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Belkin, D-Link, Linksys On Compromised CIA Router List

Routers from Playa Del Rey-based Belkin and subsidiary Linksys, as well as Fountain Valley-based D-Link, have appeared on a new list of Internet routers which have been compromised by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), according to reports on Thursday. The list of router manufacturers involved include Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, Dell, DLink, Linksys, Motorola, Netgear, Senao, and US Robotics. Other details on the compromise were not released, however, the ability to load third party firmware onto a wide range of routers would not be unusual in that timeframe, when the source code to many Linux-based routers was already widely circulated in open source for anyone on the Internet to download and modify for themselves.

According to the report, the CIA's "Cherry Blossom" project loaded compromised firmware onto a target's router, enabling monitoring of a user's Internet traffic and potentially inserting payloads into network packets. Belkin's subsidiary, Linksys, is the maker of the very popular Linksys WRT54G, a Linux-based router which was the first which had its source code published, around 2005. Most modified source code for the WRT54G, such as OpenWRT and Tomato added enhancements which turned that SOHO router into a more fully featured, enterprise router, although other projects have used the open source DD-WRT firmware to monitor all traffic to and from a network.


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