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Netgear's Amusing "fix" for WG602v1 Backdoor

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the get-your-giggle-on dept.

Security 515

An anonymous reader writes "Recently Slashdot reported that the Netgear router has as WLAN backdoor. According to this report by the news service of the German publisher Heise Netgear "fixed" the problem with a firmware update. And what is the fix? According to Heise, they didn't remove the backdoor at all. Instead they just changed the login information! They replaced the old user name 'super' with 'superman', and changed the old password to '21241036'. "

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515 comments

Oops... (5, Funny)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365838)

Chalk up another loss for 'security by obscurity'.

Re:Oops... (5, Informative)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365890)

Chalk up another loss for 'security by obscurity'.

Well, that might be good enough, if they could choose the login information. But now that they published it....

First rule of passwords is that you don't talk about your passwords....

Re:Oops... (5, Insightful)

isthisthingon (785412) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365937)

Why are companies allowed to get away with this crap just because we pay them for their shoddy wares?

Any open source coder would be summarily flogged for such a transgression. Why on EARTH is this not literally considered a criminal offense for a company to do?

And I for one used to hold Netgear in reasonably high regard, too.

Never again.

Re:Oops... (5, Insightful)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366043)

>Why are companies allowed to get away with this crap just because we pay them for their shoddy wares?

The answer lies within the question: Because we pay them.

If someone paid you to paint a building and didn't care whether you stripped off the old paint first, I guarantee you you would just slap a coat over the old paint.

>And I for one used to hold Netgear in reasonably high regard, too.

Your mistake, then.

>Never again.

You should not say never if you want to reach them. This just makes the company execs think that since they can never reach you as a customer again, they won't make the effort. What you should say instead is: "I will purchase products from other companies since theirs do not address my needs at this time."

This is reasonable to them, and they won't discount you as a hot-head but rather may take your advice.

Just my .016 euro

Re:Oops... (4, Funny)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366078)

In future I will purchase products from other companies since theirs do not address my needs at this time.

I feel better for that...

Re:Oops... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366055)

in soviet russia, all your netgear are belong to us.

Re:Oops... (5, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366016)

If someone war-chalks it up, it won't be obscure for long. What is the symbol for "lame gateway security"?

Re:Oops... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366060)

What is the symbol for "lame gateway security"?

This [netgear.com], obviously.

Re:Oops... (5, Funny)

djansen (67143) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366028)

Well, it IS an improvement. The increase from 5 characters for the login to 8 now makes it SO much harder to crack. What was the old password? Someone do the math and figure out the number of new permutations they've added. Ha. I bet this is how the guy who did it justified the whole thing.

"What da ya mean? It's MUCH more secure than it was before."

Doh.

More like... (2, Insightful)

qualico (731143) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366100)

cat knowledge |grep -v understanding

There is certainly no understanding comeing through their pipe.

Nice fix. (5, Funny)

SpyPlane (733043) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365846)

That would be like "fixing" Windows 95 with Windows ME.

Re:Nice fix. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366025)

Except that 95 is actually better than ME...

Re:Nice fix. (0)

frozenray (308282) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366129)

> That would be like "fixing" Windows 95 with Windows ME.

I reckon that's quite appropriate, given that one of the meanings of "to fix" is "to spay or castrate" according to this [reference.com]

noo! (1, Informative)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365848)

Well, sheesh! Way to tell everyone the username and password combination! Now they have to change it again you insensitive clod!

Anyways.. For those that can't read German.... Here is the Babelfish translation (kind of).

Backdoor also in new wl to firmware of Netgear

Netgear reacted to the messages'r a Backdoor in the wl to ACCESS POINT WG602 Version1 promptly with a firmware update, however the Backdoor is still present -- this time only with new user name and password. With the name one was a little creative and extended the urspr?liche character string "super" too "superman". With the password Netgear has obviously Forenbeitr? for the first message of the Sicherheitsl?e seriously taken and the number on 21241036 ge?ert. To whom however this telephone number is geh?n, Netgear Germany could not say to us -- there one knew nothing from the new problem and wanted only to make itself once kundig.

