Question Are second hand switches safe?


May 13, 2015
I know this might sound strange to ask but I recently bought a managed switch (HP J9979A), quite cheaply and I'm thinking if it's safe to use, normally if I buy a second hand computer I would just wipe the hdd and do a fresh install, but here all I can do is reset to factory defaults and upgrade to the latest firmware and hope for the best.
Is there any way to know it has malware or has been tampered with ?


You should ask before you buy.

In line with your question, it's possible that there might be security vulnerabilities which is why the switch was sold off or perhaps the networking gear on their end was upgraded/relieved of duties due to an issue that couldn't be resolved or they needed a different approach to their networking solution. I'd look into the switch's specs and perhaps a chart of all listed vulnerability patches that the switch has had with firmware updates(if there are any).
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That is a unmanged switch which means all the software/firmware is built into the chips at manufacture. In most cases these type switches use asic rather that a true cpu so you would have to change the chips to change the devices function.
Hopefully you got that for free or maybe $5. You can get brand new consumer 8 port switches for $20 and a bit less if you use lesser name brands.

In general even if that was a switch you can load firmware into the manufacture of commercial switches have rig it so you can only get software from them. These devices have a fairly expensive yearly maintenance fee on them for software patches so they don't want anyone making their own.
Because of this it is almost impossible to get software for these devices even if you wanted to update it. These type of devices you want to factory reset which just wipes the configuration. This is not so much for virus but more because it is unlikely you use the same vlans or other settings the same way.
Reactions: leeleses