Popular Belkin Wi-Fi routers plagued by unpatched security flaws

Attackers could exploit the flaws to hijack DNS requests or completely take over the devices

If your Wi-Fi network is using the popular Belkin N600 DB router, be warned: it may have several vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to take it over.

Remote unauthenticated attackers could exploit the vulnerabilities to spoof DNS (Domain Name System) responses and direct users to rogue websites or trick users' browsers to change the device configuration, the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) at Carnegie Mellon University said Monday in an advisory.

Furthermore, attackers with access to the local area network could bypass an affected router's authentication and take complete control over it, CERT/CC said.

Exploiting some of the vulnerabilities requires attackers to be in a man-in-the-middle position between the router and its DNS servers or Belkin's update servers. However, other flaws can be exploited by tricking users on the local network to visit specially crafted Web pages or by infecting their computers with malware.

The Web-based attack technique is known as cross-site request forgery (CSRF) and is an abuse of the way browsers are designed to work. A website has the ability to force a browser to send a request to a third-party website and this can be a router's administrative interface that's only accessible over the local network.

By default, the Belkin N600 doesn't require a password for accessing the management interface, so potential CSRF attacks against such devices might not even require users to be authenticated.

Router manufacturers are often quick to point out that flaws in their devices' Web-based management interfaces cannot be attacked remotely because those interfaces are not exposed to the Internet by default.

However, they rarely mention CSRF, an attack vector that hackers are increasingly using against home routers, including in large-scale campaigns launched through legitimate websites.

CERT/CC confirmed the vulnerabilities in the 2.10.17 firmware of the Belkin N600 DB F9K1102 v2 model, but noted that earlier versions are also possibly affected.

The organization is not aware of any patches available from the vendor and advises users to take general security precautions like setting strong passwords for the router's management interface and Wi-Fi network and only allowing trusted computers on the LAN.

Users behind these routers should never browse the Internet while the Web management interface has an active session in a browser tab, CERT/CC said.

There are no practical workarounds for the DNS spoofing or firmware over HTTP issues and no way to prevent attackers from exploiting the authentication bypass vulnerability once they have access to the local network, the organization warned.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?