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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

2/1/2017
06:38 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Netgear Addresses Password Bypass Vulns In 31 Router Models

Company has made patches, workarounds available to mitigate password bypass threat that potentially impacted 1 million devices, Trustwave says.

A warning this week about security vulnerabilities in more than two-dozen models of Netgear routers has once again focused attention on the broad threat posed to consumers and enterprises from insecure home routers.

In an alert Monday, security vendor Trustwave said it had found two vulnerabilities in several Netgear routers that give attackers a way to either discover or to bypass any password on the devices.

The flaws, which are present in 31 different Netgear models, allow attackers to take complete control of vulnerable devices and to change their configurations, upload rogue firmware on them, or turn the devices into remotely controlled bots.

Anywhere from 10,000 devices to potentially one million Netgear routers have the vulnerabilities in them, according to Trustwave.

Routers provide a large attack surface and can offer a number of options for the hacker to take advantage of, says Jon Clay, director of global threat communications at Trend Micro, which this week issued a warning of its own about growing attacks against the devices.

Router vulnerabilities can be exploited to attack the systems behind the router or they could be used to turn the devices into bots for use in distributed denial-of-service attacks, Clay says.  “Due to the lack of experience in IT security of the consumers who use these routers, many are not set up properly and can be hacked.”

Concerns over router security have grown following the massive Mirai botnet-enabled distributed denial-of-service attacks against DNS provider Dyn and numerous others last year.

The attacks were demonstrated how easily adversaries can take advantage of vulnerabilities in ordinary network-connected consumer devices such as routers, and webcams and turn the devices into bots for attacking other systems.

With consumers expected to connect tens of billions of such devices to the Internet over the next few years, many expect the problem to get a lot worse soon.

Simon Kenin, author of the Trustwave alert and a security researcher with the company’s SpiderLabs team, said the vulnerabilities in Netgear’s products can be exploited by a remote attacker if remote administration on the device is set to be Internet-facing.

Even though the setting is usually not turned on by default, anyone with physical access to a vulnerable router—including those at public wireless hotspots such as cafes and libraries—can exploit the vulnerabilities locally, Kenin said.

Netgear has issued patches for most of the vulnerable models or has provided workarounds to mitigate the threat for older models.

This is the second major bug disclosure involving Netgear routers in recent weeks. In December, Netgear reported an arbitrary command injection flaw in 11 of its routers that gave attackers a way to execute arbitrary root-level commands on them.

One reason why routers are popular targets for attackers is because all network traffic goes through them, says Karl Sigler, threat intelligence manager at Trustwave’s SpiderLabs. “If you control the gateway you control all traffic going through it.”

The Mirai attacks have heightened the need for router vendors to ensure their products are not so easily hackable, Sigler says. “I would love to see more routers with automatic updates available,” he says.

“Since routers are usually out of sight, so, out of mind, they often go unpatched even when a patch is available.”

Significantly, there is no big difference in the security between enterprise routers and those meant for consumer and home use, Sigler adds. “I would say they are typically equally vulnerable although enterprise routers, having a dedicated network team managing them, are probably more likely to be kept up to date.”

Related stories:

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Truths About BEC Scams
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  6/13/2019
DNS Firewalls Could Prevent Billions in Losses to Cybercrime
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/13/2019
Can Your Patching Strategy Keep Up with the Demands of Open Source?
Tim Mackey, Principal Security Strategist, CyRC, at Synopsys,  6/18/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12875
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-18
Alpine Linux abuild through 3.4.0 allows an unprivileged member of the abuild group to add an untrusted package via a --keys-dir option that causes acceptance of an untrusted signing key.
CVE-2017-8335
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-18
An issue was discovered on Securifi Almond, Almond+, and Almond 2015 devices with firmware AL-R096. The device provides a user with the capability of setting name for wireless network. These values are stored by the device in NVRAM (Non-volatile RAM). It seems that the POST parameters passed in this...
CVE-2017-8336
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-18
An issue was discovered on Securifi Almond, Almond+, and Almond 2015 devices with firmware AL-R096. The device provides a user with the capability of adding new routes to the device. It seems that the POST parameters passed in this request to set up routes on the device can be set in such a way that...
CVE-2019-12874
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-18
An issue was discovered in zlib_decompress_extra in modules/demux/mkv/util.cpp in VideoLAN VLC media player 3.x through 3.0.7. The Matroska demuxer, while parsing a malformed MKV file type, has a double free.
CVE-2012-6711
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-18
A heap-based buffer overflow exists in GNU Bash before 4.3 when wide characters, not supported by the current locale set in the LC_CTYPE environment variable, are printed through the echo built-in function. A local attacker, who can provide data to print through the "echo -e" built-in func...