Cisco encourages users of its popular Catalyst 2960X / 2960XR switches to upgrade their iOS operating systems in an attempt to combat counterfeiting.

Due to the proliferation of these switches on the gray market, it is imperative that customers enable the latest software version – iOS version 15.2 (7) E4 or later – to verify the authenticity, security and performance of their Catalyst 2960X / 2960XR 24/48 port Gigabit Ethernet switches, Cisco listed in a notice to customers.

Cisco uses a combination of security products – such as its Hardware Trust Anchor, Secure Unique Device Identifier (SUDI), digitally signed software images and secure boot – to verify the authenticity of its equipment. These technologies perform automated checks on hardware and software and can stop the boot process if a compromise is found. The newer iOS includes this SUDI verification process and is based on public key infrastructure (PKI) and related cryptography, Cisco said.

The warning of counterfeiting comes when Cisco says it has seen an increase in the gray market and fake activity, probably due to problems with the supply chain throughout the industry, according to Al Paladin, head of Cisco’s brand protection.

“The shortage of materials in the semiconductor industry, as well as logistical challenges, continue to affect supply chains worldwide, slowing production in many industries,” Paladin wrote in a recent publication. blog. “This has led to extended lead times for almost all products and extended delivery dates.”

“Products shipped from outside Cisco’s authorized channels may not come with a valid Cisco warranty and license,” Paladin said. “In addition, they can go through many hands before being delivered to you, making it possible for hardware and software to be altered to make them vulnerable to attack or premature damage.”

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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