Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

BT flaw puts broadband users at risk

Danger from VoIP vulnerability.

Article comments

A flaw in a DSL home gateway could lead broadband users inadvertently to divulge personal information, according to a group of self-styled ethical hackers.

BT's Home Hub, issued to the company's UK broadband subscribers, has an authentication vulnerability that enables a website rigged with malicious JavaScript to initiate a phone call, according to the group, GNUCitizen.

"We can tell your Home Hub to start a VoIP connection with any telephone number on the planet," said Adrian Pastor in a video posted on the group's blog.

Those at risk are subscribers using BT Home Hub firmware version 6.2.6.B with BT's Broadband Talk VoIP service, Pastor said.

For a successful attack, a person has to be lured to a website hosting the malicious JavaScript. That could be accomplished by sending a fraudulent email from the person's bank saying he should to click on the link, which launches the JavaScript, said researcher Petko Petkov, in the same video.

Clicking on the link starts the attack. The victim's phone rings, and the gateway then initiates a call to another phone number. The victim thinks he is receiving a call, but actually he is making a VoIP call from his home gateway.

There are at least a couple scenarios for how a hacker could capitalise on the flaw. If the broadband subscriber thinks he is receiving a call from his bank, the person on the other end could persuade the victim to give up his bank account numbers.

The attacker could also make the victim's computer call a premium-rate phone line controlled by the hacker, who would receive a fee every time the number is called.

Pastor posted proof-of-concept code for the attack on a web page. However, it wasn't immediately apparent if it works, as visitors would have to use BT's Home Hub with the correct software version.

BT said it's unlikely that the attack scenarios described by Pastor and Petkov could affect its customers, and no customers have reported such an attack, a BT spokesman said.

Nevertheless, the company is in the process of rolling out a patch that is automatically installed by the Home Hub, the spokesman said.

Pastor's public disclosure of the flaw on the blog is "highly irresponsible," the spokesman said.

How vulnerabilities are disclosed has often pitted security researchers - and other proficient coders who drift more toward the hacking side - against companies whose products or services are affected. GNUCitizen describes itself on as an "ethical hacker outfit."

Efforts to reach Pastor were unsuccessful.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *