IBM discovers fault in Wi-Fi repeaters

A researcher at IBM discovered a vulnerability in Wi-Fi boxes from the manufacturer TP-Link. At a distance, an attacker was able to join the network and direct the Internet connection to malicious sites and malware.

When you want to extend the Wi-Fi signal at home or in an office, you install a repeater. This is a small box that is plugged into the sector. Its role is to recover the Wi-Fi signal from the box and broadcast it in a more distant room. It’s a kind of relay to enjoy a quality wireless network on larger spaces.

The worry is that it is also a gateway for pirates. IBM discovered a flaw in the hardware TP-Link, a leading manufacturer of Wi-Fi hardware. According to ”  Big Blue  “, this vulnerability allows a hacker to take control of the box to, for example, redirect traffic from the victim to the malware download.

Search engines to find an IP address

According to IBM, at least four devices are affected by this flaw, the RE365, RE650, RE350 and RE500. And what surprised the researcher who discovered this vulnerability is that it is exploitable remotely, without being integrated into the network with an authentication system. Clearly, even if the Wi-Fi network is protected by a password, it is the box that opens the door of the network, and the hacker can exploit it.

It is enough to know the IP address of the box to attack it; IBM recalls that there are search engines to find the IP address of connected objects. On the TP-Link side, it was announced that a patch was released. The owners of its repeaters are obviously invited to update the firmware of their device.