It is a critical security gap that affects more than 65 manufacturers: Security researchers are warning of a component from Realtek that is used in routers, repeaters, printers, and hundreds of thousands of other IoT devices and enables far-reaching attacks.
Because Realtek is installed everywhere, gaps are very common
Manufacturers of course also rely on components from countless suppliers for their devices. The Realtek chipset RTL819xD is a very widespread module with which IoT devices can be equipped with wireless functions. Because of its widespread use, IoT Inspector recently carried out a detailed analysis of the component and discovered “more than a dozen” security gaps that are related to the manufacturer’s vulnerable software development kits (SDKs).
“We found and analyzed this vulnerability, which encompasses hundreds of thousands of devices. Realtek was notified by us and responded immediately and made a suitable patch available. Manufacturers who use vulnerable Wi-Fi modules are urged to restore their devices and to make security patches available to their users “, says Florian Lukavsky, Managing Director of IoT Inspector, according to the report. Realtek also provides a corresponding safety notice.
Manufacturers have to take action
As the security experts explain, the affected devices range from gateways to routers, Wi-Fi repeaters, and IP cameras to “toys with wireless connections”. At least 65 different providers have been identified, including ” Asus, Belkin, D-Link, Edimax, Hama, Logitec and Netgear and many more”.
IoT Inspector sees the incident as a prime example of the chronic security problems that can arise with “opaque IoT supply chains”. At Realtek, “dozens of critical security problems in the codebase (from the 2.x branch to the” Jungle “SDK to the” Luna “SDK)” remained untouched for more than a decade. Manufacturers would, in turn, fail to validate their supply chain sufficiently and thus “pass on weak points to hundreds of thousands of end customers”.
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