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Remote Code Execution Vulnerabilities Found in TP-Link, NetComm Routers

Vulnerabilities identified in TP-Link and NetComm router models could be exploited to achieve remote code execution (RCE).

Vulnerabilities identified in TP-Link and NetComm router models could be exploited to achieve remote code execution (RCE).

Two security defects were identified in TP-Link WR710N-V1-151022 and Archer-C5-V2-160201 SOHO (small office/home office) routers, allowing attackers to execute code, crash devices, or guess login credentials.

Tracked as CVE-2022-4498, the first issue is described as a heap overflow caused by crafted packets received during HTTP basic authentication mode. An attacker could exploit the bug to cause a denial-of-service (DoS) condition or for RCE.

The second issue, CVE-2022-4499, exists because a HTTPD function is susceptible to a side-channel attack that allows an attacker to guess each byte of the username and password strings.

According to the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) at Carnegie Mellon University, TP-Link was notified of these flaws in November 2022, but both issues remain unpatched.

“These SOHO devices are sold by TP-Link and their latest firmware available as of January 11, 2023, have two vulnerabilities,” CERT/CC notes in an advisory.

Microsoft security researcher James Hull was credited with finding the vulnerabilities.

In a separate advisory, CERT/CC warns of two vulnerabilities impacting NetComm NF20MESH, NF20, and NL1902 router models. The vendor has released patches for both bugs.

The first of the issues, CVE-2022-4873, is described as a buffer overflow that could lead to an application crash. The second, CVE-2022-4874, is an authentication bypass leading to unauthorized access to content.

“The two vulnerabilities, when chained together, permit a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code. The attacker can first gain unauthorized access to affected devices, and then use those entry points to gain access to other networks or compromise the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of data being transmitted from the internal network,” CERT/CC notes.

In December 2022, NetComm released a firmware update that addresses the flaws.

A month earlier, the company said that the vulnerabilities were introduced in code from its chipset provider, Broadcom. The chip maker, however, claimed that the code was not vulnerable.

“After attempts to duplicate this issue on Broadcom reference code, Broadcom has received confirmation from our customer that this particular vulnerability was introduced in software changes outside of Broadcom’s hands,” Broadcom said.

Earlier this month, Brendan Scarvell, the security researcher who discovered the two bugs, published technical details on both vulnerabilities, along with a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit.

RelatedCisco Warns of Critical Vulnerability in EoL Small Business Routers

Related: SMBs Exposed to Attacks by Critical Vulnerability in DrayTek Vigor Routers

Related: Netgear Neutralizes Pwn2Own Exploits With Last-Minute Nighthawk Router Patches

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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