OpenWRT Forum user data stolen in weekend data breach
The OpenWRT forum, a large community of enthusiasts of alternative, open-source operating systems for routers, announced a data breach.
Forum administrators posted the announcement in a high-visibility area, explaining what happened and the risks to users stemming from exposing their data.
Good password not enough
The attack occurred on Saturday, around 04:00 (GMT), when an unauthorized third party gained admin access to and copied a list with details about forum users and related statistical information.
The intruder used the account of an OpenWRT administrator. The intruder used the account of an OpenWRT administrator. Although the account had “a good password,” additional security provided by two-factor authentication (2FA) was not active.
Email addresses and handles of the forum users have been stolen, the moderators say. They add that they believe the attacker was not able to download the forum database, meaning that passwords should be safe..
However, they reset all the passwords on the forum just to be on the safe side and invalidated all the API keys used for project development processes.
Users have to set the new password manually from the login menu by providing their user name and following the “get a new password” instructions. Those logging in using GitHub credentials are advised to reset or refresh it.
The OpenWRT forum credentials are separate from the Wiki. Currently, there is no suspicion that the Wiki credentials have been compromised in any way.
OpenWRT forum administrators warn that since this breach exposed email addresses, users may become targets of credible phishing attempts.
“That means you may get phishing emails that include your name. DO NOT click links, but instead manually type the URL of the forum,” the announcement advises.
“We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this attack. We will provide updates if we learn any more about the attacker or information that was disclosed” – OpenWRT forum moderators
OpenWRT is a Linux-based, community-maintained firmware project that provides custom software for a wide range of routers. It is suitable for enthusiasts that want to unlock advanced options supported by their router.
Furthermore, its maintainers are often quicker at addressing security issues than the router vendors. Since the number of devices running custom firmware is smaller and they tend to be more secure, attacks against them are less likely.
Loading custom firmware on a router, though, requires some technical knowledge and more often than not voids the warranty of the device.