But perhaps the most puzzling revelation (other than the exploit itself), is that Acew0rm, the hacker that discovered the security hole, notified Netgear about it more than four months ago. Netgear never followed up once he made the company aware of the exploit, to which Acew0rm quipped, “I didn’t think it was going to this big and I thought they were going to instantly patch it.”
Now that the details of VU#582384 are out in the open, Netgear has finally responded. All it took was public disclosure of an exploit that it could have patched months ago to cause the network giant to react. “Netgear is aware of the security issue #582384 that allows unauthenticated web pages to pass form input directly to the command-line interface. A remote attacker can potentially inject arbitrary commands which are then executed by the system,” wrote the company in a security advisory on its website.
What’s interesting is that in addition to the three above routers that we know are susceptible to the remote exploit, Netgear revealed that there are actually 8 additional models that are affected. These include the R6250, R6700, R6900, R7100LG, R7300, R7900, D6220 and D7000.
In the mean time, Netgear has issue beta firmware for the following five models — R6250, R6400, R6700, R7000 and R8000 — which “has not been fully tested and might not work for all users”. Additional affected routers will receive beta firmware updates over the next few days.
The company adds that it is “offering this beta firmware release as a temporary solution, but Netgear strongly recommends that all users download the production version of the firmware release as soon as it is available.
“Netgear is continuing to review our entire portfolio for other routers that might be affected by this vulnerability. If any other routers are affected by the same security vulnerability, we plan to release firmware to fix those as well.”
It’s unfortunate that Netgear is having to rush to get this fix out the door after having its hand forced. But when people are actively seeking you out to let you know about a security issue, perhaps it would be in your best interest to take their concerns seriously — especially with an exploit of this magnitude.