The vulnerabilities are an embarrassment to HP because both were found in vital components of the operating system and both could enable malicious users to either take control of a machine or launch a denial of service attack. SSH, a secure Telnet program, is used to securely send commands to a server, while IPSec is used to create virtual private networks to carry encrypted information over the Internet between two computers.
Although full details about the vulnerabilities have not been published, HP has issued patches that will fix any known problems. Only HP's Tru64 UNIX 5.1B is affected and fixes for both the IPsec software and SSH software can be found on HP's Web site.
HP's Tru64 version of Unix, which came from Digital Equipment, is being phased out in favour of HP-UX and engineers have been working to bring some of Tru64's features to HP-UX.
The company is gradually phasing out Tru64, which runs on the AlphaServer line, and is encouraging customers to move to its Integrity line of servers based on Intel's Itanium processor. Improvements to HP-UX include cluster technology to share services across a group of servers, long a Digital forte. HP-UX 11i v3, the version slated to incorporate the technology, is now scheduled for release in the second half of 2005 rather than by the end of 2004.