All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

Researchers warn millions of peripherals at risk from UPnP flaw

29 Jan 2013
Security padlock image

Security researchers have advised administrators to turn off the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) protocol after the peripheral connection platform was found to contain multiple vulnerabilities.

Commonly used for networking and peripherals, UPnP is used to connect peripheral devices and network-attached storage devices. According to research firm Rapid7, however, basic flaws in UPnP are leaving as many as 80 million devices open to exploit.

Rapid 7 advised administrators to disable UPnP on all devices if possible to limit the exposure of vulnerable systems.

Though the vulnerable devices would need to be individually targeted and exploited, researchers have found that the use of ubiquitous SDKs leaves millions of devices with the same vulnerable components.

Rapid7 chief security officer HD Moore told V3 that should an attacker wish to attack a network, the process of discovering and crafting an exploit could be done in a matter of hours.

"The scary thing about how this protocol is built is that these devices are designed to be discovered," Moore said.

"You can basically scan the entire internet for every UPnP device."

Further complicating matters is what looks to be a long and tedious patching process. Moore said that in order to properly remedy the vulnerabilities, each individual hardware model will have to be patched.

In the meantime, tens of millions of devices could be left vulnerable to attack.

"This is a lot different from your standard vulnerability," Moore said.

"This is an issue that were going to see for the next six to 10 years, this is going to be around for a long time."

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

Windows 10 poll

What are your first impressions of Windows 10?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
V3 Sungard roundtable event - Cloud computing security reliability and scalability discussion

CIOs debate how to overhaul businesses for the digital era

V3 hosts roundtable with Sungard Availability Services

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging


Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

Junior Software / App Developer - VC Backed Medical Tech Start-Up

Junior Software / App Developer - University Spin Off...

Web Developer - £30k - £37k, Manchester city centre, PHP, MVC, Python

PHP Web Developer - Manchester city centre, £30k - £37k...

IT Systems Administrator - Warrington, £40k - £45k basic, Concept

IT Systems Administrator - Birchwood, Warrington, £40k...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.