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Category:   Device (Router/Bridge/Hub)  >   D-LinkAir DWL-1000AP Wireless Access Point Vendors:   D-Link Systems, Inc.
D-Link DWL-1000AP Wireless Access Point SNMP Flaw Discloses the Administrator Password
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1003036
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   GENERIC-MAP-NOMATCH   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Dec 21 2001
Impact:   Disclosure of authentication information, Root access via network
Exploit Included:  Yes  
Version(s): DWL-1000AP, firmware version is 3.2.28 #483 (Aug 23 2001)
Description:   An access control vulnerability was reported in the D-Link DWL-1000AP wireless router. A remote user could obtain administrative control of the device.

A remote user can use the read-only SNMP community "public" to view the "admin password" in clear text in OID as a string value. The remote user can then use that admin password to access the device and change the configuration. The remote user can use SNMP to reset the password and then login via HTTP to make further configuration changes.

Impact:   A remote user can view the administrative password and then gain control of the device.
Solution:   No solution was available at the time of this entry. The vendor reportdly does not believe there should be much concern over this flaw.
Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  D-Link DWL-1000AP can be compromised because of SNMP configuration

Here is a message that I sent to D-Link support 
regarding this vulnerability:

-- Start email --
I currently own a DWL-1000AP Wireless Access 
point.  My firmware version is 3.2.28 #483 (Aug 23 
2001).  I run my access point using 128-bit WEP, a 
non-default admin password, a non-default SSID 
name, and I disallow all MACs except for those 
explicitly allowed.  Knowing that the DWL-1000AP 
used SNMP, I performed a MIB walk to obtain the 
available counters that I could monitor.  In the 
process I found a weakness in the product which 
could potentially allow an attacker to hijack the 
access point.

I first performed the MIB walk using the read-only 
SNMP community of public (which was simply a 
educated guess on my part, but nontheless the 
default read-only community for most devices).  I was 
surprised to find the "admin password" (for this 
example my password was "snowball") to the access 
point listed in clear text in OID as a string value.  Next I 
setup my SNMP utility to use "snowball" as the write 
community, and I was able to reset the value stored 
in that OID to any arbitrary value.  A quick check by 
accessing the HTTP configuration page of the 
access point showed that the password was indeed 

This means that anyone armed with a simple SNMP 
utility which can perform read and write operations, 
the read community name (which defaults to "public" 
with no way to change it using D-Link's config 
software), and access to the network connected to 
the ethernet port of the access point could hijack the 
access point and either simply configure it to allow 
them access to the wireless network or completely 
change the configuration and cause a denial of 

The only protection currently offered by the access 
point against this attack is the lock access point 
procedure.  While this is effective, I do not believe 
that it is practical.  The access point may be mounted 
in a hard to access area, for example, in which case 
a simple configuration change would require physical 
access to the device, which may be impractical in all 

A more practical solution would be to give the user 
the ability to set both the read-only (found in OID and write community 
names.  This can currently be done, as I have tested, 
by using an SNMP utility to write to the read-only 
community OID.  By changing that community, an 
attacker would have to sniff SNMP packets accross 
the network or otherwise figure out the read-only 
community, a more difficult task than simply using 
the default read-only community for most SNMP 
devices.  By giving the user the ability to control the 
read-only community value through the HTTP 
configuration, it would be a very simple task for that 
user to change the value during the initial setup and 
thus increase the security of the access point.

I realize that the most secure method is the lock 
access point method.  However, I believe that the 
simple ability to change the read-only community 
name has enough security value and is simple 
enough not to be overlooked and should be integrated 
into your configuration software.
-- End email --

D-Link responded with this unsatisfactory message:

-- Start email --
Dear Valued Customer,
          In regards to your e-mail, I agree however the 
dwl-1000 is
      intended for residential use.  It doesn't put of 
enough wireless
      signal to cause much concern of hackers.  The 
hacker would have to be
      sitting outside you house by the window.

      Thank you for your technical question and 
feedback. If you are
      continuing to have problems, please contact our 
live support at
      or resubmit the problem at

      Thank You,
      D-Link US Technical Support
-- End email --

I find D-Link's response to be unsatisfactory, 
considering how easy it would be to allow a user to 
change the read community name.  Until D-Link 
decides to do anything, I'd encourage anyone who 
has a DWL-1000AP to use an SNMP utility to change 
the read community stored in OID 

Jonathan Strine


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