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Today β€” 5 December 2022Tenable TechBlog - Medium

NETGEAR Router Network Misconfiguration

5 December 2022 at 17:16

Last Minute Patch Thwarts Pwn2OwnΒ Entries

Entering Pwn2Own is a daunting endeavor. The targets selected are often popular, already picked over devices with their inclusion in the event only increasing the amount of security researcher eyes pouring over them. Not only that, but it’s not uncommon for vendors to release last minute patches for the included targets in an effort to thwart researcher findings. This year alone we see that both TP-Link and NETGEAR have released last minute updates to devices included in theΒ event.

Last Minute TP-LinkΒ Patch

Unfortunately, we fell victim to this with regards to a planned submission for the NETGEAR Nighthawk WiFi6 Router (RAX30 AX2400). The patch released by NETGEAR the day before the registration deadline dealt a deathblow to our exploit chain and unfortunately invalidated our submission. A few posts on Twitter and communications with other parties appear to indicate that other contestants were also affected by this last minuteΒ patch.

That said, since the patch is publicly available, let’s talk about whatΒ changed!

While we aren’t aware of everything patched or changed in this update, we do know which flaw prevented our full exploit chain from working properly. Basically, a network misconfiguration present in versions prior to V1.0.9.90 of the firmware inadvertently allowed unrestricted communication with any services listening via IPv6 on the WAN (internet facing) port of the device. For example, SSH and Telnet are operating on ports 22 and 23 respectively.

The SMD service hosting SSH and Telnet variants onΒ IPv6

Prior to the patch, an attacker could interact with these services from the WAN port. After patching, however, we can see that the appropriate ip6tables rules have been applied to prevent access. Additionally, IPv6 now appears disabled by default on newly configured devices.

We’d also like to point out thatβ€Šβ€”β€Šat the time of this writingβ€Šβ€”β€Šthe device’s auto-update feature does not appear to recognize that updates are available beyond V1.0.6.74. Any consumers relying on the auto-update or β€œCheck for Updates” mechanisms of these devices are likely to remain vulnerable to this issue and any other issues teased over the coming days of Pwn2Own TorontoΒ 2022.

More details can be found on our security advisory page here. We’ll have more information regarding other discovered issues once the coordinated disclosure process for them has been concluded.


NETGEAR Router Network Misconfiguration was originally published in Tenable TechBlog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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