Routers Put To The Test

Routers Put To The TestThere’s some excellent work going on in Baltimore, where Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) has just published a report on the current state of security in home routers. The verdict: Abysmal.

ISE tested 13 of the most popular routers available:

  • Linksys WRT310Nv2
  • Belkin F5D8236-4 v2
  • Belkin N300
  • Belkin N900
  • Netgear WNDR4700
  • TP-Link WR1043N
  • Verizon Actiontec
  • D-Link DIR-865L
  • ASUS RT-N56U
  • Linksys EA6500
  • Netgear WNR3500
  • TRENDnet TEW-812DRU

What they found in their tests was:

  • All 13 routers evaluated can be taken over from the local network
  • 4 of these attacks require no active management session.
  • 11 of 13 routers evaluated can be taken over from the WAN
  • 2 of these attacks require no active management session.

Based on their findings, ISE has made the following recommendations to users:

  • Upgrade your firmware regularly.
  • Disable (or do not enable) remote administration.
  • Disable (or do not enable) network services that are not utilized within the LAN, e.g., FTP, SMB, UPnP.
  • Log out from, and restart, your SOHO networking device after logging in for administrative tasks.
  • Clear browser cookies and active logins after logging out from your router.
  • Choose a non-standard (wireless) LAN IP address range (subnet), which will make generic automated attacks less effective against your network.
  • If possible, enable HTTPS for all administrative connections. For all of the routers we evaluated that had this feature, it was disabled by default.
  • Make sure your WLAN is protected using WPA2 encryption and is not left as an open WiFi network or protected with the outdated WPA or WEP standards.
  • ONLY install firmware from the router manufacturers website.
  • Choose a secure router administration password consisting of upper/lowercase alphanumeric and special characters that is at least 12 characters in length.
  • If your SOHO device is behind an additional firewall, restrict inbound access to this device from the greater WAN.

Our verdict: We need more guys like this to point out the depth of the problems that exist. This is great work and needs to be taken seriously. Our only complaint: why suggest to ONLY  install firmware from the router manufacturers website? There’s plenty of good 3rd party Open Source firmware for certain devices. The report explicitly says that they did not consider this. It would be interesting to see how that firmware fared.

You can read the entire report here.