IT | Security

Wi-Fi Cable Modems Leave Customers Vulnerable

By: Absolute Team | 10/28/2009

PC World recently wrote a story about Wi-Fi cable modem routers and how a security hole left thousands of Time Warner customers vulnerable to hackers.  Incredibly, the company isn’t responsible for uncovering the problem.

A customer needed help with his Wi-Fi network and asked a friend for help with the configuration.  His friend, David Chen who writes the Chenosaurus blog, was surprised to discover the issue and wrote: "from within your own network, an intruder can eavesdrop on sensitive data being sent over the Internet and even worse, they can manipulate the DNS address to point trusted sites to malicious servers to perform man-in-the-middle attacks.  Someone skilled enough can possibly even modify and install a new firmware onto the router, which can then automatically scan and infect other routers automatically."

That’s a very scary thought!  Most subscribers trust the equipment installed by their service providers and would never imagine that a router they have been given could leave them open to attack.  Time Warner has implemented a temporary patch but prior to Chen’s discovery, administrative access to the routers was allowed and attackers were free to run programs against them.

A permanent fix for the SMC 8014 wireless router and cable modem is expected sometime in the near future.