My country doesn't have any laws regarding this subject (Brazil). And I don't want to disclose it to the police, it's more likely they will just keep it to themselves. What should I do?

  • Ummmm... A planted back door, or an exploit? – user16688 Dec 3 '12 at 7:23
  • 1
    solution: custom firmware (e.g. dd-wrt) – user16636 Dec 3 '12 at 8:32
  • Most questions involving "should" are too local to be useful. What you should do in Brazil is different from what you should do in China. There is no way to evaluate the answer. – Mark C. Wallace Dec 3 '12 at 12:05
  • @EricStalnik - How is that a solution? dd-wrt can have bugs within it. Its unlikely the user found a backdoor based on language used. – Ramhound Dec 3 '12 at 16:21
  • 2
    OP's problem is there is a backdoor in the firmware running on their router, dd-wrt is known to not have a backdoor. that is completely unrelated to 'other bugs'. OP doesn't want a backdoor and dd-wrt doesn't have one - therefore solution. – user16636 Dec 4 '12 at 4:28

In your circumstances the simple guidance I would give is:

Do not use the router, get rid of it and buy a new one. You can check it to see if it has the same problem.

In reality, confirming backdoors can be problematic, and even if you reflashed firmware, there could be others, assuming you have been targeted.

Edit: as @Polynomial comments - in terms of disclosure, the vendor might be a better bet than the police, and if they aren't interested, Full Disclosure is an option.

  • Also can't hurt to report it to the vendor (might've been a debug backdoor that wasn't meant to make it to production), or drop it on Full Disclosure if they have no intention of fixing it. – Polynomial Dec 3 '12 at 9:38
  • Polynomial's suggestion is the ethical one. If there's a backdoor in one router, then there's almost certainly a back door in every router of that model, and possibly many other related models. That being so, the company should be notified so that it can fix it, and notify users of the update. If they refuse, users should be notified directly (public posting), so they can make their own decision. All the other solutions are kind of pointlessly individualistic, and help no-one in the long run (who's to say the next router you buy won't have a similar problem?). – naught101 Sep 11 '13 at 6:38

Given that some of the backdoor exploits seen on network equipment are actually built into the hardware the only solution would be outright replacement with equipment with no known exploits.

Before taking that step you should make sure you know what you are talking about, as Occam's Razor would suggest a simpler explanation for whatever you are seeing, namely that your password has been discovered, your computer has been hacked, or someone has broken your wireless password and is on your network. I'm saying this despite having no description of why you think your system has a backdoor, this is because having someone exploiting a back door into your network through a network device is the least likely possibility, therefore you should investigate other possibilities first.

If it does actually turn out to be a back door, all you can do (besides replace it) is notify the manufacturer so they can work on a fix (presuming that they aren't the ones who put the back door in in the first place), and notify law enforcement. The police are never the ones to go to no matter where they are as they don't have the skills to deal with it, however many countries have a cybercrime squad so that may be the best way to go. If you get no satisfaction through those paths I'd post the details on the web (as anonymously as you can) so that others with the same equipment will be warned.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.