dslreports logo
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
1681
share rss forum feed

nony
Premium
join:2012-11-17
New York, NY

2 edits

Service Provider Customer Security Policies - A Case Study

My service provider (TWC NY) does not allow me to change the default PSK on my broadband cable/modem router, which they supply and charge me for.

And the default PSK is broadcast in the clear.

This means that many of my fellow New Yorkers could have their home networks compromised by any two-bit war driving cyber criminal, or for that matter it could be your precocious son/daughter.

If it sounds weird, it should.

I buried my posts in this thread -
»NYC TWC - Just got the Arris TG862 - can't access Web GUI

And I have had a few conversations with both TWC counsel (very unorthodox) as well as my folks who continue to practice in the security space.

If you have any interest in protecting/advocating for the weak and vulnerable members (seniors included, of course) in your community, you may want to take a look at this thread -
»NYC TWC - Just got the Arris TG862 - can't access Web GUI

-nony


antdude
A Matrix Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:5

1 recommendation

This is why I prefer using my own equipments when possible like modems, routers, firewalls, alarms, etc.


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
reply to nony
What do you mean your PSK is broadcast in the clear?

The first thing I would do is hook up my own router after there unit. Can you change any settings on their router. What happens if you have to port forward for a game or any other reason?

nony
Premium
join:2012-11-17
New York, NY

2 edits

1 recommendation

You can not change the settings on the router (by policy) unless you have business class or signature service.

And the default PSK (which you can't change) consists of the concatenation of two values which are broadcast in the clear to any and all clients. This reduces to a zero-bit entropy password, and your internal network could be at risk.

While you can mitigate these risks by treating the TWC-supplied router as untrusted (and deploying your own backend router), as the NSA advises, many unwitting TWC subscribers are at risk - big time.

Currently, my TWC supplied broadband modem/router (ARRIS TG862) is in bridge mode, which allows my backend router to protect my home network.

-nony

HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:19

2 recommendations

reply to nony
Are they using WPA or WPA2? God help us if TWC thinks WEP is still the height of "secure" in 2013.

I'd be more worried about the fact that TWC apparently only uses ONE password for each and every one of
their provider-supplied gear, as evidenced by this faildesk comment about that.

Regards

nony
Premium
join:2012-11-17
New York, NY

4 edits

1 recommendation

What is problematic is that TWC(NYNJ) subscribers may be put at risk unwittingly as a result of the lockdown policy on leased eMTAs.

Specfically, the ARRIS TG862G which can be leased with wifi enabled, (marketed as Home WiFi - with a monthly surcharge of $5.95) is configured by default with publicly known PSKs. If the subscriber cannot change those defaults, their internal network can be easily compromised, an intruder can steal their bandwidth, and crimes may be committed using the subscibers broadband connection, for which the subscriber will be initially blamed. This is a major exploit and needs to addressed ASAP. It's also "out in the wild" as a result of an Forbes article that was published this past July (2012), detailing the default PSKs, the components of which are being broadcast in the clear.

This is why it is critically important to either allow the subscriber to change the default PSK or for TWC to provision the eMTA with default PSKs that can't be sniffed or hacked.

(Excerpted from the above thread - that you want to read)

What good is WPA2 if your secret key is broadcast in the clear?? - You can read the following post for a more thorough explanation
»www.avsforum.com/t/723830/time-w ··· 22595320

-nony