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‫ Network-attached storage devices more vulnerable than routers, researcher finds


Number: IRCNE2014082282
Date: 2014-08-09

According to “computerworld”, a security review of network-attached storage (NAS) devices from multiple manufacturers revealed that they typically have more vulnerabilities than home routers, a class of devices known for poor security and vulnerable code.

Jacob Holcomb, a security analyst at Baltimore-based Independent Security Evaluators, is in the process of analyzing NAS devices from 10 manufacturers and has so far found vulnerabilities that could lead to a complete compromise in all of them.

"There wasn't one device that I literally couldn't take over," Holcomb said Wednesday during a talk at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, where he presented some of his preliminary findings. "At least 50 percent of them can be exploited without authentication," he said.

The devices he evaluated are: Asustor's AS-602T, TRENDnet's TN-200 and TN-200T1, QNAP's TS-870, Seagate's BlackArmor 1BW5A3-570, Netgear's ReadyNAS104, D-LINK's DNS-345, Lenovo's IX4-300D, Buffalo's TeraStation 5600, Western Digital's MyCloud EX4 and ZyXEL's NSA325 v2.

Holcomb led a similar study last year that identified over 50 vulnerabilities in popular SOHO routers. He expects the number of vulnerabilities identified in NAS systems to far exceed those he found in routers by the time his new project is over.

The type of issues he found in the NAS systems include command injection, cross-site request forgery, buffer overflows, authentication bypasses and failures, information disclosure, backdoor accounts, poor session management and directory traversal. By combining some of these vulnerabilities, attackers can gain a "root shell" on the devices, allowing them to execute commands with the highest possible privilege.

All the vulnerabilities found so far were reported to the vendors, but the release of patches for them can take months, Holcomb said.

There are obvious differences in what can be done by compromising NAS devices and compromising routers. By controlling a router an attacker could capture and modify Internet traffic for a network, while hacking into a NAS system could provide access to potentially sensitive information stored on it.

By compromising a NAS device an attacker could also hijack traffic from other devices on the same network by using techniques like ARP spoofing, Holcomb said.

A big concern is that many NAS vendors use the same code base for their high-end and low-end devices, the researcher said. That means the same vulnerabilities in a low-cost NAS device designed for home use could exist in a much more expensive NAS system designed for enterprise environments.Paying more money for a device does not mean it has better security, Holcomb warned.



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