Feeds

BT home router wide open to hijackers

Authentication bypass exposes many customers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Updated If you rely on BT for high-speed internet or VoIP, there's a good chance a pair of UK-based researchers know how to enable a backdoor in your router that leaves you wide open to eavesdropping, caller spoofing and other nasty attacks.

The vulnerability resides in the BT Home Hub, one of the UK's most popular home routers, according to Adrian Pastor and Petko D. Petkov. A constellation of bugs in the router, which is made by Thomson/Alcatel, make it possible to bypass the device's password authentication system and gain complete administrative control.

All an attacker needs to do to exploit the weaknesses is lure the victim to a maliciously crafted website, according to this post on the GNUCitizen blog. The exploit doesn't require knowledge of the administrator password.

"The BT Home Hub is vulnerable to an authentication bypass that allows us to make any administrative requests to the router from a malicious website WITHOUT needing username and password," Pastor wrote in an email to The Reg. He and Petkov have confirmed the vulnerability in the BT Home Hub running the most recent firmware. They believe the exploit will work on all Thomson/Alcatel Speedtouch 7G routers.

BT security pros are "actively investigating" the reported holes, according to a statement sent Tuesday. "However, as part of a series of ongoing improvements, this week we began pushing out a new firmware update to Home Hub owners which further improves security in a number of areas," the statement continued. BT didn't elaborate on what the security improvements.

The scope of the vulnerability and the ease in carrying it out means that a remote attacker can quietly gain full administrator control over a device simply by social engineering a user into visiting a website. The exploit makes it possible to steal a user's WPA key, listen in on VoIP calls, steal VoIP credentials or change DNS settings so users are silently redirected to fraudulent websites.

Thomson/Alcatel's Speedtouch 780, a similar router used by Bethere, shares some of the same cross-site-scripting and cross-site-request forgery bugs found on the BT Home Hub. But because it's not vulnerable to authentication bypass, attackers have to know the router's password in order to gain administrative control, Pastor said. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.