Security Experts:

Many IoT Devices Exposed to Attacks Due to Unpatched Flaw in uClibc Library

Nozomi Networks, a firm specialized in securing operational technology (OT) and IoT systems, has disclosed a potentially serious vulnerability affecting a C standard library used by several major companies.

The affected library is uClibc, which is designed for developing embedded Linux systems. According to the official uClibc website, the library is used by Linksys and Netgear for their wireless routers, and by Axis for its network cameras. uClibc-ng, a fork for the OpenWRT router operating system, is also impacted by the vulnerability.

The security hole, tracked as CVE-2022-05-02, can be exploited for DNS poisoning attacks against affected devices.

“In a DNS poisoning attack, an attacker is able to deceive a DNS client into accepting a forged response, thus inducing a certain program into performing network communications with an arbitrarily defined endpoint, and not the legitimate one,” Nozomi explained in a blog post detailing the vulnerability.

“A DNS poisoning attack enables a subsequent Man-in-the-Middle attacks because the attacker, by poisoning DNS records, is capable of rerouting network communications to a server under their control. The attacker could then steal and/or manipulate information transmitted by users, and perform other attacks against those devices to completely compromise them,” the company added.

There is no patch for the vulnerability, but its disclosure will hopefully lead to the development of a fix.

The vulnerability was discovered by Nozomi researchers last year, but the developer initially appeared unresponsive. The developer finally responded in March saying that they were unable to fix the vulnerability on their own and asked that it be publicly disclosed in hopes that the community could help address it.

In the meantime, CERT/CC, which Nozomi notified about the vulnerability last year, started privately notifying impacted vendors in January.

Since a patch has yet to be released, Nozomi has not disclosed the names of any impacted products, but described them as a “range of well-known IoT devices running the latest firmware versions with a high chance of them being deployed throughout all critical infrastructure.”

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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.