An again updated firmware design does not give it yet. Anyway the question arises whether users are still determined after the second Patzer to bring new software in. In opinion of lawyers this problem k?te quite reason enough its, the Ger? to the H?ler zur?zubringen and the purchase price zur?zufordern. The Ver'ker can try to improve the lack however the chances stand daf'im for moment obviously quite badly.

Re:noo! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365891)


Don't mod up non-anonymous babelfish or text pastes except for "underrated" so they don't karma whore.

Re:noo! (0)

SpyPlane (733043) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365901)

"The Ver'ker can try to improve the lack however the chances stand daf'im for moment obviously quite badly."

That's what I'm saying... sheesh.

Re:noo! (1, Funny)

frs_rbl (615298) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365907)

the Ger? to the H?ler zur?zubringen and the purchase price zur?zufordern

But if they H?ler zur?zubringen , and the purchase price zur?zufordern... we are DOOMED!

Google's translation is a little clearer (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365969)

Backdoor also in new wl to firmware of Netgear

Netgear reacted to the messages over a Backdoor in the wl to ACCESS POINT WG602 Version1 promptly with a firmware update, however the Backdoor is still present -- this time only with new user name and password. With the name one was a little creative and extended the original character string "super" too "superman". With the password Netgear obviously took forum contributions for the first message of the safety gap seriously and changed the number on 21241036. To whom however this telephone number is to belong, Netgear Germany could not say to us -- there one knew nothing from the new problem and wanted only to make itself once kundig.

An again updated firmware design does not give it yet. Anyway the question arises whether users are still determined after the second Patzer to bring new software in. In opinion of lawyers this problem could quite be reason of enough to return the devices to the dealer and back-demand the purchase price. The salesman can try to improve the lack however the chances stand for it for the moment obviously quite badly.

APARENTLY they like it.... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365986)

IN THE BACK DOOR....lol someone had to say it...

Re:babelfish (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366022)

Does anyone have a translation for those of us who can't read babelfish?

Is it just me......... (1)

p.rican (643452) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366083)

or does it almost seem easier to read the german version, than read the babelfish translation? Babelfish translations make my eyes bleed and my head hurt ( no offense to parent post )

Re:noo! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366098)

We get signal.

What?

Main screen turn on.

It's you.

How are you gentlemen? All your base are belong to us.

What you say?

You have no chance to survive. Make your time. Ha ha ha!!!

A joke surely? (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365850)

Someone somewhere has GOT to be pulling legs...

That is the most stupid thing i think i have ever heard!.

FP BTW.

Re:A joke surely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365876)

YFI BTW.

Re:A joke surely? (5, Insightful)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365980)

I wish it was true.

Unfortunately Heise (publisher of c't and iX) is the probably most clueful German publishing house when it comes to technology.

Those Netgear bozos really seem to be dumber then my cigar cutter.

The other explanation is that the equipment has such a fundamental design flaw that it can't be fixed at all. But then they act damn unresponsible.

Then again: Thanks to such blunders I know what equipment not to buy.

Re:A joke surely? (2, Funny)

N3Z (746334) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366124)

Those Netgear bozos really seem to be dumber then my cigar cutter.

And not nearly as sharp!

any other information (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365854)

Is there any (possibly more American) news source for this? I wouldn't trust it from Heise. Anyone have securityfocus.com link or cnet link? Shouldn't there be a better outlet for security information than a German newspaper?

Re:any other information (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365879)

And you would prefer an *american* source?

anon to not karma whore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365860)


Slightly cleaned 'fish translation:
Backdoor also in new firmware of Netgear

Netgear reacted to the messages of a Backdoor in the firmware of their ACCESS POINT WG602 promptly with a firmware update, however the backdoor is still present -- this time only with new user name and password. With the name one was marginally creative and extended the superuser character string "super" to "superman". With the password Netgear has obviously for the first message of the [Sicherheitsl?e]??? seriously taken and the 21241036 password. To whom however this telephone number is owned, Netgear Germany could not say -- there one knew nothing from the new problem and wanted only to fix it.

An again updated firmware design isn't being worked on. The question remains: are users still determined after the second patch to bring in more new software in? Michael Sims reports a large opening in his backdoor for all to use. In opinion of lawyers this problem quite serious.


Can anyone that speaks German tidy that up?

