Juniper warns: Borked upgrade opens root on firewalls

Turn it off and turn it back on again. No, really

Juniper is warning users of its SRX firewalls that a borked upgrade leaves a root-level account open to the world.

Any users who issued the "request system software" command with the "partition" option are affected by the bug.

In its first advisory for 2017, the Gin Palace explains the failed upgrade “can leave the system in a state where root CLI login is allowed without a password”. It applies to any system upgraded from Junos OS prior to 12.1X46-D65.

When the upgrade failed, the system reverted to a “safe mode” designed to make sure a sysadmin can get into the system to fix it – but in that mode, the only login available is root without a password. Other previously-valid authentication credentials are wiped.

You may want to take a deep breath before reading the next bit: “Upgrading from an affected release to a fixed release will not resolve this issue.”

The good news: “the symptoms are immediately obvious after an affected upgrade and may be remediated by rebooting the device post-upgrade”.

In other words, try turning it off, and turning it back on again. ®

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