from the much-lower-than-expected dept.
In a project that found more than 80 million unique IP addresses responding to Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) discovery requests, researchers at Rapid7 were shocked to find that somewhere between 40 and 50 million of those are vulnerable to at least one of three known attacks. A Rapid7 white paper enumerated UPnP-exposed systems connected to the Internet and identified the number of vulnerabilities present in common configurations. Researchers found that more than 6,900 product models produced by 1,500 different vendors contained at least one known vulnerability, with 23 million systems housing the same remote code execution flaw. ‘This research was primarily focused on vulnerabilities in the SSDP processor across embedded devices,’ Rapid7’s CSO HD Moore said. ‘The general process was to identify what was out there, make a list of the most commonly used software stacks, and then audit those stacks for vulnerabilities. The results were much worse than we anticipated, with the most commonly used software stack (libupnp) also being the most vulnerable.
UPnP Allows Access to Your Gear from Outside Sources
UPnP (Universal Plug and Play), a component meant to make devices like routers, printers, and media players easy to discover on a network, has been accused of having security holes for a long time, but this week the US Government suggested you disable it yet again. The most recent study suggests 40 million to 80 million network-enabled devices responded to discovery requests from the internet and are vulnerable to an attack that gives hackers access to webcams, printers, passwords, and more. This means routers and devices with the bug can be accessed from the internet to remotely screw with your system even if you don’t have malware installed.
The good news is that most of the affected hardware is old, and the problem likely isn’t as widespread as it seems. That said, in the case of most devices, you can turn UPnP off in the settings (look in your manual for directions). The UPnP setting on your router doesn’t have anything to do with the protocol that lets you stream media over a network, print from inside the network, or anything similar. Turning it off on the router level only blocks you from controlling these devices over the internet, which most people don’t need to do.
To turn it off on a router level, you pop into the admin page and disable UPnP. If you want to check your hardware, security site Rapid7 has made a tool to scan devices on your network.
As far as security risks go, this one’s easy to fix and it’s not going to affect a lot of people these days. The rest of these are much worse.