Re:anon to not karma whore (1, Funny)

frs_rbl (615298) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365952)

If there is something worse than a karma whore, that is an anonymous karma whore...

disgusting

Re:anon to not karma whore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365974)

AC postings don't get the author any karma.

Re:anon to not karma whore (2, Funny)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366104)

I for one like my whores anonymous. It keeps things simpler...

Oh, what exactly are we talking about again?

Some updates: (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366031)

Netgear has obviously for the first message of the [Sicherheitsl?e]??? seriously taken and the 21241036 password.

Google's translation: With the password Netgear obviously took forum contributions for the first message of the safety gap seriously and changed the number on 21241036.

In opinion of lawyers this problem quite serious.

Google's translation: In opinion of lawyers this problem could quite be reason of enough to return the devices to the dealer and back-demand the purchase price. The salesman can try to improve the lack however the chances stand for it for the moment obviously quite badly.

TROLL PARENT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366054)

Michael Sims reports a large opening in his backdoor for all to use.

Everyone, stop modding 'article text' that is submitted AC up. There is no such thing as karma whoring these days. People who post well go to Excellent karma pretty quickly and stay there.

And oh yes, this will probably have no effect either, but what the heck: DON'T MOD SOMETHING UP IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT !!!

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366108)

everyone knows Michael Sims only gives it in (Taco's) back door. he doesn't open it for others (except hamsters)

Backdoor also in new Netgear firmware (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366116)

Netgear reacted to the messages of a backdoor in the firmware of their ACCESS POINT WG602 promptly with a firmware update, however the backdoor is still present -- this time only with new user name and password. They were a bit creative with the name and extended the superuser login "super" to "superman". With the 21241036 password Netgear has obviously for the first time taken security seriously. To whom however this telephone number is owned, Netgear Germany could not say -- because no one knew anything about the problem and only wanted to fix it.

Clear enough? :)

I wonder... (4, Funny)

barcodez (580516) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365866)

I thought the last article said changing passwords was a good idea! Make your minds up.

I jest of course.

Re:I wonder... (5, Funny)

FearTheFrail (666535) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365987)

But it takes numbers + characters to make -strong- passwords. So the next logical step:

Login: Theyllneverguess
Password: cuzimso1337

Re:I wonder... (1, Insightful)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366008)

The user changing a password and thereby closing the backdoor is a good idea.
The company changing a backdoor password into another but keeping the backdoor is a bad idea.

Jeroen

Superman!! (5, Funny)

Claire-plus-plus (786407) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365868)

Well at least sys-admins and network engineers can finally use the login name they think they deserve.

Re:Superman!! (1)

petabyte (238821) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365955)

Well at least sys-admins and network engineers can finally use the login name they think they deserve.

Well, actually I think they'll all continue using "god" to login.

Translation...no mod (0, Redundant)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365880)

HERE [google.com] is the google translation, for those of us who don't speak German

Re:Translation...no mod (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365938)

If you didn't care about mods you'd post that as an AC, gaylord.

Mickey Mouse (2, Insightful)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365885)

If this their idea of pluging a security hole then I don't think I will be purchasing any kind of routing equipment from this mickey mouse outfit in the future.

Not funny at all (4, Interesting)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365889)

I don't think there's anything amusing about this at all. I think the owners of these units should file a class action lawsuit, though i'm not even sure that's possible due to the EULA. If the EULA does get in the way then
I think it's time the government steped in to protect the consumer and started making companies liable for acts as stupid as this. This just isn't the way a responsible company behaves.

Simon.

Re:Not funny at all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365984)

it is funny. cruel, insensible, things are funny occasionally. it's fucking hilarious that they pull off a stunt like this.

Re:Not funny at all (5, Funny)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366051)

This just isn't the way a responsible company behaves.

responsible company

Trying to put these two words together is like trying to touch two magnet ends with the same polarity.

Re:Not funny at all (1)

CleverNickedName (644160) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366139)

If the EULA does get in the way then I think it's time the government stepped in to protect the consumer and started making companies liable for acts as stupid as this.

I dislike these EULAs as much as anyone, but if the EULA states that the product might not be too safe, then the customer has agreed to fork out X amount of cash for a non-too safe product.
Worse still, it the EULA is hidden at the time of purchase, that the customer has agreed to fork out money for an unknown product.

