Security mavens have uncovered a design flaw in most home routers that allows attackers to remotely control the devices by luring an attached computer to a booby-trapped website. The weakness could allow attackers to redirect victims to fraudulent destinations that masquerade as trusted sites belonging to banks, ecommerce …
"The problem resides in Universal Plug and Play"
And nothing more really need be said. The brainless f*ckwits that can't set up their networks without UPnP are going to get infected regardless of Flash.
And those of us who can follow simple directions don't need UPnP, so we turn it off on every device before allowing an Internet connection.
Flash is flawed too
It should not allow connections to addresses other than the server on which it is hosted. The Java sandbox imposes this restriction.
Looks like at least the Zyxel Prestige 600 series are OK. They seem to have UPnP off by default.
uPnP bad? Aw :-(
It saved me the bother of forwarding ports manually.
Guess it's fixed IPs and manual forwarding for me from...well, whatever evening I can be bothered to set it up...
Re:Has everyone missed the point...
OK, so someone will write (or more probably copy) a nice tutorial on how to use your router safely, or some other networking issue. You know, "Networking for Newbies" type of stuff would fit the bill. And place the exploit there. How about it? When you google for this, this site might show up. You might notice it's not what you were looking for only after you opened it. Happens all the time to me.
Don't think that only pr0n and h4x0r websites can be "dodgy"...
Fuckwit Protocol Designers - XBox Live
Whoever designed the XBox Live networking should be flayed. It does indeed like to use UPnP to control your router:
This idiocy from the clowns who want to bring you Trusted Computing
Security through obscurity: Win ME
Netgear RP614v2 - UPnP off by default - phew!
In any case, my Win ME system is like Fort Knox since I installed RootkitBuster, KAU antivirus and SpyAxe.
CC#183740940485 Exp12/02/2009 S#869 UsID B0HeM1AN P QUEen1976 NS298554 IR F3887845-D
> massive bot nets, turks defacing websites, chinese pen testing DOD computers, spam, prolific viruses and nigerian royalty.
Nothing to do with the interface & protocols, everything to do with poor quality implementations in a worse quality OS.
@Linksys WRT54GL + DDWRTv23
Just got the same kit - now looking forward to upgrading it to a *truly* capable router.
this can only be fixed by fixing flash.
All those saying just switch it off an configure your router manually are missing the point. Most people who benefit from upnp don't have a clue how to do this.
Telling them to switch off upnp is effectively telling them to give up webcam chats with their loved ones via skype or msn, give up having a tech savvy friends help them with their pc via remote assistance, give up playing online games on their pc or games console - basically give up any application that requires ports to be opened in nat a firewall.
As with most things, upnp is safe as long as you can prevent a malicious application from running on a pc within the firewall. The fact that flash can act as a malicious program with regard to upnp is the problem. Flash should be modified to specifically prevent it from issuing upnp commands. It is far more practical to do this than to expect millions of non-technical users to modify their router settings.
HERE is the solution. Please read !!
This may assist ;
I'm safe, thanks to this article
After reading this article, I went home and checked my Netgear router. It does have UPnP, and it was enabled. Nothing else associated with UPnP was turned on, and I quickly turned it off. Thanks, Teh Reg!
Re: Has everyone missed the point…
"if you don't go to dodgy websites in the first place where these people are likely to have put the crafted flash" - hmm, rogue advertising banners, anybody?
ActionTec DSL Gateway
When I signed up for DSL with Qwest, they sold me the GT701-WG, similar to the GT704-WG I have now. In both devices, uPNP is OFF by default. A good policy.
Confusion about WRT54GL
I'm a bit confused by comments about this model. Mine is about 2yr old and running the original firmware (v4.30.7) and it does not have any UPnP that I can find. Supposedly it is listed under "Applications & Gaming" but I can't find anything. I was thinking this would be the time to change the firmware, but maby I'll just leave well enough alone.
Xbox 360 and XBL
Some routers are 'certified' as "Xbox Live Compatible", which is a marketing exercise to promote the router for typical home use. Don't fall for it - it just means the router has UPnP enabled as standard. You don't need UPnP on a typical home router and if you're about to buy one, ensure that it can be disabled from the admin screens, especially in light of this exploit.
To make XBL work on a router without UPnP running, do the following (should work for common Netgear or DLink interfaces, else you'll have to work out the equivalents for your router):
1. Tell the router to always give the Xbox (identified by its MAC address) the same IP each time -OR- set the Xbox to have a static IP. Either way the goal is to make sure the Xbox always has the same IP.
2. Create a new service called XBL88 and set it as TCP and UDP port 88. In the Netgears you can select TCP and UDP and have to specify the start and end port, just make them both 88.
3. Reapeat for a service called XBL3074 for port 3074.
4. In your firewall rules say that anything inbound for the XBL88 and XBL3074 services is forwarded to the IP address reserved earlier for your Xbox. This is two rules in 'Inbound Services' in the Netgears.
5. Make sure you apply changes as you go. Boot up the Xbox and confirm it has the correct IP in the Settings / Network blade. Test the connection to XBL, the NAT type should be 'Open'.
That's it. Forwarding the ports is what UPnP would have done dynamically for you.
What does flash have to do
with anybodies router what technical mindless bosh is this I don't even own a router and this seems highly suspect. Yeah ok I read it was unsafe and said duh along with everyone else at the time but heres my question what is flash doing that it needs to control your router.
Enabled by default on BT Home Hub
UPnP seems to be enabled by default on BT's Home Hub. Not any more on mine, as of last night. Thanks, El Reg!
