The latest version of this advisory is available at: https://sintonen.fi/advisories/asus-router-auth-bypass.txt
Various ASUS routers contain reflected Cross-Site Scripting (CWE-79) and authentication bypass (CWE-592) vulnerabilities that can be exploited to gain remote administrative access to the devices.
The CSRF vulnerability CVE-2013-3093 discovered by Jacob Holcomb / Independent Security Evaluators (*) affecting various ASUS routers has been known for some time. The vulnerability enables an attacker to forge HTML forms and execute actions on the behalf of the target user (admin), enabling executing administrative functions. Another vulnerability allows executing arbitrary commands as administrator (root). ASUS was notified of these issues on March 29th 2013.
These vulnerabilities were not considered critical, likely because of the seemingly strict prerequisites for the attack:
"- The victim must have an active web application session on their ASUS router. - The victim must follow a link crafted by an attacker (e.g., by clicking the link directly, or through some other mechanism such as redirection from a malicious site). - The victim must have the necessary permissions to render and execute the forged HTTP." (*) http://securityevaluators.com/knowledge/case_studies/routers/Vulnerability_Catalog.pdf
There is a Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability on the router error page:
The error page is accessible without authentication. This vulnerability enables the attacker to bypass same-origin policy restrictions enforced by XMLHttpRequest.
The router error page http://192.168.1.1/error_page.htm includes the current administrative password in clear text.
if('1' == '0' || 'Joshua' == 'admin')
The error page is accessible without authentication. This vulnerability enables the attacker with same-origin rights, obtained by utilizing the vulnerability above, to read the password by utilizing an XMLHttpRequest call. The script can then perform actions as administrator by utilizing further XMLHttpRequest calls.
The vulnerabilities were discovered from an ASUS RT-N16 device, firmware version 184.108.40.206.374_979. By sampling a small set of ASUS firmware images the following models were also found likely to be vulnerable:
ASUS RT-N10U, firmware 220.127.116.11.374_168 ASUS RT-N56U, firmware 18.104.22.168.374_979 ASUS DSL-N55U, firmware 22.214.171.124.374_1397 * ASUS RT-AC66U, firmware 126.96.36.199.374_2050 * ASUS RT-N15U, firmware 188.8.131.52.374_16 ASUS RT-N53, firmware 184.108.40.206.374_311
*) ASUS DSL-N55U and ASUS RT-AC66U did not appear vulnerable to the authentication bypass issue. These devices are still vulnerable to the XSS and if the default password 'admin' has not been changed, they are easily exploitable as well.
This list is by no means comprehensive. It is likely that other devices are vulnerable as well.
A proof-of-concept exploit consisting of a small demo web page will be released at a later date.
The vulnerabilities were discovered by Harry Sintonen / nSense Oy.
The Cross-Site Request Forgery and command execution vulnerabilities (CVE-2013-3093) were discovered by Jacob Holcomb / Independent Security Evaluators.
15.1.2014 discovered the vulnerabilities 16.1.2014 wrote a preliminary report and PoC 20.1.2014 attempted to send email to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, both addresses bounced. 20.1.2014 opened a ticket at vip.asus.com on how to report security vulnerabilities on ASUS hw. 20.1.2014 emailed email@example.com asking how to report security vulnerabilities on ASUS hw. 20.1.2014 emailed CERT-FI asking for help contacting ASUS. 21.1.2014 CERT-FI was able to figure out ASUS security contact details. 21.1.2014 reported the security vulnerabilities to ASUS. 21.1.2014 reported the security vulnerabilities to CERT-FI vulncoord. 22.1.2014 got a response from representative of the vendor, report forwarded to R&D for review. (ASUS CASEID=RPTM20140121202264-976) 27.1.2014 got a response from the vendor, CWE-592 is fixed in the latest firmware version (for some devices?), CWE-79 is still being fixed. 08.2.2014 the vendor reported that the updated firmware will be released during week 8. 13.2.2014 ASUS released firmware updates for RT-N16, RT-N10U, RT-AC66U and RT-N15U. 13.2.2014 requested CVE IDs from MITRE. 19.2.2014 ASUS released a firmware update for RT-N56U. 21.2.2014 released the security advisory.