Feeds

Linksys router ripe for remote takeover

Stealth attack exploits gullible management console

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A security researcher has discovered a flaw in a popular Linksys router that could allow attackers to remotely hijack the device using its web management console.

The Linksys WAG54G2 fails to properly inspect addresses typed in to browsers accessing the management console, allowing attackers to inject powerful shell commands into the router's Linux operating system, researcher Michal Sajdak warns here. The flaw is trivial to exploit when users fail to change the administrative password that's used by default.

"When you are logged in to the web administration, simple injection leads to OS root access," Sajdak writes. "It can be exploited using CSRF and these credentials (assuming a user did not change default user/password). One can still backdoor the router having access to web administration. Another outcome of the bug is an [ability] to quite easily examine what services are running on the router, what is its internal configuration, etc."

Representatives from Cisco, which owns Linksys, didn't respond to a request for comment by time of publication.

The web management console is turned on by default for users on the router's local area network, so the attack seems easiest for unauthorized people who already have access to the network. But using a technique known as CSRF, or cross-site request forgery, remote takeover of the device is also possible.

Sajdak says he notified Cisco of the vulnerability in March but as of Sunday there still was no fix. Users of the device are strongly urged to change the default password, a piece of advice that has fallen on deaf ears in the past.

Update

Web application expert Russ McRee of HolisticInfoSec.org, emailed to say the vulnerability is almost identical to one he found in a separate Linksys router. "When I contacted Linksys regarding a CSRF issue in the WRT160N I was advised that they wouldn't fix it," he wrote.

Linksys representatives still haven't responded to our request for comment. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Shellshock over SMTP attacks mean you can now ignore your email
'But boss, the Internet Storm Centre says it's dangerous for me to reply to you'
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.