Threat actors exploit a recently discovered Zyxel secret backdoor in the wild. It’s high time to patch since adversaries are instantly searching for vulnerable installations to gain momentum before updates are installed.
The bug occurs since a number of Zyxel products incorporate an undocumented root account leveraging hardcoded login details accessible in the cleartext via firmware binaries. Initially, the backdoor account with username ‘zyfwp’ and a password ‘PrOw!aN_fXp’ was applied to push updates to Zyxel’s firewall and WLAN controllers. However, cyber–criminals might leverage it to obtain admin rights on any Zyxel installation. From there, threat actors are able to penetrate the internal environment or combine backdoor with such flaws as Zerologon to pivot to the targeted assets.
The researcher, who discovered the secret backdoor, considers that many Zyxel users might be affected. It is possible since the SSL VPN interface and the web interface keep the same port for operation, thus, pushing customers to leave port 443 open. Approximately 100 000 installations around the globe might be exposed.
Secret Backdoor Detection and Mitigation
The backdoor bug affects Zyxel USG, ATP, VPN, ZyWALL, and USG FLEX devices running ZLD V4.60 Patch 0 firmware. Notably, the static credentials have been brought in only with the last firmware release. Older versions are considered secure.
The backdoor was identified in November 2020 and addressed by Zyxel with the release of ZLD V4.60 Patch 1 on December 18, 2020. The customers are urged to introduce updates ASAP since the backdoor is actively being abused to attack Zyxel instances.
The rule has translations to the following platforms:
SIEM: Azure Sentinel, ArcSight, QRadar, Splunk, Graylog, Sumo Logic, ELK Stack, LogPoint, Humio, Chronicle Security, RSA NetWitness
EDR: Carbon Black
Techniques: Create Account (T1136)
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