O2 customers with an O2 Wireless Box II or III are vulnerable to a remote router hack that allows attackers to view or change settings on the router without permission. The problem lies in the firmware of the Thomson TG585 and TG585n routers, and other providers who use these routers are also likely to be affected. A spokesman talking to The Register released the following statement.
"We have been notified of a potential security issue with the O2 Wireless box routers. We take this issue very seriously and are investigating it with the router manufacturer, Thomson. We thank Mr Mutton for bringing it to our attention."O2 statement
Once in the router, a remote attacker could configure the router to allow access to the users home network which is usually protected by the built in firewall. Users can mitigate the risk of attack by enabling authentication on the routers web interface.
Unfortunately, O2 were less than helpful when the problem was reported to them by Paul Mutton. O2 deemed that their router was "encrypted and secure to a level we find acceptable" when he tried repeatedly to raise the issue with them. Paul finally got somewhere by talking to BE, who are owned by O2, who brought this to the attention of the right people in O2. BE have suffered security vulnerabilities in their routers before so it's good to see they are on the ball now as they use similar routers and some models are thought to be vulnerable. Zen who also use Thomson routers also contacted Paul and are talking to Thomson about the results of their findings.
Thankfully, full details of the problem will not be released until after the problem is fixed. More details, and the responses Paul received from O2 can be found at www.jibble.org/o2-broadband-fail/.