Security Experts:

Over a Million Dasan Routers Vulnerable to Remote Hacking

Researchers have disclosed the details of two unpatched vulnerabilities that expose more than one million home routers made by South Korea-based Dasan Networks to remote hacker attacks.

In a blog post published on Monday, vpnMentor revealed that many Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network (GPON) routers, which are used to provide fiber-optic Internet, are affected by critical vulnerabilities. The company told SecurityWeek that the impacted devices are made by Dasan Networks.

One of the flaws, tracked as CVE-2018-10561, allows a remote attacker to bypass a router’s authentication mechanism simply by appending the string “?images/” to a URL in the device’s web interface.

The second vulnerability, identified as CVE-2018-10562, allows an authenticated attacker to inject arbitrary commands.

By combining the two security holes, a remote and unauthenticated attacker can take complete control of a vulnerable device and possibly the entire network, vpnMentor said. The company has published a video showing how the attack works:

A Shodan search shows that there are more than one million GPON home routers exposed to the Internet, a majority located in Mexico (480,000), Kazakhstan (390,000), and Vietnam (145,000).

“Depending on what the attacker wants to achieve, he can be spying on the user and any connected device (TV, phones, PC and even speakers like Amazon Echo). Also he can inject malware into the browser which means even when you leave your home network your device would be hacked now,” Ariel Hochstadt, co-founder of vpnMentor, told SecurityWeek. “If the hacker is resourceful (government etc) he can enable advanced spear phishing attacks, and even route criminal activities through exploited routers (Imagine the FBI knocks on your door telling you they saw someone in your house using your IP address and selling stolen credit card numbers on the dark web).”

vpnMentor said it did try to report its findings to Dasan before making any information public, but it did not receive a response. Dasan representatives, specifically a PR agency, reached out to vpnMentor on LinkedIn after its blog post was published.

While in some cases Dasan has shown interest in working with researchers who discovered vulnerabilities in its products, there are some advisories online describing potentially critical issues that the vendor has apparently ignored.

Malicious actors have been known to target Dasan devices. Researchers reported recently that the Satori botnet had ensnared thousands of Dasan routers by exploiting a remote code execution vulnerability. The flaw in question was disclosed in December 2017 by Beyond Security, which claimed the vendor had ignored repeated attempts to report the issue.

This is not the first time vpnMentor reports finding vulnerabilities in network devices. Last month, the company disclosed the details of an unpatched command injection vulnerability that can be exploited to take control of network-attached storage (NAS) devices from LG.

UPDATE 05/08/2018. Dasan has provided the following statement to SecurityWeek:

DASAN Zhone Solutions, Inc. has investigated recent media reports that certain DZS GPON Network Interface Devices (NIDs), more commonly known as routers, could be vulnerable to an authentication bypass exploit.

DZS has determined that the ZNID-GPON-25xx series and certain H640series GPON ONTs, when operating on specific software releases, are affected by this vulnerability. No service impacts from this vulnerability have been reported to DZS to date. After an internal investigation, we have determined the potential impact is much more limited in scope than previously reported in the media. According to DZS sales records, combined with field data gathered to date, we have estimated that the number of GPON ONT units that may be potentially impacted to be less than 240,000. In addition, given the relative maturity of the products in their lifecycle, we think the impact is limited to even fewer devices.

Product History

The DZS ZNID-GPON-25xx and certain H640-series ONTs, including the software that introduced this vulnerability, were developed by an OEM supplier and resold by DZS. While designed and released more than 9 years ago, most of these products are now well past their sustainable service life. Because software support contracts are no longer offered for most of these products, we do not have direct insight to the total number of units that are still actively used in the field.

Resolution

 

DZS has informed all the customers who purchased these models of the vulnerability. We are working with each customer to help them assess methods to address the issue for units that may still be installed in the field. It will be up to the discretion of each customer to decide how to address the condition for their deployed equipment.

Related: Flaws Affecting Top-Selling Netgear Routers Disclosed

Related: Asus Router Flaws Disclosed by Several Researchers

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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.