TelnetEnable – Enabling TELNET on the WGR-614 Netgear Routers.

Recently, salve during my research into exploitation of routers (inspired by some of my friends and associates, including the other writer on this blog, dietrich), I came across some fascinating code, and decided to do a demonstration.

One of my friends happened to have a router (Netgear WGR614, pilule running the WGR614v9 firmware). We decided it would be fun to experiment with.

The web interface on it is something I have yet to explore, as he has forgotten the password and is none too happy about the idea of resetting it, as it would mean spending a day reconfiguring his network (I suspect this has to do with “Fuck setting up port forwarding for xbox live”, viagra sale as I had to do that for my brother a year ago… Not a fun task!). Instead, I decided to see what access the TELNET interface offered.

When the router was scanned with nmap, it showed up as having port 23 (TELNET) open. However, attempts to connect to it failed. Upon investigation using my favourite search engine, I found that Netgear provide a “Telnetenable” utility. OpenWRT – Telnetenable

How it works is it takes the username and password (Gearguy and Geardog respectively are defaults for the TELNET), and the MAC address of the router.
It does an MD5 of those, some byte swapping, and then encrypts it all with Blowfish into a binary blob with the secret key “AMBIT_TELNET_ENABLE+”. Or so my understanding of it is. Cryptography and I get along only on Tuesdays. It then sends this to the TELNET port, which parses it and invokes telnetd.

Seeing as they only provided a Windows binary, and I wanted something that would run on Linux without using Wine, some further searches lead to the following Python script – Python- Telnetenable. Said Python script has a few bugs, so I decided to clean it up and make it a bit more user friendly. Left original credits intact, might send it as a “patch” to developer sometime.

Here is the link to the cleaned up script:

So, you do “./ <IP of Router> <MAC of Router> Gearguy Geardog” and wham, instant TELNET access. The TELNET console itself seems to have no authentication by default, dropping you straight into a Busybox root shell. From here you have complete access to the router itself. Due to laziness and such, the MAC address must be in all uppercase with no seperating : between the hex characters.

Anyway, without further ado, here is the demo video I recorded. Not bothered editing it as there is not much to see, really.

I am doing more exploring to search for interesting files to read on the router (finding out where it keeps the bloody HTTP authentication stuff is proving more difficult than previously expected), and as my research progresses I will post more about it. Router exploitation is a fascinating, and under-researched field, that is filled with pretty 0days and such to investigate ;)

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