AMITIAE - Friday 19 December 2014

Cassandra: Check Point Reports Serious Router Vulnerability that may Affect Home Users

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By Graham K. Rogers


Check Point, has reported on the Misfortune Cookie malware, a "critical vulnerability that allows an intruder to remotely take over a residential gateway device and use it to attack the devices connected to it."

It is now known that the vulnerability has been installed on millions of routers (estimated 12 million) in use around the world. If the router is vulnerable, then any connected device including computers, phones, tablets, printers, security cameras, refrigerators, toasters or any other networked device in your home or office network (my italics) is at risk.

Electronista adds that "The exploit works through a user's normal browser, and deposits a cookie in a single packet. "The Misfortune Cookie vulnerability is due to an error within the HTTP cookie management mechanism present in the affected software. . . ."

Affected devices that have not been patched are believed to "contain RomPager services with versions before 4.34 (and specifically 4.07)" Devices have been scanned on the Internet and a number have been found that may be at risk and users should check with their ISP.

The Check Point PDF document contains a list of models that are suspected to be vulnerable. On the list are several popular routers, such as D-Link, Huawei, Everest, and many others. Included are several models by Zyxel, a brand which is favoured by True in Thailand. The router I have is not among those listed.

Zyxel Router

The model and serial number are on a small label at the base of the router. It may need someone with good eyes to view this in a good light. I was able to check mine by laying on the floor and taking a photograph, then reading the text on that.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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All content copyright © G. K. Rogers 2014