Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Network Security

NETGEAR Switches Exposed to Attacks From Hardcoded Credentials

A remote attacker could log into certain NETGEAR switches and execute arbitrary code because of hardcoded credentials installed within the firmware used on the devices, CERT/CC reported last week.

A remote attacker could log into certain NETGEAR switches and execute arbitrary code because of hardcoded credentials installed within the firmware used on the devices, CERT/CC reported last week.

The vulnerability affects NETGEAR GS108PE ProSAFE Plus Switches, which are usually used by small businesses for managing common applications. The Power over Ethernet (PoE) features integrated into the latest models enable organizations to power devices such as IP phones and cameras, wireless access points, and Ethernet switches.

According to CERT/CC, version of the firmware in NETGEAR GS108PE ProSAFE Plus Switches contains hardcoded credentials that enable a remote unauthenticated attacker to access the Web server running on the devices.

NETGEAR GS108PE ProSAFE Plus SwitchBy using the “ntgruser” username and the “debugpassword” password, an attacker can gain access to various software components. For example, access to produce_burn.cgi can be used to change the device’s MAC address and serial number, and new firmware can be uploaded through bootcode_update.cgi. The vulnerability can also be leveraged to manually set memory to a certain value and extract that value, CERT/CC noted in its advisory.

CERT/CC says it’s not aware of any practical solutions to address the flaw, which has been assigned the CVE identifier CVE-2014-2969. The vulnerability was reported by Marc Olivier Chouinard and its existence was disclosed to NETGEAR on May 19, 2014.

Johannes Ullrich, dean of research for the SANS Technology Institute, advises NETGEAR equipment owners to check if the username/password combination works, even if their devices have not been listed as vulnerable.

Last year, an Australian research analyzed 1.3 million compromised devices that were part of the Carna botnet. He found that in many cases the devices were hijacked after the attackers successfully authenticated by using well-known default credential combinations, such as root/root and admin/admin.    

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

SecurityWeek has contacted NETGEAR to see if the company is planning on addressing the vulnerability, but has not heard back by press time.

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...