Security Corner

Jul 29 2009   9:08PM GMT

I’ll Say it Again—Turn Off the Remote Web Management Interface!

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

I don’t know how many times I’ve told people that the embedded management interface on most devices is a security breach waiting to happen. I just got wind of some news, but can’t seem to find anything more than this mention. As soon as I dig up some details, I’ll let you know. This exchange is from Security Now! Episode 206 for July 23, 2009:

Steve…Stanford security lab….will also be showing some very distressing news this weekend at the Black Hat conference. They tested 21 different devices from 16 different manufacturers. These are web-enabled gizmos – webcams, printers, network switches, photo frames, VoIP phones, remote management tools, all of these things – and, like, consumer routers, all of these things that are web-enabled, meaning that like so many peripherals now, they’ve got an Internet connection and a web interface. They tested the vulnerability of 21 devices made by 16 different manufacturers. There was not one that was not vulnerable to serious web-oriented problems. For example, they were able to enter JavaScript commands into the logon prompts.

Leo: Oh, boy.

Steve: And the device logged the log-on attempts. So when the administrator brought up the log, the act of displaying the log replayed the JavaScript commands…And that allowed the commands to connect to a remote server and download malware. They said that among the worst devices were network attached storage devices. They enumerated five different classes of attacks, and they said that the NAS…were vulnerable to all five classes of attack. For example, you could rename files to JavaScript strings. There was no control over file naming in these. And of course we all have long filenames now in our state-of-the-art file systems. Well, long meaning JavaScript. And so anytime this device attempted to display the filenames on a web page, again, you were running JavaScript. So now there’s scripting running in your directory listing, which is displayed on a web page, causing your browser to do whatever the JavaScript has said. And it’s running in the local context. So even systems that have security saying don’t allow remote sites to execute script, but of course we trust our self, well, now we can’t trust our self.

Don’t tell me I didn’t say so. Turn that interface OFF!

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