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Quote of the Day vulnerability alert

You may have recently received a letter and/or email from Virgin Media explaining that we have been notified that a device on your network has a Quote of the Day vulnerability. If you have received such a communication from us, please follow the advice given on this page to resolve the issue.

Overview

Quote of the Day (QOTD) is a computer service whereby a device configured to act as a QOTD server responds to requests from other devices by providing a quotation of the day, which is a message composed of multiple lines.

It is considered bad practice for a QOTD server to be exposed to the Internet, as it can be used to participate in online abuse.

What has happened?

We work with a number of not-for-profit organisations across the banking industry and security sectors that collate information on devices across the Internet that appear to be compromised or misconfigured. This means that your compromised or misconfigured device is publicly accessible on the Internet, and therefore the scanning that is performed by these organisations is not within your private network.

We believe a device connected to your home network may have a quote of the day vulnerability.

For more information on these reports please visit qotdscan.shadowserver.org*

If the settings are left open they can be exploited to unwittingly participate in malicious activities, for example a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

It is therefore important that you follow the advice in this article. **

 

How can the issue be fixed?

 

The easiest way to deal with a Quote of the Day vulnerability is to configure your firewall to block port 17.

It is worth noting that blocking this port will only stop traffic over that port leaving or entering your home network. Services within your home that use port 17 should continue to work as normal.

Hub 3.0

To close the vulnerable port on the Virgin Media Hub 3.0:

  • Access your Hub's configuration page - default web address: 192.168.0.1
  • Login with your username and password, default will be shown on the Hub itself
  • Select Security on the left side of the page
  • Select the Port Forwarding option
  • Remove any rules that will keep port 17 open
  • Select the Port Triggering option
  • Remove any rules that will keep port 17 open

Virgin Media Super Hub

To close the vulnerable port on the Super Hub 1 or 2’s firewall:

  • Access your Hub's configuration page - default web address: 192.168.0.1
  • Login with your username and password, default will be shown on the Hub itself
  • Select Advanced Settings and accept the prompt
  • Scroll down to the Security section
  • Select the Port Forwarding option
  • Tick the Delete box next to any rules that will keep port 17 open
  • Click the Apply option
  • Select the Port Triggering option
  • Tick the Delete box next to any rules that will keep port 17 open
  • Click the Apply option

3rd party routers

If you use a 3rd party router in conjunction with the Virgin Media Super Hub or Hub 3.0, your router's firewall will need to be configured to ensure port 17 is not accessible outside of your local network - this can be performed by blocking the port or removing any Port Forwarding rules for port 17. In order to identify how to do this with your particular router, refer to the documentation for your device or refer to the manufacturer's website.

It is important to check all your devices sit behind a firewall. In most cases your firewall is configured as a part of your router, this is the case with the Virgin Media Super Hub and Hub 3.0. If you have specifically disabled the Firewall in your router, it is crucial that you configure your devices to sit behind a firewall that is blocking port 17. If this does not apply to you, please proceed to the next step.

Modem Mode - If you are using your Virgin Media Super Hub or Hub 3.0 in Modem Only mode, it is essential that you are using a firewall on any device or router that is plugged directly into the Hub. When in Modem Only mode, your Hub does not operate with a firewall. If this does not apply to you, please proceed to the next step.

DMZ - Most firewalls, including the one provided with the Virgin Media Super Hub and Hub 3.0 include a DMZ option. This feature allows for a device using a specific local IP address on your home network (e.g. 192.168.0.2) to bypass your Firewall settings. This is occasionally necessary if you are using a device that has its own firewall configured.

If you have a device configured in your firewall's DMZ that does not use its own firewall, it is crucial that you disable this option immediately. Computers operating without a firewall are extremely vulnerable to attack as all ports are essentially exposed to the wider Internet.

Where can I find further information and advice?

If you’d like further advice then our forum community will be happy to help. Just visit virginmedia.com/community and join the conversation on our Security Matters board.

You can find general security advice and articles on other vulnerabilities by checking Security Hub at virginmedia.com/securityhub

* These links to external sites are provided as a courtesy and Virgin Media are not responsible for the content of these sites or any problems encountered whilst applying these steps and e are not able to provide any technical support for such problems.

** These fixes are provided as a courtesy and Virgin Media are not responsible for any problems encountered whilst applying these steps and are not able to provide any technical support for such problems.

 


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