FTC Sues D-Link Over Poor Security

We have complained in this blog about the plethora of Internet connected IoT devices that are being sold without anything approaching meaningful security to an unsuspecting public. A notable exploitation of IoT devices was behind the Mirai botnet, which shut down significant parts of the Internet for a couple of days.

But other disasters await, for instance, the easy access of web cams from the Internet means that things like baby monitors may be monitored by hackers.  Or hijacking your ISP’s router so the attacker could redirect your connection to your banking website to a fake site where they can steal your user ID and password.

The Federal Trade Commission has opened a lawsuit against D-Link for failing to properly secure many of their network connectable products.  The suit alleges that:

“a. Defendants repeatedly have failed to take reasonable software testing and remediation measures to protect their routers and IP cameras against wellknown and easily preventable software security flaws, such as “hard-coded” user credentials and other backdoors, and command injection flaws, which would allow remote attackers to gain control of consumers’ devices;

b. Defendant D-Link has failed to take reasonable steps to maintain the confidentiality of the private key that Defendant D-Link used to sign Defendants’ software, including by failing to adequately restrict, monitor, and oversee handling of the key, resulting in the exposure of the private key on a public website for approximately six months; and

c. Defendants have failed to use free software, available since at least 2008, to secure users’ mobile app login credentials, and instead have stored those credentials in clear, readable text on a user’s mobile device.”

While we generally dislike when government intrudes into business, in this case we have a company that is flagrantly disregarding the simple fundamentals required to secure their equipment from misuse by malicious attackers.  So in this case, we applaud the action, and hope it serves as a wake up call to the other manufacturers who are not paying attention to security when they design their marvelous devices.

More information


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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