Feeds

Hacker backdoors Linksys, Netgear, Cisco and other routers

Does anyone take consumer security seriously?

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

The new year begins as the old year ended: with yet more vulnerabilities turning up in consumer-grade DSL modems.

A broad hint for any broadband user would be, it seems, to never, ever enable any kind of remote access to the device that connects you to the Internet. However, the hack published by Eloi Vanderbeken at github, here, resets devices to factory default, enabling a remote attack without the password.

Vanderbeken says the backdoor is confirmed in devices from Cisco (under both Cisco and Linksys brands, the latter since offloaded to Belkin), Netgear, Diamond, LevelOne and OpenWAG. According to a post on HackerNews, the common link between the vulnerable devices is that they were manufactured under contract by Sercomm.

Trying to access a Linksys WAG200G device for which he'd forgotten the password, Vanderbeken noticed the device was listening on Port 32764, an undocumented service noted by other users. Reverse engineering the MIPS code the device's firmware is written in, he says he located a way to send commands to the router without being authenticated as an administrator.

In particular, the backdoor allowed him to brute-force a factory reset without providing a password – meaning that on his next login, he had access to everything.

Vanderbeken's proof-of-concept python code includes reporting on whether the device it's running against is vulnerable or not.

It seems to The Register that at least this vulnerability doesn't permit a silent attack: if an outsider ran the code against someone's router, the crash and resulting reset to default passwords would at least alert the victim that something had happened. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.