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Vulnerabilities Discovered in Huawei Routers

Vulnerabilities Discovered in Huawei Routers

Posted on 13th Aug 2012 @ 12:50 PM

computer-hacking.jpgYou may be more vulnerable to hacking than you think, simply because you rely on a certain piece of technology. Some companies take every possible step to make sure that their products are safe and secure from hackings and hack attacks. Others, however, still find themselves and their products to be insecure and vulnerable, at the expense of the customer. You may be leaving yourself wide open to a hack attack, exposing all your personal or financial information, and you may not even know it yet.

Two network security experts took it upon themselves to test a few internet routers made by China-based manufacturer Huawei Technologies. They tested the routers thoroughly, and after their testing was complete, they discovered that these routers have hardly any of the standard security protections that come with nearly all internet-ready devices. They are still relying on internet security measures that were used during the 1990’s, which are entirely ineffective today.

Today, Huawei is becoming one of the leading manufacturers of telecommunications technology and equipment in the world. Felix Lindner and Gregor Kopf were the researchers who discovered the serious security vulnerabilities of the Huawei Technologies router. Both Lindner and Kopf work for Recurity Labs, a security firm which analyzes devices and equipment to find vulnerabilites. They The pair brought up three potentially dangerous vulnerabilities with the Huawei routers, all three of which were demonstrated at the Defcon  computer hacker conference; the three vulnerabilities included a session hijack, a heap overflow, and a stack overflow, and the discussion of more than 10,000 calls in the firmware code that went to sprintf, an insecure function.

The problem is due to the use of “1990s-style code” in the firmware of some Huawei VRP routers, he said. (The models are the Huawei AR18 and AR 29 series). With a known exploit, an attacker could get access to the systems, log in as administrator, change the admin passwords and reconfigure the systems, which would allow for interception of all the traffic running through the routers.

Both Lindner and Kopf have criticized Huawei for not having a security contact, as well as for its lack of security advisories for its products. Additionally, the researchers say firmware updates don’t talk about bugs that may have been fixed.

A U.S.-based Huawei representative provided CNET with the following statement:

“We are aware of the media reports on security vulnerabilities in some small Huawei routers and are verifying these claims. Huawei adopts rigorous security strategies and policies to protect the network security of our customers and abides by industry standards and best practices in security risk and incident management. Huawei has established a robust response system to address product security gaps and vulnerabilities, working with our customers to immediately develop contingency plans for all identified security risks, and to resolve any incidents in the shortest possible time. In the interests of customer security, Huawei also calls on the industry to promptly report all product security risks to the solutions provider so that the vendor’s CERT team can work with the relevant parties to develop a solution and roll-out schedule.”

AUTHOR - Carlos Reyes

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