A Simple Security Flaw Puts 'Millions' of Wi-Fi Routers in Jeopardy

By Jamie Condliffe on at

A security firm has revealed that a simple mistake in a Linux device kernel could be putting millions of Wi-Fi routers at risk.

SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab has discovered the flaw, which Ars Techinca refers to as “amateurish,” in a driver referred to as NetUSB. The driver, as its name suggests, is installed on routers to allow computers to access USB devices over a network.

Sadly, the driver contains an error known as a buffer overflow, which can occur when a device sends its name to the router and it’s longer than 64 bytes. The researchers claim that the simple overflow can be used to crash the router, using denial of service of attacks, and even execute code remotely.

Ars Tehnica is right: this is an amateurish error, and the researchers agree. In a blog post about the bug, they even joke that the “the ‘90s are calling and want their vulns back, stack buffer overflow.” Such simple errors don’t usually happen much these days—but clearly this one slipped through the net.

Fortunately, SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab has published a (non-exhaustive) list of the routers it knows to be affected, which is reproduced below. Among them are those produced by Netgear, D-Link, TP-Link, Western Digital and others, and the number affected could, according to the team, run into the millions.

Sadly, Netgear has told the researchers that even with NetUSB functionality disabled the driver’s still actually loaded—so firmware updates entirely removing it are required. TP-Link’s aiming to do that by the end of the month; the response from other manufacturers is less clear. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to check the list to put your mind at rest. [Ars Technica, SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab]

D-Link DIR-615 C NETGEAR AC1450 NETGEAR CENTRIA (WNDR4700/4720) NETGEAR D6100 NETGEAR D6200 NETGEAR D6300 NETGEAR D6400 NETGEAR DC112A NETGEAR DC112A (Zain) NETGEAR DGND4000 NETGEAR EX6200 NETGEAR EX7000 NETGEAR JNR3000 NETGEAR JNR3210 NETGEAR JR6150 NETGEAR LG6100D NETGEAR PR2000 NETGEAR R6050 NETGEAR R6100 NETGEAR R6200 NETGEAR R6200v2 NETGEAR R6220 NETGEAR R6250 NETGEAR R6300v1 NETGEAR R6300v2 NETGEAR R6700 NETGEAR R7000 NETGEAR R7500 NETGEAR R7900 NETGEAR R8000 NETGEAR WN3500RP NETGEAR WNDR3700v5 NETGEAR WNDR4300 NETGEAR WNDR4300v2 NETGEAR WNDR4500 NETGEAR WNDR4500v2 NETGEAR WNDR4500v3 NETGEAR XAU2511 NETGEAR XAUB2511 TP-LINK Archer C2 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/22) TP-LINK Archer C20 V1.0 (Not affected) TP-LINK Archer C20i V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/25) TP-LINK Archer C5 V1.2 (Fix planned before 2015/05/22) TP-LINK Archer C5 V2.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK Archer C7 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK Archer C7 V2.0 (Fix already released) TP-LINK Archer C8 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK Archer C9 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/22) TP-LINK Archer D2 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/22) TP-LINK Archer D5 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/25) TP-LINK Archer D7 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/25) TP-LINK Archer D7B V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/31) TP-LINK Archer D9 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/25) TP-LINK Archer VR200v V1.0 (Fix already released) TP-LINK TD-VG3511 V1.0 (End-Of-Life) TP-LINK TD-VG3631 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK TD-VG3631 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/31) TP-LINK TD-W1042ND V1.0 (End-Of-Life) TP-LINK TD-W1043ND V1.0 (End-Of-Life) TP-LINK TD-W8968 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK TD-W8968 V2.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK TD-W8968 V3.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/25) TP-LINK TD-W8970 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK TD-W8970 V3.0 (Fix already released) TP-LINK TD-W8970B V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK TD-W8980 V3.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/25) TP-LINK TD-W8980B V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK TD-W9980 V1.0 (Fix already released) TP-LINK TD-W9980B V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK TD-WDR4900 V1.0 (End-Of-Life) TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND V2.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND V3.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK TL-WR1045ND V2.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK TL-WR3500 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/22) TP-LINK TL-WR3600 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/22) TP-LINK TL-WR4300 V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/22) TP-LINK TL-WR842ND V2.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/30) TP-LINK TL-WR842ND V1.0 (End-Of-Life) TP-LINK TX-VG1530(GPON) V1.0 (Fix planned before 2015/05/31) Trendnet TE100-MFP1 (v1.0R) Trendnet TEW-632BRP (A1.0R) Trendnet TEW-632BRP (A1.1R/A1.2R) Trendnet TEW-632BRP (A1.1R/A1.2R/A1.3R) Trendnet TEW-634GRU (v1.0R) Trendnet TEW-652BRP (V1.0R) Trendnet TEW-673GRU (v1.0R) Trendnet TEW-811DRU (v1.0R) Trendnet TEW-812DRU (v1.0R) Trendnet TEW-812DRU (v2.xR) Trendnet TEW-813DRU (v1.0R) Trendnet TEW-818DRU (v1.0R) Trendnet TEW-823DRU (v1.0R) Trendnet TEW-MFP1 (v1.0R) Zyxel NBG-419N v2 Zyxel NBG4615 v2 Zyxel NBG5615 Zyxel NBG5715