Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Network Security

// // //
9/18/2017
04:15 PM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb

RouteX Hijacks Netgear Routers

Malware called RouteX can give an attacker control of popular wireless routers.

Ah, Netgear. Their boxes have been the basis of many, many networks since networks started growing beyond limited niches. Their brand is fairly ubiquitous in the commercial space, especially among smaller businesses, since they have often had a very good feature-to-price ratio.

But popularity in the commercial market has also translated to popularity among hackers. The Netgear WNR2000 router has had a known vulnerability since last December called CVE-2016-10176. That vulnerability also affected certain Zyxel routers.

What this problem does is to affect the web server that is included with the Netgear WNR routers. That server is responsible for controlling the device's built-in administrative interface. And therein lies the rub: Using the vulnerability allows attackers to perform admin-level actions that would not otherwise be permitted.

Forkbombus Labs is a US-based cybersecurity firm that recently discovered how one threat actor has been exploiting this vulnerability. There has been a firmware patch issued by Netgear located at the website, but there are evidently enough unpatched routers out there to make this one work.

The malware is named RouteX. It first installs a SOCKS proxy on the infected router, then creates an iptable (which is a Linux firewall) that prevents further exploitation of the same vulnerability by other actors. Not only that, the iptable limits which IP addresses can access the router to those that the attacker chooses. It ties the puppy up real good.

Once infected, the router is directed to perform credential stuffing attacks. This style of automated attack uses names and passwords from a compromised system that have already been made publicly available, and tries to see if they have been reused on some other system. If so, the threat actor can gain access to the new system.

So far, the RouteX attacks are mostly focused on Fortune 500 companies, according to Forkbombus. They also say that the affected targets have sent cease-and-desist letters to the IP owners of the routers.

It seems that the same threat actor has done this before. The command and control domains in the malware lead Forkbombus to a previous threat actor that created the Links malware which was first seen in October 2016, and shares the same proxy setup as RouteX. Links is targeted to exploit Ubiquiti Networks devices.

Mitigation of this one is simple. Update the router’s firmware. Beyond that, an exploit like this is a good reminder on the value of basic security best practices -- don't re-use user names and passwords. Even when an exploit can't be instantly stopped, the damage can be limited when companies do the right things in security.

Related posts:

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Black Hat USA 2022 Attendee Report
Black Hat attendees are not sleeping well. Between concerns about attacks against cloud services, ransomware, and the growing risks to the global supply chain, these security pros have a lot to be worried about. Read our 2022 report to hear what they're concerned about now.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2022-37041
PUBLISHED: 2022-08-12
An issue was discovered in ProxyServlet.java in the /proxy servlet in Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) 8.8.15 and 9.0. The value of the X-Forwarded-Host header overwrites the value of the Host header in proxied requests. The value of X-Forwarded-Host header is not checked against the whitelist of ho...
CVE-2022-37042
PUBLISHED: 2022-08-12
Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) 8.8.15 and 9.0 has mboximport functionality that receives a ZIP archive and extracts files from it. By bypassing authentication (i.e., not having an authtoken), an attacker can upload arbitrary files to the system, leading to directory traversal and remote code execu...
CVE-2022-37043
PUBLISHED: 2022-08-12
An issue was discovered in the webmail component in Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) 8.8.15 and 9.0. When using preauth, CSRF tokens are not checked on some POST endpoints. Thus, when an authenticated user views an attacker-controlled page, a request will be sent to the application that appears to b...
CVE-2022-37044
PUBLISHED: 2022-08-12
In Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) 8.8.15, the URL at /h/search?action accepts parameters called extra, title, and onload that are partially sanitised and lead to reflected XSS that allows executing arbitrary JavaScript on the victim's machine.
CVE-2022-37423
PUBLISHED: 2022-08-12
Neo4j APOC (Awesome Procedures on Cypher) before 4.3.0.7 and 4.x before 4.4.0.8 allows Directory Traversal to sibling directories via apoc.log.stream.