Re: Confusion about WRT54GL
On a WRT54GL it's on the Administration tab, Management subtab, right at the bottom. Should be disabled by default.
Well I read teh GRC page years back, decided I had no need for UPnP and that it was kinda dangrous too boot. So on every Windows PC i have set up or rebuilt, and they do need rebuild regularly, I run unUPuP, and a couple of other GRC products. For example insuring that the message thingy is disabled. I am sure I can do these without the GRC products but it makes it easy.
I have UPnP turned off (if i remember) in my router, think it was the default, I never have any issues logging in at all, either via its DNS name or its IP address, turning port forwarding rules on so that I could use azureus was easy, azureus actual points you in teh direction of teh help (great app btw). So i have open ports, lovely, oh sorry no i dont cos I only turn those rules on when I want to torrent.
If a user dosnt wnat to be infected they should go out and learn how to secure their machines. They should learn to be more careful about what they click on, its not hard, just takes a little common sense, for companies to provide routers and other kit in a secure way as default, I am looking at Sky here, amoungest others, and for people actual selling teh kit to have a clue and be approachable and answer questions, its not hard people!!
Re: Dodgy websites
Avoiding dodgy websites isn't so easy...
Never clicked a link in a search engine without checking the url?
Never followed a link that claims to tell you about a upnp exploit?
Never followed a link out of a spam email? (Go on be honest)
Never read hacking sites?
Never followed a link out of a wiki?
Perhaps Flash should be subject to the same kind of security restrictions that a java applet would be under, one of which is that it can only connect to the site it came from.
Netgear WPN824v2 ok
Just checked and my Netgear doesn't have a feature to turn uPNP off, only one to turn it *on* because, as the help text on the uPNP page says, "The default setting for UPnP is disabled. If disabled, the router will not allow any device to automatically control the resources, such as port forwarding (mapping), of the router." - which seems pretty clear!
@Death_Ninja/Chris/etc - I've got uPNP disabled (see above) and I don't have any problems my XBox360 on XBox Live - certainly it works enough to download content, get patches and get shot to bits in the Halo3 multiplayer beta. Is there something else I should be getting? Other than not shot repeatedly in Deathmatch of course.... :'(
Maybe I've just been lucky with my config - which'd be a novelty....
Even trustworthy websites can be turned dodgy
I once looked at the london tickets and several others come as links from google when seraching for tickets eg the directline ones.
There's no (new) risk here
It's been a while since I had any reason to play with UPnP, but I vaguely recall that I needed to give myself admin rights before Windows would let me blow holes in my router. Is that still true?
If you need admin rights then this is a scare story. Any "security hole" that needs admin rights on the local machine to exploit is just FUD. (In this context, Raymond Chen is fond of the Douglas Adams line "It rather involved being on the other side of this airtight hatchway".) On the other hand, if you don't need admin rights to open ports on your firewall/router/whatever, then there's something wrong with your kit.
Of course, far too many people *are* using admin accounts and using IE to download and automatically run whatever the bad guys want, but UPnP is not part of that picture.
Re: Confusion about WRT54GL
@ Steve: Thanks for clearing that up. It's fixed now, but it was on by default as David Shepherd had mentioned above. I find it a bit disheartening that Linksys would do that. Maby thats a good reason for switching to Tomato like Steve Pettifer did. (same Steve?)
I find these kinds of menus confusing. My eyes aren't what they used to be and it's easy to fool me with amateurish layout and odd vocabulary such as putting UPnP with passwords instead of with port forwarding. You'd think a company like Linksys would take a more professional approach.
XBL NAT type
To Robert Cross - XBL still works without the relevant ports forwarding through to the Xbox, but there are various restrictions in terms of what you can do. Simplest way is to go to your network blade in the Xbox and test your connection to XBL. Make a note of the type of NAT reported then go here to see the implications.
UPnP or manual forwarding will make it of type "open" which is the most compatible.
@Ken Hagan : Admin rights
Admin rights are not required, the code sends a normal xml request via http to the router which, bafflingly, allows changes to the primary DNS of the router.
Or, just search for spyaxe on google. That is a tricky (but not the worst) piece of malware to remove.
Don't make me get the scarlet "I" out...
maybe irrelevant but..
my Bt white-slab-of-plastic-router-thingy went down and while trying to suss it I came across this:
The BT Home Hub contains code that is covered by the GNU General Public License (GPL). In accordance with the GPL, BT makes the relevant code available for download below.
code is on <http://www.btyahoo.com/broadband/adhoc_pages/gplcode.html>
FYI if you want to poke around.
BTW thanks for the book recommendations above, much appreciated.
Is UPnP The Issue?
From what I can see the problem isn't with UPnP but with the home gateway router manufacturers' implementation of it.
Take a look at "Understanding UPnP™: A White Paper" at http://www.upnp.org/resources/whitepapers.asp. Once you get past the Windows ME logo and the 'future tech' verbiage it comes down to an appliance advertising the services it offers.
Now look at consumer internet gateway routers (IGR) and ask why a consumer IGR needs to allow its internet connection settings or password to be changed via UPnP.
I can see why an IGR would allow UPnP to configure port forwarding (external to internal) - this replaces the process that I would otherwise need to undertake manually – but why an IGR should offer any other service is beyond me.
If the only UPnP request that my IGR recognises is one that opens an external port then I’m happy – that’s what I thought it did and my internal application firewall (ZoneAlarm) will let me decide whether a specific application is allowed to listen for incoming internet requests.