Security Experts:

Flaws in Ruckus Access Points Expose Organizations to Attacks

Black Hat USA 2016 – Ruckus Wireless, a global company that specializes in wireless networking equipment for enterprises and service providers, is working on developing patches for several vulnerabilities identified by an expert in its access point (AP) products.

Tripwire researcher Craig Young discovered that Ruckus wireless APs are plagued by various types of security holes that can be exploited to gain complete access to the device and its underlying operating system. While the expert only tested the Ruckus ZoneFlex H500 model, the vendor has determined that all its APs are vulnerable, except for the “unleashed” product line.

Young quickly identified several vulnerabilities in the product’s web-based user interface. He first uncovered a command injection flaw that allowed him to get a root shell on the device. The researcher also found an authentication bypass issue that can be leveraged to process requests that should normally be possible only for authenticated users.

According to Young, Ruckus APs are also plagued by a weakness that allows attackers to cause the management interface to become unavailable (i.e. cause a denial-of-service condition) by accessing a certain page over HTTPS. The said page is normally accessible over HTTP without authentication.

A DoS condition can also be triggered by sending authenticated requests to a certain page, which causes the HTTP server to reload – and possibly disrupts other services – due to excessive memory consumption.Ruckus ZoneFlex AP vulnerabilities

The expert also noticed that the HTTP server leaks the device’s serial number, which he believes could be used in social engineering attacks.

Many of these vulnerabilities can be exploited via cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks, which, according to Young, are possible due to the general lack of CSRF tokens.

The security holes were uncovered in the first part of 2015, but Tripwire and the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) had experienced difficulties in reporting the issues to the vendor. Ruckus only acknowledged the problem late last month after one of the company’s executives was contacted over LinkedIn by Tripwire’s chief research officer David Meltzer.

In an advisory shared with SecurityWeek, Ruckus pointed out that the flaws found by Tripwire are only exploitable if the APs web interface and IP are accessible from external hosts.

“Most of Ruckus APs are deployed in managed environment where there is WLAN controller that is managing the APs. In this mode of operation the Web interface is not enabled and in most cases even the IP address of the AP is not reachable from external sources. This prevents from these vulnerabilities from getting exploited,” Ruckus said in its advisory.

Until patches are made available – Ruckus expects to release firmware updates in the next 3-6 months – the company has advised customers to disable access to the AP’s web interface from the command line interface (CLI) or limit access to the internal network. For scenarios where the AP needs to be accessed over the Internet, firewall policies should be used to limit access to authorized IP addresses.

“Unleashed AP models are not vulnerable to un-authenticated command injection issue on the Web interface,” Ruckus said. “SZ/SCG and ZD product line are only vulnerable to CSRF. They are not vulnerable to un-authenticated command injection issue on the Web interface.”

Young agrees that most network administrators would have no reason to expose the vulnerable web interface to the Internet, but he believes remote attacks are still possible.

“The more likely attack vector as I see it would be from users connected directly to the access point or via cross-site request forgery through phishing, malvertising, or XSS flaws on popular web sites,” Young told SecurityWeek.

The researcher said the goal of this research has been to test if enterprise-grade networking products are more secure than the highly vulnerable SOHO devices.

“My experience auditing Ruckus equipment is very similar to some of the experiences I’ve had auditing the wireless routers you might find in a local computer store. In fact, the authentication bypass and command injection are essentially the same problems I have found on SOHO devices in the $100-$200 range,” Young said in a blog post.

“Organizations using Ruckus devices may be at risk for compromise, particularly when the access points are used to provide customers with Wi-Fi access,” the expert added. “An intruder to one of these systems could potentially become man-in-the-middle to all other users of the wireless network allowing a wide range of exploitation opportunities.”

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.