Home Network Users Be Ware

You can reset the router password of most stock setups of Verizon’s FiOS Internet service without authorization, and without physical access.  That is a bold statement, but one that I have found to be true every single time I test it out.  And if I’ve found this out, chances are good that plenty of others have as well.  I have called and emailed Verizon several times about this issue and have gotten a mix of “I didn’t know that was possible”, to “Yeah, that’s a value add feature for our customers”.  Either way the big V has not addressed the problem.  My hope is that someone brings this up to the President of Verizon Security Awesomeness  and says “Uhh, we may need to rethink this one!”.

For brevity’s sake I’ll sum it up here: You can download the Verizon In Home Agent and reset the router password of any FiOS router. The only requirement is you be on the same network as the router. No authentication required (See picture, note it doesn’t ask for old password!).

For the long version expand the box below.

[learn_more caption=”Click to Expand The Long Story”] I found this issue out by accident, after I moved. I had Verizon come out and transfer my FiOS service to my new address. The tech was doing the usual stuff, then said “Now I have to verify connectivity. Do you have a computer we can use to test it out?”. I ambled up and set my laptop in front of him, which was running Ubuntu. The tech instantly stated, “Uh, we don’t officially support machines unless they’re a Windows PC.” I browsed the Internet and was satisfied. He said, “We have to run a program to test connectivity or I don’t get credit for the install”. The “program” in question was an exe. ~Sigh~ Ok, fine, so I booted up my Windows 7 VM. He plugged in a thumb drive and fired off some exe. Now, I won’t even go in to the fact that I would usually NEVER let anyone plug in a random thumb drive to my PC and run some exe, but this was a VM and I wanted him to finish, so I held my tongue. The exe launched some apps that looked like they were testing different aspects of my FiOS service. But for I’ll I know I was being enrolled in a botnet. But that’s neither here nor there.

When all the colors on the screen showed green he said “Now I’m going to show you about Verizon’s In Home Agent”. I didn’t feel like dealing with it, but he was in full on canned speech mode. “It let’s you diagnose issues, collect log info for support and do some other neat stuff, like reset the router password.” Fine, fine, get out thank you, enjoy your life tech-guy. When he left I went to log in to the router with the password he had left me (Password1). Of course wireless security was set to what Verizon always sets it to: WEP. I went in changed to WPA2 PSK, and changed the passphrase, then I went to change the password but accidentally closed the window before I did. Shucks… but wait… the In Home Agent screen was up and the option “Change Password” was sitting right there. Ok, I’ll bite. So i clicked it. It asked for a new password. It DID NOT ask for an old one. Hmm, so i typed in a new password. Then I tried to log into the router. My new password worked. Interesting. Well, maybe since the application was running earlier it cached the first password when i logged into the site… I dunno how, but maybe. So, I reboot and used the In Home Agent and changed the password to something new, without being prompted for the old one. Fascinating. I went to my neighbor later and asked if I could test something out. They owe me since I have fixed their computers for free, so they let me tinker. They let me connect to their network (which was WEP) and I ran the In Home Agent. I then preceded to change their router password without being asked for the original. Yikes.

My first call to Verizon, I explained how most times Verizon techs come out for a FiOS move or install they set wifi security to WEP.  I was told this was because not all customers’ computers support WPAWPA2, and they want to ensure that their customers can use their wifi.  Ok, but WEP can be cracked in minutes.  There have been dozens of articles published on how to do it.  But, that’s not the worst part.  If i get on to a network (crack their WEP or am allowed in) all I have to do is run the In Home Agent and I can reset their router password.  I dont have to MiTM them, nor find vulns in their PC’s to exploit, I can just own them at their gateway.  Redirect DNS where I want, set new routes.  “Hmm, I’ll inform my manager about your concerns”.  That’s all I got the first call.  Several other calls, and several emails later there has been no update to the In Home Agent.

I did get one tech who said “Well, I mean you know, if you’re on the network we figure you’re allowed to be… so you can reset the password I guess”.  Ok, but if i crack the WEP I got on without being allowed to be…  or if I’m a parent and I want to set parental controls or filters all my kid has to do is reset my router password and log in… ~sigh~ it doesn’t get through.

I guess a bullet point here is (obviously) don’t use WEP, and even if you use WPA2, be careful who you allow on your network.  Any guest on your network can reset your router password.  And, how often do you log in and check that, anyways?

Hopefully having this on the Interwebs will get them to wake up.  Because a concerned customer’s harassment apparently can’t.