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CISA and FBI Urge Manufacturers to Eliminate Defects in SOHO Routers: A Secure Design Alert

CISA and FBI Urge Manufacturers to Eliminate Defects in SOHO Routers: A Secure Design Alert

In a joint effort to enhance cybersecurity measures, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have released a Secure Design Alert urging manufacturers to eliminate defects in small office/home office (SOHO) routers. With a focus on shifting the burden of security away from customers, this partnership aims to integrate security into product design and development. In this blog, we will explore the key recommendations from CISA and the FBI, and why they are essential in safeguarding our digital infrastructure.

Eliminating Exploitable Defects in SOHO Router Web Management Interfaces:
One of the main concerns outlined in the Secure Design Alert is the path threat actors, particularly the People's Republic of China (PRC)-sponsored Volt Typhoon group, are taking to compromise SOHO routers. CISA and the FBI emphasize the need for manufacturers to address and eliminate exploitable defects during the product design and development phases. Specifically, they recommend focusing on SOHO router web management interfaces (WMIs).

Adjusting Default Device Configurations:
To enhance the security of SOHO routers, CISA and the FBI recommend certain adjustments to default device configurations. These adjustments include automating update capabilities, locating the WMI on LAN side ports, and requiring manual overrides to remove security settings. By implementing these changes, manufacturers can ensure that their devices are equipped with stronger security measures from the moment users set them up.

Protecting Against Volt Typhoon Activity and Other Cyber Threats:
In addition to vulnerability elimination and configuration adjustments, CISA and the FBI urge manufacturers to protect against Volt Typhoon activity and other cyber threats. They emphasize the importance of disclosing vulnerabilities through programs like Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) and providing accurate Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) classifications. By doing so, manufacturers contribute to a collective effort in addressing vulnerabilities and enhancing the overall security of SOHO routers.

Implementing Incentive Structures:
To further prioritize security during product design and development, CISA and the FBI encourage manufacturers to implement incentive structures. These structures should incentivize security measures and foster a proactive approach to cybersecurity. By aligning their organizational structures and leadership with these goals, manufacturers can ensure that security is embedded in every step of the manufacturing process.

The Secure Design Alert released by CISA and the FBI highlights the need for manufacturers to eliminate defects in SOHO routers. With specific recommendations to address exploitable defects, adjust default configurations, protect against cyber threats, and implement incentive structures, manufacturers can enhance the security of their products and protect users from potential malicious activities. By prioritizing security in the design and development stages, manufacturers can contribute to a more secure digital infrastructure and safeguard the well-being of individuals and businesses alike.

To learn more about the Secure Design Alert and the recommendations provided by CISA and the FBI, visit the official CISA website here.

Published on 
February 1, 2024
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