Critical Bugs Found in Popular Realtek Wi-Fi Module for Embedded Devices

Significant vulnerabilities have been discovered in the Realtek RTL8195A Wi-Fi module that could have been exploited to acquire root access and choose total manage of a device’s wi-fi communications.

The six flaws have been reported by researchers from Israeli IoT security company Vdoo.

The Realtek RTL8195A module is a standalone, minimal-energy-consumption Wi-Fi components module qualified at embedded devices utilized in quite a few industries these types of as agriculture, wise home, health care, gaming, and automotive sectors.

It also helps make use of an “Ameba” API, permitting builders to converse with the machine via Wi-Fi, HTTP, and MQTT, a light-weight messaging protocol for small sensors and cellular units.

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Though the troubles uncovered by Vdoo have been confirmed only on RTL8195A, the researchers explained they extend to other modules as nicely, together with RTL8711AM, RTL8711AF, and RTL8710AF.

The flaws problem a combine of stack overflow, and out-of-bounds reads that stem from the Wi-Fi module’s WPA2 four-way handshake system throughout authentication.

Chief amongst them is a buffer overflow vulnerability (CVE-2020-9395) that permits an attacker in the proximity of an RTL8195 module to totally consider in excess of the module, with out acquiring to know the Wi-Fi community password (or pre-shared crucial) and no matter of no matter whether the module is acting as a Wi-Fi obtain stage (AP) or customer.

Two other flaws can be abused to stage a denial of company, though a further set of 3 weaknesses, including CVE-2020-25854, could allow for exploitation of Wi-Fi customer gadgets and execute arbitrary code.

So in a person of the likely attack eventualities, an adversary with prior awareness of the passphrase for the WPA2 Wi-Fi network that the victim device is linked to can make a malicious AP by sniffing the network’s SSID and Pairwise Transit Important (PTK) — which is utilised to encrypt website traffic concerning a client and the AP — and force the concentrate on to link to the new AP and operate malicious code.

Realtek, in response, has introduced Ameba Arduino 2..8 with patches for all the six vulnerabilities located by Vdoo. It’s worth noting that firmware variations unveiled following April 21, 2020, presently appear with the vital protections to thwart these kinds of takeover attacks.

“An challenge was learned on Realtek RTL8195AM, RTL8711AM, RTL8711AF, and RTL8710AF units right before 2..6,” the business stated in a safety bulletin. “A stack-based mostly buffer overflow exists in the shopper code that takes treatment of WPA2’s 4-way-handshake via a malformed EAPOL-Important packet with a extended keydata buffer.”

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