It's never the government's job to take responsibility for the customer's actions.

Re:Not funny at all (1, Offtopic)

Albanach (527650) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366145)

Instead of spending time consulting lawyers, why don't the lusers instead spend time reading the accompanying manual which tells them to select their own password.

Why do people want to blame, sue and hold responsible a company for the actions of users who have chosen either not to read or not to follow the doccumentation.

I'm not trolling here, I agree that these things should be shipped so they won't fnction until a password is chosen by the user. Nonetheless, the users were told to set a password and ignored that advice, now the company that provided the hardware is supposed to be responsible for their ignorance?

not obsecure anymore (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365899)

They may have changed the password but for someone who wants to hack it they will have 2 choices.

Also, because of /. it will be easy to find in google now

This is also not an update that your average user will install

Seems it's like someone getting into your computer cause you left a sticky note with the password there. So you change the password, put the new one on a sticky on the monitor. What's the point.

Now you did it! (4, Funny)

saddino (183491) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365911)

They replaced the old user name 'super' with 'superman', and changed the old password to '21241036'. "

And thanks to Slashdot, thus begins an endless stream of firmware updates; every time Netgear "fixes" their problem, I'm sure an article here will put the cycle in motion again. Let's see, who wants to guess what they change the password to next?

"superduperman", anyone?

Re:Now you did it! (1)

corngrower (738661) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366003)

who wants to guess what they change the password to next? ..."superduperman", anyone?

Na -- 'Flash_Gordon'

Re:Now you did it! (1)

Lifewolf (41986) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366007)

"superduperman", anyone?

Oh, thanks. Now I have that annoying Toy Box song stuck in my head.

Bianry Edit (4, Interesting)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365914)

I'm wondering if one could use something like bvi [sourceforge.net] to change the username and password to something private.

I've done it with other types of binary files, but never tried with firmware.

Anyone try this?

Re:Bianry Edit (4, Informative)

catmaker (209612) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366057)


I'd imagine it wouldn't work. They've probably checksummed the file, and if you change any of the content you'd have to rechecksum it, if you even knew what kind of checksum (if any) they'd used.

Nice idea though.

Re:Bianry[sic] Edit (2, Interesting)

phaze3000 (204500) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366103)

The firmware is gzip compressed, so you'd need to do a bit more than just use bvi. But I suspect if you extracted the gzip'd portion, edited the firmware, re-gzipped it, put it back in the firmware and updated any crc/md5 checks in there it might work.

Re:Bianry Edit (1)

logic7 (462356) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366143)

my guess is that update will be worthless then, because the checksum of the binary will be incorrect after editing the file.

Reputation damage (4, Interesting)

SamiousHaze (212418) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365919)

I am so irritated I don't know what to say. Seriously, How can netgear expect people to trust them again, is there any way to repair their reputation?

Netgear has awesome products (1)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366127)

It's a shame, because Netgear actually has the best wireless products I've tried between netgear, dlink, linksys, and smc.

I've had more stability and success with netgear by far. Luckily I'm not using this particular router.

At least ... (1, Funny)

supergiovane (606385) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365922)

... the password is not 12345.

Re:At least ... (1)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365963)

The launch codes for American ICBM's used to be 00000000 according to something I read this morning, but I forget where and what in....

Re:At least ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366061)

Well, thanks for sharing then.

21241036..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365929)

The number of times window$ crashed before they got a successful firmware update...

I can just hear the techs now (2, Funny)

ptelligence (685287) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365935)

This looks like a job for.......SUPERMAN!

Re:I can just hear the techs now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366063)

Sounds like a job done by... BICYCLE REPAIR MAN!
So Superman is defiantely in order...

Wow, What A brillient Job (0, Redundant)

masternerd (753023) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365936)

Changing the user information, is a fix ??? Whats up with you guy ? Joke! What do I comment on this stupid move.

Very sad (4, Insightful)

Sandman1971 (516283) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365945)

Now this is very sad. How can any semi-reputable company call changing the admin username and password for a major security hole a fix? Especially since they should have realized this new username/password would hit the net faster than Homer at an all you can eat buffet.

