Backdoor Found in Chinese Router

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 @ 06:10 PM gHale

Chinese networking manufacturer Tenda fixed a backdoor found in its wireless router kit.

Craig Heffner, the same researcher who discovered a backdoor in D-Link routers, found more holes in Tenda’s products.

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Heffner found the flaw after unpacking firmware updates for Tenda’s networking kit and locating suspicious code. Attackers could take over the router and execute commands by sending a UDP packet with a special string, Heffner said in a blog post.

The backdoor “is exploitable over the wireless network, which has WPS enabled by default with no brute force rate limiting,” Heffner said. “My shiny new ReaverPro box made relatively short work of cracking WPS, providing access to the WLAN and a subsequent root shell on the router.”

Heffner said the backdoor was on Tenda’s W302R and W330R router models as well as re-branded models, such as the Medialink MWN-WAPR150N, because all share the same exploitable functionality (specifically a “w302r_mfg” magic packet string in a modified GoAhead webserver) that ships with the products.

Attackers could gain unauthenticated access to the routers’ administrative interfaces through its built-in web server on all affected models, provided they had first managed to hop onto the same network as their intended victim.

Target Components, which distributes Tenda’s products in the UK, acknowledged the problem while crediting Tenda for developing a fix in just two days.

The company released a software update that closes the backdoor on the three affected models. Target said the backdoor was just on the three models of Tenda-manufactured kit.

In a statement, Tenda said, “We promise that no other lines of Tenda have the same bugs after all lines were detected systematically by our engineers.”

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