Risk
12/19/2010
08:42 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Security Design Fail

It's common for routers to enable an HTTPS interface so that the device can be remotely administered. However, as was made clear this weekend, many routers are secured with hard-coded SSL keys that can be extracted and used by others.

It's common for routers to enable an HTTPS interface so that the device can be remotely administered. However, as was made clear this weekend, many routers are secured with hard-coded SSL keys that can be extracted and used by others.That was the news posted to the /dev/ttyS0 blog today. The hard-coded SSL keys are found in many routers supported by DD-WRT, as well as routers from Cisco and Netgear.

From the /dev/ttyS0 blog post, Breaking SSL on Embedded Devices:

Here's where it gets fun: many of these devices use hard-coded SSL keys that are baked into the firmware. That means that if Alice and Bob are both using the same router with the same firmware version, then both of their routers have the same SSL keys. All Eve needs to do in order to decrypt their traffic is to download the firmware from the vendor's Web site and extract the SSL private key from the firmware image.

However, there are some practical limitations to this attack. If Eve doesn't know what router or firmware version Alice and Bob are using, it will be difficult to impossible for her to identify which firmware image to extract the SSL keys from. A good example of this is DD-WRT. There are several versions of DD-WRT available for each router supported by DD-WRT. And for each of those versions, there are several different "flavors": micro, standard, VPN, etc. Even if Eve knows that Alice and Bob are running DD-WRT, that's a lot of firmware images to work through. This becomes even more difficult when dealing with vendors whose firmware is not as standardized between releases.

That's where the LittleBlackBox project comes in. It contains a database of more than 2,000 private SSL keys that can be matched with the right hardware/firmware, and public certificates.

LittleBlackBox can be downloaded from here.

I'm not sure what admins or home users with affected routers are to do to protect themselves on this one, other than sloppy workarounds or find a different and unaffected router. I do know I'm quite tired of hard wired certificates and passwords embedded within devices.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-3304
Published: 2014-10-30
Directory traversal vulnerability in Dell EqualLogic PS4000 with firmware 6.0 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a .. (dot dot) in the default URI.

CVE-2013-7409
Published: 2014-10-30
Buffer overflow in ALLPlayer 5.6.2 through 5.8.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) and possibly execute arbitrary code via a long string in a .m3u (playlist) file.

CVE-2014-3446
Published: 2014-10-30
SQL injection vulnerability in wcm/system/pages/admin/getnode.aspx in BSS Continuity CMS 4.2.22640.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the nodeid parameter.

CVE-2014-3584
Published: 2014-10-30
The SamlHeaderInHandler in Apache CXF before 2.6.11, 2.7.x before 2.7.8, and 3.0.x before 3.0.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a crafted SAML token in the authorization header of a request to a JAX-RS service.

CVE-2014-3623
Published: 2014-10-30
Apache WSS4J before 1.6.17 and 2.x before 2.0.2, as used in Apache CXF 2.7.x before 2.7.13 and 3.0.x before 3.0.2, when using TransportBinding, does properly enforce the SAML SubjectConfirmation method security semantics, which allows remote attackers to conduct spoofing attacks via unspecified vect...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.