Public Vulnerability Reports

Thompson SpeedTouch Home ADSL Modem Predictable TCP ISN Generation

08.05.04

BACKGROUND

The Thompson (formerly Alcatel) SpeedTouch is an ADSL router for home
and business providing a continuously available, "always on,"
connection. More information about the product can be found at
http://www.speedtouchdsl.com/.

DESCRIPTION

Remote exploitation of a design error vulnerability in Thompson's
SpeedTouch Home ADSL modem allows attackers to spoof TCP traffic on
behalf of the device.

The problem specifically exists due to the predictable nature of the TCP
Initial Sequence Number (ISN) generator on the device. The following
sanitized tcpdump output demonstrates the existence of the vulnerability
when 10 consecutive TCP connection requests are generated for the telnet
server (port 23) on the Thompson device:

48.3 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: S
48.3 host_b.telnet > host_a.1096: S 4081040897:4081040897(0) ack
48.3 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: R
48.4 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: S
48.4 host_b.telnet > host_a.1096: S 4081104897:4081104897(0) ack
48.4 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: R
48.6 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: S
48.6 host_b.telnet > host_a.1096: S 4081232897:4081232897(0) ack
48.6 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: R
48.7 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: S
48.7 host_b.telnet > host_a.1096: S 4081296897:4081296897(0) ack
48.7 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: R
48.9 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: S
48.9 host_b.telnet > host_a.1096: S 4081360897:4081360897(0) ack
48.9 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: R
49.0 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: S
49.0 host_b.telnet > host_a.1096: S 4081488897:4081488897(0) ack
49.0 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: R
49.2 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: S
49.2 host_b.telnet > host_a.1096: S 4081552897:4081552897(0) ack
49.2 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: R
49.3 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: S
49.3 host_b.telnet > host_a.1096: S 4081616897:4081616897(0) ack
49.3 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: R
49.5 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: S
49.5 host_b.telnet > host_a.1096: S 4081744897:4081744897(0) ack
49.5 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: R
49.6 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: S
49.6 host_b.telnet > host_a.1096: S 4081808897:4081808897(0) ack
49.6 host_a.1096   > host_b.telnet: R

In the above example, host_a is the querying host and host_b is the
Thompson device. A clear pattern in ISN generation can be seen as the
value increases by approximately 64,000 each millisecond.

ANALYSIS

Successful exploitation of weak ISNs for the purpose of connection
spoofing is not a trivial task. Successful exploitation allows an
attacker to generate traffic on behalf of the affected device. Such an
ability is most dangerous when trust paths exist between the affected
device and another remote system.

DETECTION

iDEFENSE has verified the existence of this vulnerability in Thompson's
SpeedTouch firmware version GV8BAA3.270 (1003825). It is suspected that
earlier versions are susceptible to exploitation as well.

WORKAROUND

S

Untrusted traffic should be filtered at the network perimeter.

CVE INFORMATION

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CAN-2004-0641 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for
security problems.

DISCLOSURE TIMELINE

06/08/2004    Initial vendor contact - no response
06/08/2004    iDEFENSE clients notified
06/18/2004    Secondary vendor contact - no response
08/05/2004    Public disclosure

CREDIT

The discoverer wishes to remain anonymous.

Get paid for vulnerability research
http://www.idefense.com/poi/teams/vcp.jsp

LEGAL NOTICES

Copyright © 2004 Verisign, Inc.

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Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect,
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