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Millions of Home Routers Vulnerable to Hacker Attacks
A presentation due to be shown by Craig Heffner at the Black Hat security conference at the end of the month will show how millions of home routers are vulnerable to hacker attack. The attack would let Internet traffic to get redirected and intercepted as well as giving access to home networks. Some of the routers that are vulnerable are from Netgear, Belkin, and Linksys. Models affected include routers used for Verizon's FIOS and DSL services; popular third-party firmwares like DD-WRT and OpenWRT were found to be vulnerable as well.
A list of the tested routers is available here . Ones that say YES in the last column were successfully hacked. Approximately half of the routers were able to withstand the attack.
The best way to protect against this attack is to change the password on the home router and change the default IP address along with keeping firmware up to date.
iPad Has DHCP Problems – Gets Banned In Certain Locations
The University of Princeton has released a report saying that the Apple iPad has DHCP problems.
In short, when the device first gets an IP address from the DHCP server, it uses that IP address for however long the IP lease was for. When the lease expires, the iPad needs to get a new IP address from the DHCP server. However, instead of getting a new IP address once the lease has expired, the iPad allows the lease to expire but continues to use the old IP address without asking for a new one.
The issue arises when the DHCP server assigns that supposedly expired IP address to a new device resulting in IP conflicts. This causes interference with other devices on the network and because of this, universities like the University of Princeton have banned many iPads from their network.
Other universities such as the George Washington University in Washington D.C have experienced problems with the iPad. However, it isnt related to the DHCP issue:
“Our current authentication system isn't supported by the iPhone or the iPad,” said Guy Jones, Chief Technology Officer for GWU.
Lastly, the country of Israel has banned the iPad completely – even from tourists. If they find yours, they'll confiscate it and charge you a storage fee. The reason why it was banned is because the American FCC allows Wi-Fi broadcasting at higher levels than what are standard in Europe and Israel.
“If you operate equipment in a frequency band which is different from the others that operate on that frequency band, then there will be interference,” said Nati Schubert, a senior deputy director for the Communications.
Microsoft Leaves Systems Vulnerable To Prevent BSOD Repeat
Two months ago Microsoft released a security update designed to fix two flaws in the Windows kernel. Unfortunately, this update would cause a Blue Screen of Death on many users computers. After some research, it was discovered that a rootkit was the cause of the crashes and Microsoft stopped automatically serving this update.
Microsoft has since restarted distribution of this update only after it had found out a way to block the rootkit-infected computers from receiving the patches.
Jerry Bryant who is a general manager with the Microsoft Security Response Team said the following:
“If detection logic included in Automatic Update discovers abnormal conditions in certain operating system file configurations, the update will fail and customers will be presented with an error message that offers alternative support options,”
While this will prevent the Blue Screen of Death appearing, it will leave users vulnerable to the exploit the update was originally designed to patch. No exploits of this flaw appear to exist in the wild just yet, but Microsoft warns that exploit code is likely to be developed.