How to secure the vulnerabilities of Zhone Router?

In a blogpost on Tuesday (Feb 24), Vantage Point’s Senior Security Consultant Lyon Yang highlighted “critical vulnerabilities” in three brands of routers – Zhone, Aztech and Asus. These vulnerabilities “allow an attacker to become at least a network administrator, and in most cases also gain a remote root shell, with relatively low effort”, he said.

table

So far the the given residential software and hardware used by many households are safe from vulnerabilities. No reported cases have be issued yet. Nonetheless safety is the utmost importance when surfing the net.

Protecting home routers against attacks

For all Singapore users, it is advisable to:

  • Change the default user/admin passwords;
  • Disable all network services (especially remote access) on the router.

Securing ZHONE GPON

Through the internet, access to your router via HTTP and telnet is turned on by default.

1. Access your Zhone router web administrative console (http://192.168.1.1)

2. Click on Configuration -> Firewall -> Mgmt Access:

Description of Network Interfaces:

brvlan7 – ViewQwest Internal Access
brvlan923 – Internal Network
eth0.v923 – Public Network (Internet)
brvlan899 – One Voice

The network interface eth0.v923 should be turned off for all services as this is exposed to the internet.
Screen-Shot-2015-02-13-at-2.27.29-pm

3. Click Apply/Save

4. Get your Public IP Address via http://www.whatismyip.com/

Access your public IP directly via your web browser to confirm that it has been turned off successfully.Stay Safe!

ViewQwest: Ding Ding Ding! WiFi Router challenge between ASUS RT-AC87U vs D-Link DIR868L

header 

Setup

Thanks to ViewQwest, I manage to test Asus RT-AC87U. Dlink DIR868L is my current router. Both routers mentioned above are new and tested with their default configuration out of the box. Note that I am only testing for the signal strength rather than the download speeds.I didn’t even tweak the wifi channels although there are congestion in wifi traffic in my area. This is not a professional comparison but a test nonetheless.

The current layout of my home wifi setup is shown in the diagram below. In this test, I am using a Macbook pro (late 2010 edition) in built wifi. I mainly use 2 programs called Netspot and Wifi Explorer to test the signal strengths of each router.

Below are the 4 types of wifi signals that are put into the test! Who will emerge the winner? Ding Ding!!

Router Model GHz SSID Modem
1 ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4GHz (b/g/n) ASUS 2.4G Zhone GPON2301
2 ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz (a/n/ac) ASUS 5G Zhone GPON2301
3 Dlink DIR868L 2.4GHz (n) DLink-2.4G Huawei EchoLife HG8240
4 Dlink DIR868L 5GHz ((a/n/ac) DLink-5G EchoLife HG8240

viewqwest and sh setup


ROUND 1: Signal Strength for distance (data direct from Netspot)
Area wifi summary

The warm orange areas(-15dBm) have the best signals while the cool blue(-82dBm) receives lowest signal strength. Notice that the blue blindspots on the bottom left(Kitchen) might be the furthest areas. The blue areas on the bottom right(Room 2) are due to the numerous amounts of wireless and electronic devices emitted from my room.

From this first test, best overall signals wrt to distance are shown below:

  1. ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4 GHz
  2. D-Link DIR868L 2.4GHz
  3. ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz
  4. D-Link DIR868L 5GHz

ROUND 2A: Signal Strength in 30min (data direct from Netspot at 5.5m away)

Signal and noise 30m

Notice ASUS 5GHz improves over time
Although ASUS has noise spikes, the signal remains constantly strong getting about 10dBm more than D-LinkTYPE OF WIFI SIGNAL


ROUND 2B: Signal Strength in 60min (data direct from Netspot at 5.5m away)
Signal and noise small 60min
Asus 5GHz has the most constant signal
Asus 2,4GHz has the most erratic signals spiking up and down. Nontheless it remains the top overall.

Notice that ASUS 5GHz improves over time, especially at the 45th min onwards. After 60mins the average signal ranking are as follows:

  1. ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4GHz
  2. ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz
  3. D-Link DIR868L 2.4GhZ
  4. D-Link DIR868L 5GHz

WINNER!
The tests done are in a location where the environment is quite constant although there might be a lot of interference from neighboring wifi and wireless signals. Keeping these constant. The result shows that ASUS RT-AC87U is the definite winner as:
– ASUS manage to throw the signals farther away with higher signal strength rather than DLink
– ASUS immediate signals is much stronger without obstruction. Unfortunately the signals tend to normalize with other routers whenever there is obstruction or further away.
– ASUS signal improves over time especially with the ASUS 5Ghz signal.

I need to look into Asus 2.4GHz signals as it constantly spike up and down. This is due to the interference around as there are too many 2.4Ghz signals around. Stay tuned to the next post where I will give tips to improve on wifi signal strength in your homes.

ViewQwest: The magic of ViewQwest Freedom VPN

What is VPN
VPN or Virtual Private Network is a network that is constructed by using public wires (usually the internet) to connect to a private network like a company of internal network. The average Joe like you and me will use VPN to unblock US or foreign sites to access their content, most likely for their local TV shows and movies. Some examples of the popular VPNs below.

VPN types

Types of VPN

Using VPN
For the tech savvy people, they must have used numerous VPNs in their lifetime. I have jumped from 1 VPN app/software to another just to gain free access to regional content, specifically TV shows. There are a lot of steps to activate a VPN and when you successfully login to the region that you want, the surfing gets so damn slow. So you jump to the next VPN app and the whole process starts again. This is especially difficult for Mac users as there aren’t many good VPN app out there yet.

So what so good about Freedom VPN?
So EASY
Freedom VPN comes in packaged together with ViewQwest fibernet.
No installing of VPN apps/ software or setting up is required.

So FAST
– Freedom VPN has no traffic shaping, no torrent blocking/throttling. This means that the Internet is blazing fast even with VPN activated. Normally watching TV shows from the VPN activated sites like Hulu slows down to a crawl.

So much VARIETY
– With freedom VPN it doesn’t only unblock access from US sites but also UK, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and UAE simultaneously. No change in settings required.

So COMPATIBLE
– Freedom VPN allows you to access any blocked content to as many devices connected to it as possible. It accept all OS like Mac, IOS, Windows, Linux, Android, smart TVs, consoles etc.

In short having Freedom VPN is like unlocking that cheat code in a game. It unlocks all possibilities to access more content.

ViewQwest Freedom VPN


Comparison images of the Freedom VPN versus non-VPN sites
Hulu – US TV streaming site

Hulu

Netflix – US Movie streaming Site

NetFlix

ITV – UK streaming Channel

ITV

PPTV – Chinese streaming Site
Main page look exactly the same but the content differs. Many of the videos shown in non VPN page are non playable.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 9.55.14 PM

PPTV 1 PPTV 2 PPTV3

From the images above, you can definitely see that some of PPTV content and videos cannot load fully without VPN. You will be able to view the tumbnail but most of them not accessible. Viewqwest also mentioned that Freedom VPN users will be able to access 5 times more titles in PPTV with Freedom VPN.