Virtual Event: Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit - Watch Sessions
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


IoT Security

IBM Discloses Tenda Powerline Extender Flaws Apparently Ignored by Vendor

IBM has disclosed the details of several vulnerabilities found in powerline extenders made by China-based networking solutions provider Tenda. IBM says Tenda ignored its emails and phone calls, and it’s unclear if any patches are being developed.

IBM has disclosed the details of several vulnerabilities found in powerline extenders made by China-based networking solutions provider Tenda. IBM says Tenda ignored its emails and phone calls, and it’s unclear if any patches are being developed.

Considered an alternative to Wi-Fi extenders, powerline extenders leverage a building’s electrical wiring to boost the range of an internet connection. One powerline network adapter is connected to the router and then plugged into a wall socket. The electrical wiring will carry the signal to a different socket (in an area where a stronger signal is needed), in which the user plugs in a second powerline adapter.

Researchers at IBM’s X-Force Red team have analyzed Tenda PA6 Wi-Fi powerline extenders, which are part of the company’s PH5 Powerline Extender Kit, and identified vulnerabilities that could allow attackers to take complete control of a device.Vulnerabilities found in Tenda powerline extenders

Malicious actors could exploit the vulnerabilities to add a device to an IoT botnet and abuse it to launch DDoS attacks, move to other devices on the network, or abuse them to mine for cryptocurrency.

One of the vulnerabilities has been described as a command injection issue that can be exploited by an authenticated attacker to take control of a powerline adapter. Another vulnerability allows an authenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on the device.

IBM says it may be possible to exploit these vulnerabilities remotely from the internet. While exploitation requires authentication, the tech giant’s researchers noticed that the vulnerable devices are only protected by a weak, default password.

A third security hole found by IBM researchers is a denial-of-service (DoS) vulnerability that can be exploited without authentication to cause a device to continuously reboot.

They also noticed that an attacker can easily obtain a device’s firmware image, which includes configuration data and other files.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Based on the CVE identifiers assigned to these vulnerabilities, they were discovered in 2019, but no patches appear to have been released. IBM says it has attempted to report its findings to Tenda, but the vendor ignored its phone calls and emails, which is why it’s unclear if the company is working on releasing patches.

Related: Remote Command Execution Vulnerability Affects Many D-Link Routers

Related: Several Botnets Using Zero-Day Vulnerability to Target Fiber Routers

Related: MikroTik Router Vulnerabilities Can Lead to Backdoor Creation

Written By

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.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


Less than a week after announcing that it would suspended service indefinitely due to a conflict with an (at the time) unnamed security researcher...

Data Breaches

OpenAI has confirmed a ChatGPT data breach on the same day a security firm reported seeing the use of a component affected by an...

Identity & Access

Zero trust is not a replacement for identity and access management (IAM), but is the extension of IAM principles from people to everyone and...

Risk Management

The supply chain threat is directly linked to attack surface management, but the supply chain must be known and understood before it can be...


The latest Chrome update brings patches for eight vulnerabilities, including seven reported by external researchers.


Patch Tuesday: Microsoft warns vulnerability (CVE-2023-23397) could lead to exploitation before an email is viewed in the Preview Pane.


Apple has released updates for macOS, iOS and Safari and they all include a WebKit patch for a zero-day vulnerability tracked as CVE-2023-23529.

IoT Security

A group of seven security researchers have discovered numerous vulnerabilities in vehicles from 16 car makers, including bugs that allowed them to control car...