011.
This doesn’t have much to do with the Juniper backdoor currently in the news, but the document does provide even more evidence that (despite what the government says) the NSA hoards vulnerabilities in commonly used software for attack purposes instead of improving security for everyone by disclosing it.
EDITED TO ADD: In thinking about the equities process, it’s worth differentiating among three different things: bugs, vulnerabilities, and exploits. Bugs are plentiful in code, but not all bugs can be turned into vulnerabilities. And not all vulnerabilities can be turned into exploits. Exploits are what matter; they’re what everyone uses to compromise our security. Fixing bugs and vulnerabilities is important because they could potentially be turned into exploits.
I think the US government deliberately clouds the issue when they say that they disclose almost all bugs they discover, ignoring the much more important question of how often they disclose exploits they discover. What this document shows is that—despite their insistence that they prioritize security over surveillance—they like to hoard exploits against commonly used network equipment.