faradaysecBy faradaysec|August 11, 2022|4 Minutes

New research findings from Faraday goes to DEF CON

Our research team presents:

Exploring the hidden attack surface of OEM IoT devices: pwning thousands of routers with a vulnerability in Realtek’s SDK for eCos OS. Octavio Gianatiempo (@ogianatiempo) and Octavio Galland (@GallandOctavio).

Friday, August 12th, 2022. Track 1.



In this era of remote work, corporate networks overlap with home networks and sensitive information abounds behind consumer-grade routers. But these devices might not be designed with security as a priority. Hence, Faraday’s security research team evaluated the top-selling home router in Argentina. In this research effort, they discovered an exploitable vulnerability that could allow an attacker to take control of this router remotely without requiring user intervention and under default settings. By exploiting this vulnerability, an attacker can execute their code on the device and modify any setting or even use the router to intercept traffic and scan for devices on the local network. When they tracked down the origin of this vulnerability, they found that it was part of the code that Realtek, the manufacturer of this router’s processor, provides to the vendors.

This finding implies that the same vulnerability can be found in other devices from different brands. After automating the detection of this vulnerability on a given firmware image, which is the code that controls a router, they found at least 13 models affected from 4 different vendors, amounting to over 130K vulnerable devices sold in Latin America alone. The presence of this vulnerability in multiple router models proves that the code shipped by Realtek as an OEM was never reviewed from a security standpoint in any step of the supply chain.

The researchers will be presenting their findings at DEFCON 30, in a technical talk that will delve into the inner workings of these routers, their real-time operating system called eCos, the details of this vulnerability, its detection, and how it can be exploited by an attacker to gain full control of an affected router.





Speakers Bio

Octavio Gianatiempo is a Security Researcher at Faraday and a Computer Science student at the University of Buenos Aires. He’s also a biologist with research experience in molecular biology and neuroscience. The necessity of analyzing complex biological data was his point of entry into programming. But he wanted to achieve a deeper understanding of how computers work, so he enrolled in Computer Science. As a Security Researcher at Faraday, he focuses on reverse engineering and fuzzing open and closed source software to find new vulnerabilities and exploit them.


Octavio Galland is a computer science student at Universidad de Buenos Aires and a security researcher at Faraday. His main topics of interest include taking part in CTFs, fuzzing open-source software and binary reverse engineering/exploitation (mostly on x86/amd64 and MIPS).


We will be posting the full article very soon. Stay tuned!

If you have any question or request please get in touch with us: socialacc@faradaysec.com

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We will be posting the full article as soon as possible so stay tuned!

If you have any question please get in touch via socialacc@faradaysec.com