Multiple consumer routers contain a backdoor

January 5, 2014

As hopefully many of my readers have already heard/read multiple consumer routers contain a backdoor, which allows the attacker to get the configuration of the router, which also contains the administrator password. I won’t rewrite here everything big IT news sites have already written. Here just the basics to get you up to speed if you didn’t hear it before:

  1. Eloi Vanderbeken found on his Linksys router WAG200G a process what was listening on TCP port 32764. After analyzing the code he figured out that it was possible to extract the configuration from the router over this process without knowing the password. The configuration contains also the password.
  2. After hey posted the information to the net, other users stepped forward and told him that other manufactures and models have the same backdoor. Don’t say “conspiracy theory” now. 😉
  3. On some routers the process is “only” listening on the internal network (which is also attackable over the users browser) but some are also reachable on the Internet. Scanning for this in the internet is easy with zmap .. only 45min for the whole IPv4 Internet address space.
  4. Click here to get the current list of affected routers – its a long list containing vendors like Cisco, Linksys, Netgear, Diamond, LevelOne
  5. To verify if your router is also affected download this Python Script (Linux has normally Python preinstalled on Windows you need to install it). And call it like this:  python --ip <IP-Address of your router>. If it found something you can extract the configuration by adding --print_conf to the command line.
  6. To check if the process is also reachable from the Internet use a Website like this.

Possible workarounds to get the hole fixed fast:

  1. On some routers you can configure a local firewall which allows you  to block the Port 32764. Depending on your router this is possible for the Internet interface and/or the internal interface.
  2. Install a OpenSource software like OpenWRT.
  3. Install the new firmware release of your vendor when and if it is released … I wouldn’t wait for this. 😉

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