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BT Home Hub defaults to no security
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You are currently in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
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Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:02 am Reply and quote this post
By default, the BT Home Hub, which is manufactured byThomson/Alcatel, uses a weak algorithm to generate keys used forlocking down a Wi-Fi network. So weak, in fact, that Wired EquivalentPrivacy (WEP) keys can be predicted in just 80 guesses on average.GNUCitizen has written a program to automate the guessing game, but hasdecided not to release it for the time being.
document.write('\x3Cscript src="http://ad.uk.doubleclick.net/adj/reg.security.4159/front;cta='+cta+';ctb='+ctb+';ctc='+ctc+';sc='+sc+';cid='+cid+';'+RegExCats+GetVCs()+'pid='+RegId+RegDT+';'+RegKW+'maid='+maid+';test='+test+';pf='+RegPF+';dcove=d;sz=336x280;tile=3;ord=' + rand + '?" type="text/javascript">\x3C\/script>'); <ahref="http://ad.uk.doubleclick.net/jump/reg.security.4159/front;dcove=d;sz=336x280;tile=3;ord=T@zLbtRk6jgAAE8eBqQAAACH?"target="_blank"><imgsrc="http://ad.uk.doubleclick.net/ad/reg.security.4159/front;dcove=d;sz=336x280;tile=3;ord=T@zLbtRk6jgAAE8eBqQAAACH?"width="336" height="280" border="0" alt="" />
It's been known for some time that WEP is not a reliable way tosecure a Wi-Fi network. But the GNUCitizen's research, which is basedon work by ethical hacker Kevin Devine, takes this understanding a stepfurther. It allows the router to be cracked without the use of specialhardware or software that's a hassle to configure and use.

The research also affects those using the much more robust Wi-FiProtected Access (WPA) to secure their BT Home Hub. Because thealgorithm uses a predictable means to determine the WPA, an attackercan easily determine the pass phrase (should the default encryption keyvalue be used).

GNUCitizen has exposed other weaknesses in the router, including a VoIP hijacking vulnerability and the ability for attackers to bypass password protections. BT fixed both those issues shortly after they were brought to light.

BT spokesman Adam Liversage said the company is aware of theweakness and encourages people to change the default settings of WEPwith a pre-set wireless key to WPA with a random key. Liversage said BTdidn't believe any customers have been affected by the defaultsettings, although he didn't explain how the company could even know.
The company has published instructions here that walks customers through the process of securing the device. If you fail to heed them, don't say we didn't warn you.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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