Router Security Question

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by java dude, Sep 26, 2011.

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  1. java dude

    java dude Registered Member

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    Hey guys, I have a router-related security question. I was reading about the recent HTTPS vulnerability and it made me paranoid. Suppose someone (eg. a malicious neighbor, or an angry ex -- assume tech-savvy) managed to get hold of a router's admin password. Even with the router's remote administration feature disabled (as it should be in most cases), would it be possible to gain access to the router remotely? Could something like the HTTPS vulnerability/attack be carried out like this?
     
  2. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    If your router's remote admin feature is disabled they can't do a whole lot with that password.

    But if they're on your network they don't need to gain access to the router that way at all. They can do everything they need just being on the network.
     
  3. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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    As Hungry Man said.

    The attacker can't do much when outside of your network. If you suspect that the password is compromised though, consider changing it right away. Keep the password at safe place - encrypted folder, your head, etc. Not in plain sight.

    If there is a possibility that your network has uninvited quests, then you have a much bigger problem at your hands than some HTTPS vulnerability. You should then carry out any action you need to get your network clean first. WPA2 with a strong password is basically unbreakable, atleast for now, so that should rule out the WLAN-connecting neighbour right away. Only thing that can connect after that is a computer which is connected via an ethernet cable, straight to the router. Consider MAC filtering too, it doesn't do much, but makes things more difficult for the attacker.

    And yes, someone in your network can carry out man-in-the-middle -attacks. So make sure there's no-one you don't want to be there.
     
  4. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Most routers have a log you can view that will show logins and changes made.

    Sul.
     
  5. java dude

    java dude Registered Member

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    Thanks for your replies! I think I'm just overly paranoid after reading about all the hacking attacks in the recent months, and the SSL vulnerability pushed me over the edge. :p

    My network already uses WPA2 with a strong key, and the people on my network are all trusted family. My main concern was if our admin password somehow got out and someone tech-savvy (maybe with a grudge) got hold of it, could he gain access to the router remotely even with remote admin disabled?

    @Spysnake - That's a good tip about MAC filtering, I think I'll do that!
     
  6. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    My strongest passwords are on my routers and servers. If someone uses a brute force attack to circumvent your password, then most likely there isn't much you can do about that type of dedicated attempt. I am not going to worry about that type of thing myself. If someone wants in that bad, well, they are pretty savvy, more than I.

    But, I think most problems will arise from remote admin enabled and someone guessing a weak password. Even inside the local network, a weak password is still weak. I have a ridiculously strong password. I don't like to type it out, but at the same time I don't really worry about it being guessed either. There was a website a bunch of us were using at one time a few years ago that told how long it would take to crack a password that you chose. Mine would take a long time, so I don't think I am going to worry about it.

    It is easy to be paranoid. A pinch of it can be productive. A heaping spoonful of it can cause you to chase your tail in circles round and round, always trying to catch it, but never actually getting it. You see a lot of that around here, normally in the "I want the best, most secure, most this or most that" type post. Some people have figured out that they don't need "the best", only what they need. Others haven't yet come to grip with what they need, and IMO try many approaches, but still chasing thier tails, until they finally one day narrow it down to thier needs rather than an all-encompassing need. And still others chase thier tail and chase thier tail, and they do it because they like the trip around the circle. They use this app, then use that app. They have this habit of chasing thier tail, and even if they caught it, they would let it go again so they could continue the chase :D Thankfully they also like to share thier experiences lol, so those of us that no longer feel like chasing our tails (old dogs?) can live vicariously through others ;)

    Sul.
     
  7. java dude

    java dude Registered Member

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    That's exactly how I've felt for the last few months -- like I'm chasing my tail! It's been one thing after another, trying to lock things down and make them more secure. My friends say that I'm paranoid, but having been burned once, I know exactly what it feels like to know that all of your previously "paranoid" habits were simply not enough to keep the bad guys out. It's like I keep finding ways to become more secure, which is good, but it's also been making me pull my hair out because I've developed the mindset that "secure isn't secure enough." Maybe I'm crazy, but I honestly feel like someone really *is* out to get me.
     
  8. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    IMO you should first discover 2 things.

    1. what you really have to lose. Some pictures, music and movies? Or maybe you do a lot of online transactions and worry about indentity, or use tax/quickbooks software and worry about account info. Knowing what you have to lose is a good start to the next item.

    2. where do your threats come from. Just surfing? Or as above, using programs that absolutely need to be secured. If you p2p or pr0n, odds go up. If you just go to wilders and news, etc, then odds go down.

    Once you understand your "common" areas of concern, you develop a strategy for those. It needn't be overkill. You only need to minimize what you know about. If you are behind a router, then a little homework on some basic steps to tighten things up might be all you need.

    Sul.
     
  9. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

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    Attacking the router from the WAN side to gain access by an attacker can occur, though how many routers are vulnerable is unclear. WRT 54G is one such router that is vulnerable to WAN attacks. You can't do much about this except try to find routers not vulnerable.

    An avenue for attackers to gain access to the router is through the browser. The browser is a medium with which you communicate to the router, once infected or if you use the browsers built in password memory storage, the password can be harvested. For this you have to manage the browsers access, taking care to protect your communication to the router through isolation.
     
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