D-Link issues fixes for firmware backdoor in routers

If remote management is enabled, an attacker could change a router's settings and steal information

D-Link published patches for a firmware coding goof that could allow attackers to remotely change the settings of several of its router models.

Craig Heffner, a vulnerability researcher who specializes in wireless and embedded systems, wrote on Oct. 12 that the web interface for some D-Link routers could be accessed remotely by setting a browser's user agent string to "xmlset_roodkcableoj28840ybtide."

The string suggests a backdoor was intentionally inserted into the firmware. Read in reverse, the value reads in part "edit by 04882 joel backdoor."

The patches are for D-Link router models DIR-100, DIR-120, DI-524, DI-524UP, DI-604UP, DI-604+, DI-624S and the TM-G5240. Some devices made by Planex and Alpha Networks may also be vulnerable, D-Link said, presumably because they use the same firmware.

The flaw can be exploited if the routers have a remote management feature enabled. Remote management is disabled by default on all routers, D-Link said, but is included for "customer care troubleshooting."

The vulnerability, contained in the firmware shipped with the routers, could be used to change settings and steal information.

D-Link said after the flaw was discovered it would publish fixes by the end of October. It was unclear from its advisory what caused the delay.

Heffner wrote that the problem may have been discovered long ago by someone else. He found the particular user agent string that unlocks the Web interface on a Russian forum three years ago.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityD-LinkExploits / vulnerabilities

More about AlphaD-Link Australia

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Jeremy Kirk

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place