A backdoor exploit found in several models of domestic router made by D-Link will be closed by Halloween, D-Link say, following revelations that many of the firm’s consumer-grade devices allow unauthorised access to the admin web page that controls the device.
On Monday, The Register reported that a researcher at the /DEV/TTYS0 blog unpacked the firmware of the routers and found that if a browser presented the right user agent string to the admin server, then it would receive unrestricted access to the device.
Once access had been gained, it would then be possible to view user communications, amongst other things. However, D-Link have responded quickly to the problem and say that they are currently working on a fix, which will be provided on the support section of their website once ready.
"As there are different hardware revisions on our products, please check this on your device before downloading the correct corresponding firmware update. The hardware revision information can usually be found on the product label on the underside of the product next to the serial number. Alternatively, they can also be found on the device web configuration,” D-Link said.
It’s also advisable that users of D-Link routers change Wi-Fi passwords and disable remote admin access.
The exploit was also discovered on routers made by Planex, who have so far been unavailable for comment.
Vulnerability researcher Craig Heffner is said to be working on a fix with D-Link, but according to the BBC , Heffner’s employers, Tactical Network Solutions, has denied this and said that nobody in the company is working with the router manufacturer.
Writing on his blog , Mr Heffner said: "My guess is that the developers realized that some programs/services needed to be able to change the device's settings automatically."
"Realizing that the web server already had all the code to change these settings, they decided to just send requests to the web server whenever they needed to change something.
"The only problem was that the web server required a username and password, which the end user could change. Then, in a eureka moment, Joel jumped up and said, 'Don't worry, for I have a cunning plan'!"