The error that may have been leaking data since 2014 shows apparently routers that end up & # 39; t had their standard passwords changed, and can even help hackers physically locate real-world devices and users.
Researcher Troy Mursch claims that over 25,000 Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers in use have an error meaning that significant data is available to hackers. Writing in the Bad Packets Report, a "cyber threat intelligence" company, he says that sensitive information is leaked, even if the manufacturer refuses this.
Linksys was acquired in 2013 by Belkin – and this company was then purchased by Foxconn in 2018 And that firm says its employees have not been able to reproduce Mursch's findings.
"We quickly tested the router models that were tagged by Bad Packets, using the latest publicly available firmware (with default settings) and have not been able to reproduce [it]" said Linksys in an online security adviser ", which means that it is not possible for an external attacker to retrieve sensitive information through this technique. "
Linksys further states that this is because the error was resolved in 2014. But Mursch disagrees.
"While [this flaw] was patched for this problem, our findings have indicated something else," says Bad Packets. "By contacting the Linksys security group, we were advised to report the vulnerability … After submitting our findings, the investigative analyst states that the question was" not applicable / will not fix "and then closed."
If your router is one of these leaking information this way, the details that may be available to hackers are the MAC address of all devices connected to now.
It can also include device names such as "William's iPhone" and whether the device is a Mac, PC, IOS or Android device. The combination of a MAC address and the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi router's public IP address may mean that hackers can geo-locate or track "William," claims Mursch.
It is easier and immediately discovered whether a router is the default admin password has been changed or not.
This error and the Linksys / Belkin response were first reported by Ars Technica who notes that the number of affected routers appears to be reduced. A few days later, after the first report of 25,617, a repeat of the test revealed 21401 vulnerable units.
A complete list of the Linksys router models affected is on the Bad Packages page.