Most Home Routers Vulnerable to New Attack
January 15, 2008 | POSTED BY BRETT EDGAR IN SECURITYGNUCitizen[gnucitizen.org]
has released details of a new attack[gnucitizen.org]
on UPnP-enabled home routers that can be perpetrated by a Flash object running on the browser of any user. I haven't tested this, but it looks like it should work even if executed under a non-privileged account. (You do use non-privileged accounts, right?) It should work because this attack vector doesn't do anything particularly suspicious, and certainly not something that would require administrator privileges. There are several very bad results from this attack, but a worst-case scenario is described in the details published on GNUCitizen's website:
The most malicious of all malicious things is to change the primary DNS server. That will effectively turn the router and the network it controls into a zombie which the attacker can take advantage of whenever they feel like it. It is also possible to reset the admin credentials and create the sort of onion routing network all the bad guys want.
That would suck.
What's interesting here is that this is not a vulnerability in UPnP itself. A pre-existing web session with the home router is a prerequisite for this attack to occur. However, GNUCitizen has several other discussions which show that a simple XSS attack is all that is needed to establish the prerequisite. So this is an attack vector that is opened by another exploit entirely!