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NETGEAR Router, WD NAS Device Hacked on First Day of Pwn2Own Tokyo 2020

Bug bounty hunters hacked a NETGEAR router and a Western Digital network-attached storage (NAS) device on the first day of the Zero Day Initiative’s Pwn2Own Tokyo 2020 hacking competition.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the competition has been turned into a virtual event and Pwn2Own Tokyo is actually coordinated by ZDI from Toronto, Canada, with participants demonstrating their exploits remotely.

On the first day of the event, the NETGEAR Nighthawk R7800 router was targeted by Team Black Coffee, Team Flashback, and teams from cybersecurity firms Starlabs and Trapa Security.

Team Flashback earned $20,000 for what has been described as a very reliable remote code execution exploit that combined two bugs. The attack targeted the device via the WAN interface.

The Starlabs team achieved arbitrary code execution by combining two bugs and it earned $5,000. The Trapa Security team earned the same amount after using a command injection flaw to take control of the router.

The Western Digital My Cloud Pro series PR4100 NSA device was targeted by the Trapa Security team, which earned $20,000 for an exploit that combined an authentication bypass bug and a command injection vulnerability to gain root, and by 84c0 Team, which successfully demonstrated a remote code execution exploit, but their win was only partial since they leveraged a previously known flaw.

The top rewards for hacking routers and NAS devices at Pwn2Own Tokyo 2020 is $20,000. In the case of routers, this is the maximum reward for WAN attacks, while for LAN attacks participants can earn up to $5,000.

Also on the first day, the Viettel Cyber Security team targeted a Samsung smart TV, and while they managed to hack it and get a reverse shell on the device, the attack involved a known vulnerability so it did not earn them any money.

The second day of Pwn2Own Tokyo has already started. Over the next two days, participants will target TP-Link and NETGEAR routers, WD and Synology NAS devices, and Sony and Samsung TVs.

This year’s event is also sponsored by Facebook, which invited researchers to hack its Oculus and Portal devices. However, it seems Pwn2Own Tokyo 2020 will focus on routers, NAS products and TVs.

At last year’s Pwn2Own Tokyo, participants earned a total of $315,000 for disclosing 18 different vulnerabilities.

Related: Researchers Earn $280,000 for Hacking Industrial Systems at Pwn2Own Miami

Related: Oracle VirtualBox, Adobe Reader, Windows Hacked at Pwn2Own 2020

Related: Researchers Hack Windows, Ubuntu, macOS at Pwn2Own 2020

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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.