The report, written by research firm Independent Security Evaluators of Baltimore, Md., found that 13 of the most popular off-the-shelf wireless routers could be exploited by a “moderately skilled adversary with LAN or WLAN access.” It also concludes that your best bet for safer Wi-Fi depends on router vendors upping their game. All 13 routers evaluated can be taken over from the local network, with four of those requiring no active management session. Eleven of the 13 can be taken over from a “Wide Area Network” (WAN) such as a wireless network, with two of those requiring no active management session.
Ted Harrington ISE’s Marketing head explained why router hacking could turn into a big problem. “What’s notable about this is that if you compromise the router, then you’re inside the firewall. You can pick credit card numbers out of e-mails, confidential documents, passwords, photos, just about anything,” he said.
Despite being widely distributed and deployed in nearly every modern home and small office, SOHO networking equipment has received surprisingly little attention from security researchers. Yet, these devices facilitate the connectivity and protection (we hope) of millions of end-systems. The critical vulnerabilities that persist in these widely used devices demonstrate an urgent need for deeper scrutiny.
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