Since these things have built in firewalls, wouldnt the fix just include a user-invisible firewall rule preventing access to the router on whatever the admin port is (80, 8080, etc..)? Seems like a fairly simple fix to me.

Thanks Netgear! You've just assured that I'll never buy one of your products!

full-disclosure hackers knew for a while (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365951)

The blackhats that subscribe to

http://lists.netsys.com/mailman/listinfo/full-di sc losure

knew about this on irc for a while.

EU via interpol desires, and us's NSA/NRO both desire various entrypoints.

cisco's fiascos may be a trend. This netgear is only the tip of the iceberg I bet.

Just another proof that (1)

marika (572224) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365975)

The companies don't care about the users' security nor personal stuff. I can't believe it. I am glad they don't install alarm systems.

Re:Just another proof that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366017)


I am glad they don't install alarm systems.

Many (most?) alarm companies use a default installer password. It can't be used to arm/disarm the system unless an install jumper is set.

Stupid Hackers (1)

jwcorder (776512) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365978)

Netgear engineer, "Stupid hackers....there is no way they will ever figure out we add man onto the end of super...BAWAWAWAWAWAWAWAAAAA!!!!"

Does this mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9365983)

That if a worm was written to exploit this, those that are affected by the worm can sue Netgear for negligence ?

Anybody remember Belkin ? (1)

haxor.dk (463614) | more than 9 years ago | (#9365989)

So, now we also have to boykott Netgear to see them crash and burn for their idiocy by placing out privacy in jeopardy. Fools! sigh.

Who reads slashdot? (5, Interesting)

tony_gardner (533494) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366035)

I realise that this is a bit redundant, but I read the slashdot artile linked to, and what to I see but:

Re:Fixed in new firmware, available here: (Score:3, Informative)
by Chucky B. Bear (785810) on Saturday June 05, @03:10PM (#9345433)
I've just upgraded to the latest firmware. It is NOT FIXED!!!! They have simply gone and changed the username and password to something else. There is STILL a default superuser account with password.

(You can find it yourselve by just taking similiar steps as in the securityfoces article.)


Maybe reading slashdot sometimes would be a good idea.

./ed (1)

Fullmetal Edward (720590) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366039)

Nice one old slashdot, you just revealed it to all us geeks :)

Remind me to blame if you I ever get caught using it for less then legal means.

I want a job @ netgear (1)

nomad63 (686331) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366065)

Looks like people with half brains are able to hold on to their jobs over at netgear, so, I want a job where I do not feel compelled to excel at my job, heck, I can lay an egg like this about one every hour.

Hey netgear folks, do you want to hire me ? I promise my ideas will be even lamer than changing "super" to "superman" so your legacy won't be hurt.

One keeps wondering how those ideas actually filter through the chain of comman in such an high visibility issue. Amazing !

This is a good fix (2, Funny)

razmaspaz (568034) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366067)

Now the hacker has to figure out which version of the firmware one is running in order to crack the password. And they can't figure that out without logging in. So everyone is safe now.

:-)

Supermaning it.... (4, Interesting)

utlemming (654269) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366119)

I am amused. When I say the headline I just about died laughing. The sad part is that most people that have a Netgear router aren't going to update the firmware, and they probably don't even care or understand the issues involved. Further, what about all those units that are on the shelf somewhere? The problem is that Netgear has admitted now that they are not interested in security and they are not offering a secured unit. I was amused when I installed one for a friend -- she had bought the unit. No user name, just a password. I am thinking that IEEE or ANSI or whoever should adopt a standard for baseline security for routers. That way even an idiot that wants to have an open WIFI device won't have to worry about some Wardriver taking over his device. Well, all I can say is that I am happy that I was not the executive that made the Superman call.

21241036 - For Backdoor Network Access, Call Jenny (4, Funny)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366126)

The new password is apparently someone's PHONE NUMBER in Germany! No idea whose, but I gleaned this tidbit by getting a Babelfish translation of the page (orig, in German). For those in the US - Is this the networking equivalent of calling Jenny? (867-5309)

Basically.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366131)

this is what I compare to getting your keys stolen, changing your locks, and then giving everyone a copy of the key.
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