Major IT issues at Cisco have prevented customers from accessing the company’s software/security patch download centre today, with the company’s corporate blog site also redirecting — as Computer Business Review published — to an open WordPress setup page.
Cisco’s entire download centre had dropped offline as we published, with the page framework loading but almost immediately firing out error codes.
Cisco's corporate blog site currently redirects to an open WordPress setup page. I am certain this is going to get pwned within about an hour. https://t.co/i3uYJd3gxM
— Graham Sutherland (Polynomial^DSS) (@gsuberland) October 10, 2019
Cisco had yet to respond to questions about the cause of the outage as we published, saying on Twitter: “Cisco is continuing to address the disruption to our IT systems. We are doing everything we can to restore services as quickly as possible. We apologize for any impact to our customers.”
With the WordPress page serving what looked like a ripe target for attackers, we asked security professionals if they thought Cisco was at risk.
One infosec observer said they thought the issue was unlikely to lead to the site getting hacked: “The install page shows up because the database for the site is unreachable, so it thinks it’s a fresh install essentially. The database info itself is stored in wp-config which is not generally readable.”
Still waiting for a callback on a P1 I opened 3+ hours ago. It was recorded on the backup system, which is reportedly ON PAPER.
That I didn't get a ticket number doesn't look good for my escalation requests, does it?
— Nico (@alfaj0r) October 10, 2019
What’s happened? “It’s pretty clear the backing database for the blog site is down, and considering the outages on the other portions of their infrastructure (security advisory pages, download center, etc) it’s quite a widespread issue.
“It’s likely just a widespread outage and terribly inconvenient for anyone needing software/info from them at the moment. The cause of the outage is impossible to even speculate on unfortunately at this point…”
The outage appears to have started around 15:00 BST, October 10. The download centre was still returning error codes when Computer Business Review checked in at 20:00.
Updated 11/10/2019: Cisco said it has traced the issue to an “internal system change”.