Some Linksys wireless routers found to contain vulnerabilities, warns SingCERT

Some Linksys wireless routers found to contain vulnerabilities, warns SingCERT

Screengrab of Linksys website
Screengrab of Linksys' website featuring its E-series wireless routers. 

SINGAPORE: Some of Linksys' wireless routers have been found to contain vulnerabilities that could allow attackers to hijack the devices and perform malicious activities such as installing malware on them without users knowing.

This was according to an advisory by the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCERT) on Thursday (Oct 18), which pinpointed the brand's E series line of routers as those affected.

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The Linksys-branded routers made by Belkin International are designed to connect home computers, Internet-ready TVs, game consoles, smartphones and other devices to the Wi-Fi network, but three vulnerabilities - CVE-2018-3953, CVE-2018-3954, and CVE-2018-3955 - were discovered on them, it said. 

Specifically, the affected systems are E series routers with firmware versions such as E1200 Firmware Version 2.0.09 and E2500 Firmware Version 3.0.04, the agency added. 

A Linksys Singapore spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia that the affected devices were those launched by Cisco Systems before it was bought over by Belkin in 2013 and these have reached end-of-life status. These may still be sold by third-party resellers or local distributors though, he added. 

At the time of launch, these routers required manual downloading of firmware, he added. 

The current routers, however, are factory set to automatically install and run firmware updates as they are rolled out by the manufacturer, said the spokesperson. 

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"Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities via specially crafted requests to the network configuration could allow attackers to perform arbitrary code execution," SingCERT said. 

It explained that should attackers successfully make use of the vulnerabilities to access the router, they could then take control of the device and download malware on it, for example, without the owner's knowledge.

To counter this, users were advised to update the affected devices' firmware to the latest version released by the manufacturer, advised the agency.

Source: CNA/kk