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Telekom: 100,000 WLAN connections unsafe

The Local · 26 Apr 2012, 11:33

Published: 26 Apr 2012 11:33 GMT+02:00

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Three router models were found to have a glitch in their programming which would enable just about anyone to infiltrate a particular WLAN network. No prior knowledge or technical ability is necessary, simply a particular PIN number which is being circulated on the internet.

The revelation means that Telekom customers may have been unwittingly granting access to their private wireless network for several months, Die Welt reported on Thursday.

The problem affects the W 504V, W 723V (Type B) and W921V models, all manufactured by Speedport.

In the case of the first two, Telekom advises customers to deactivate the WPS function of their box – a function which is supposed to keep the wireless connection secure.

For owners of the latter model, the situation is more problematic: the company has told these customers to turn off their wireless networks altogether.

A spokeswoman for the company was not willing to divulge the exact number of customers affected, but would say only, “Let’s just say it’s more than a couple of hundred.” Industry experts estimate the actual figure is over 100,000.

“We are working flat out on a firmware update for the affected Speedport models,” Telekom said in a statement on its website.

The company also announced it was working with the manufacturer to ensure future models would be preconfigured more securely.

Story continues below…

As Die Welt points out, the glitch potentially represents more than just an annoyance for Telekom customers. Network owners are liable for any criminal offence that is committed using their internet collection, including illegal downloads.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:21 April 26, 2012 by bugger
Since Deutsche Telekom introduced cheaply constructed Chinese hardware and software inside of their router boxes, they are going down the drain. Before, there were AVM products inside. Too much corporate greed, I reckon.
13:38 April 26, 2012 by starsh3ro
i dont really understand the drama, for regular users its still not possible to hijack one of the mentioned models and if someone has the criminal energy and knowledge, he can get into just ANY other router.
17:52 April 26, 2012 by Beachrider
There is a fascination with 'open WIFI' in Europe. Many commercial operations offer open-WIFI for casual users in the USA. I guess that the Europeans are just less-comfortable with the risk inherent to open-WIFI.

I find that open-WIFI drastically reduces the need for 3G/4G mobile telephony. It saves tons of dough, every year.

That is why they have chocolate and vanilla, I guess.
21:37 April 26, 2012 by raandy
D telekom, surprises me with this revelation, they are the same folks that charge you 14 to 30 cents a minute to talk to them about a problem you are having with their service, that you pay for, which is basically none. good luck getting this resolved.
09:39 April 27, 2012 by AlexR
@bugger @Chango Mutney:

The "cheaply constructed Chinese hardware" has nothing to do with this issue. This major security flaw affects the *majority* routers constructed from 2007 onwards, no matter if they are US, German or Japanese.

The WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) was introduced on 2007 to allow easier connection to a WiFi network. However, four months ago, it has been reported a design and implementation flaw that makes unauthorized parties to gain access to the network in a matter of hours.

17:20 April 27, 2012 by supine
What the hell is going in that photo?!? A terrorist with an old Netgear router? :-P
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