VPNFilter-affected Devices Still Riddled with 19 Vulnerabilities

by Tony Yang and Peter Lee (Consumer Yamato Team)

Our IoT Smart Checker allows users to identify if connected devices (e.g. routers, network attached storage devices, IP cameras, and printers) in a given network are vulnerable to security risks and vulnerabilities, such as those related to Mirai, Reaper, and WannaCry.

IoT Smart Checker gathers data from the Trend Micro™ Home Network Security solution and HouseCall™ for Home Networks scanner. HouseCall for Home Networks is a free tool that features device recognition and vulnerability scanning in users’ networks and connected devices. Home Network Security is a solution plugged into users’ routers that protects connected devices from potential cyberattacks. Currently, IoT Smart Checker supports multiple operating systems, including Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and other software development kit (SDK) platforms.

This blog tackles the recently ill-famed VPNFilter malware and if deployed devices are vulnerable to it. VPNFilter is a newly discovered, multi-stage malware (detected by Trend Micro as ELF_VPNFILT.A, ELF_VPNFILT.B, ELF_VPNFILT.C, and ELF_VPNFILT.D) that affects many models of connected devices. Initially reported at the tail end of May to have infected at least 500,000 networking devices across 54 countries, including those from Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, and TP-Link, to steal website credentials and even render devices unusable, the malware is now seen targeting more devices to deliver exploits and even override reboots. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has even released a public service announcement (PSA), warning that it is the work of foreign threat actors looking to compromise networked devices worldwide.

Different brands and models affected by VPNFilter and more

VPNFilter is known to affect over ten brands and 70 models of devices. IoT Smart Checker can identify other publicly known vulnerabilities targeting the devices as listed below:

Manufacturer Model Device Type
Asus RT-AC66U, RT-N10, RT-N10E,
RT-N10U, RT-N56U, and RT-N66U
D-Link DES-1210-08P
DIR-300, DIR-300A, DSR-250N, DSR-500N, DSR-1000, and DSR-1000N
Ethernet switch
Huawei HG8245 Router
Linksys E1200, E2500, E3000 E3200, E4200, RV082, and WRVS4400N Routers
MikroTik CCR1009, CCR1016, CCR1036, CCR1072, CRS109, CRS112, CRS125, RB411, RB450, RB750, RB911, RB921, RB941, RB951, RB952, RB960, RB962, RB1100, RB1200, RB2011, RB3011,
RB Groove, RB Omnitik, and STX5
Netgear DG834, DGN1000, DGN2200, DGN3500, FVS318N, MBRN3000, R6400, R7000, R8000, WNR1000, WNR2000, WNR2200, WNR4000, WNDR3700, WNDR4000, WNDR4300, WNDR4300-TN, and UTM50 Routers
QNAP TS251, TS439 Pro, and other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software NAS devices
TP-Link R600VPN, TL-WR741ND,
and TL-WR841N
Ubiquiti NSM2 and PBE M5 Wireless access points
ZTE ZXHN H108N Router

Table 1. Some of the known affected devices by VPNFilter

Based on our data from June 1 to July 12, plenty of the devices are still using old firmware versions. In fact, 19 known vulnerabilities, not only taken advantage of by VPNFilter but other malware as well, can still be detected in devices up to this day.

At the time of our scanning, we observed that 34 percent of home networks had at least one device with a known vulnerability. We found that 9 percent of vulnerable devices are potentially affected by VPNFilter.

Device Vulnerabilities Vulnerable Devices/Services
Authentication Bypass Vulnerability CVE-2015-7261 QNAP FTP Service
Reaper Remote Code Execution CVE-2011-4723 D-Link DIR-300
Remote Code Execution CVE-2014-9583 ASUS RT-AC66U, RT-N66U
Reaper OS Command Injection CVE-2013-2678 Linksys E2500
Buffer Overflow Vulnerability
Vulnerable UPnP Service (e.g. Netgear/TP-Link/D-Link)
Stack Overflow Vulnerability
Vulnerable UPnP Service (e.g. Netgear/TP-Link/D-Link)
Remote Code Execution CVE-2017-6361 QNAP QTS before 4.2.4 Build 20170313
Router JSONP Info Leak CVE-2017-8877 ASUS RT-AC* and RT-N*
Router Password Disclosure CVE-2017-5521 Netgear R6400, R7000, R8000
Stack Overflow Vulnerability
Vulnerable UPnP Service (e.g. Netgear/TP-Link/D-Link)
Stack Overflow Vulnerability
Vulnerable UPnP Service (e.g. Netgear/TP-Link/D-Link)
Reaper Router Remote Code Execution D-Link DIR-300
Router Password Disclosure Netgear WNR2000
Remote Code Execution CVE-2016-6277 Netgear R6400, R7000
Router Session Stealing CVE-2017-6549 ASUS RT-N66U
OS Command Injection CVE-2013-2679 Linksys E4200
Authentication Bypass Vulnerability Netgear WNR1000
Router Password Disclosure Netgear WNR1000
Unauthenticated Router Access Vulnerability TP-Link TL-WR841N

Table 2. 19 vulnerability detections on VPNFilter-affected devices

As expected, the 19 vulnerabilities primarily affect routers. Interestingly, the Authentication Bypass Vulnerability CVE-2015-7261, an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) flaw in the QNAP NAS firmware, mostly affects printers based on our detection. While determining the possible reason behind this, we found that many of the detected printers’ FTP could connect to the network without any authentication. In some cases, this may be the printer’s default configuration, but it still poses a potential security risk if the FTP is set as open on the internet.

Figure 1. A Shodan result of an FTP connection to a printer without authentication

Figure 1. A Shodan result of an FTP connection to a printer without authentication

The other vulnerabilities detected, such as the Buffer Overflow CVE-2013-0229 and Stack Overflow CVE-2013-0230, can allow attackers to cause a denial-of-service (DoS) and execute arbitrary code in systems, respectively. Vulnerable UPnP Services detected, moreover, aren’t exclusively associated with Netgear/TP-Link/D-Link devices, as other brands could also have the same vulnerability. In that case, we can expect more detections.

Protecting devices and networks against VPNFilter malware and other vulnerabilities

The threat of VPNFilter malware is augmented by the fact that other publicly known vulnerabilities were detected in the affected devices. Since not all device manufacturers provide immediate fixes for discovered vulnerabilities and not all users regularly apply patches, users should first secure the way they set up their devices and networks. Trend Micro™ Home Network Security solution can check internet traffic between the router and all connected devices. Our IoT Smart Checker tool has been integrated into the Home Network Security solution and HouseCall™ for Home Networks scanner. Enterprises can also monitor all ports and network protocols for advanced threats and thwart targeted attacks with the Trend Micro™ Deep Discovery™ Inspector network appliance.

Aside from adopting security solutions that can protect networks and connected devices from the vulnerabilities through the identification and assessment of potential risks, we recommend standard security measures, such as:

  • Updating the firmware versions of devices once they’re available to avoid attacks that exploit known vulnerabilities.
  • Avoiding the use of public Wi-Fi on devices that are also used in home or corporate networks.
  • Changing device’s default credentials and using strong passwords to deter unauthorized access.
  • Being wary of suspicious URLs or attachments from unknown sources that may lead to infecting devices connected to the network.

Users of the Trend Micro Home Network Security solution are also protected from particular vulnerabilities via these rules:

  • 1058981 WEB Directory Traversal -21
  • 1130327 EXPLOIT ASUSWRT LAN Backdoor Command Execution (CVE-2014-9583)

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Author: Trend Micro