Disney-branded internet filter had Mickey Mouse security

23 vulnerabilities let rats run riot, even as kids' eyes were kept innocent


A Disney-branded home internet filtering device might keep bad content out, but it was an open door to bad actors until earlier this month.

That's what Cisco Talos's William Largent found when he took a look at "Circle with Disney", a Circle Media parental control device on which the entertainment giant slapped its brand.

Whatever its qualities in filtering an screen time management, the US$99 box is riddled with 23 vulns, as the Talos post discloses.

The good news is that Talos described Circle Media as “exemplary to work with”, which is just as well when you've got to deal with backdooring, privilege escalation, remote code execution, authentication bypass, firmware substitution, certificate impersonation and more.

The backdoor arises in CVE-2017-12084, described in full here.

A remote client binary is meant to give admins remote cloud control of the device via a Meet Circle domain, but it lets an attacker send a sequence of packets to the device's SSH server, open a persistent backdoor, and send API calls to the server.

In CVE-2017-2865 (full description here), firmware is fetched over HTTP using wget, so an attacker can MITM the process and install their own firmware.

If the Circle with Disney device is visible to an attacker through the firewall (or installed outside the firewall), they can exploit CVE-2017-12087, a buffer overrun bug in the tinysvcmdns DNS responder.

Helpfully (to an attacker), CVE-2017-12085 provides one such path to the target device: “An exploitable routing vulnerability exists in the Circle with Disney cloud infrastructure. A specially crafted packet can make the Circle cloud route a packet to any arbitrary Circle device.”

Circle Media pushed updates to devices before Talos went public. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • DigitalOcean tries to take sting out of price hike with $4 VM
    Cloud biz says it is reacting to customer mix largely shifting from lone devs to SMEs

    DigitalOcean attempted to lessen the sting of higher prices this week by announcing a cut-rate instance aimed at developers and hobbyists.

    The $4-a-month droplet — what the infrastructure-as-a-service outfit calls its virtual machines — pairs a single virtual CPU with 512 MB of memory, 10 GB of SSD storage, and 500 GB a month in network bandwidth.

    The launch comes as DigitalOcean plans a sweeping price hike across much of its product portfolio, effective July 1. On the low-end, most instances will see pricing increase between $1 and $16 a month, but on the high-end, some products will see increases of as much as $120 in the case of DigitalOceans’ top-tier storage-optimized virtual machines.

    Continue reading
  • GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims
    Fine-print crucially deemed contractual agreement as well as copyright license in smartTV source-code case

    The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) has won a significant legal victory in its ongoing effort to force Vizio to publish the source code of its SmartCast TV software, which is said to contain GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 copyleft-licensed components.

    SFC sued Vizio, claiming it was in breach of contract by failing to obey the terms of the GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 licenses that require source code to be made public when certain conditions are met, and sought declaratory relief on behalf of Vizio TV owners. SFC wanted its breach-of-contract arguments to be heard by the Orange County Superior Court in California, though Vizio kicked the matter up to the district court level in central California where it hoped to avoid the contract issue and defend its corner using just federal copyright law.

    On Friday, Federal District Judge Josephine Staton sided with SFC and granted its motion to send its lawsuit back to superior court. To do so, Judge Staton had to decide whether or not the federal Copyright Act preempted the SFC's breach-of-contract allegations; in the end, she decided it didn't.

    Continue reading
  • US brings first-of-its-kind criminal charges of Bitcoin-based sanctions-busting
    Citizen allegedly moved $10m-plus in BTC into banned nation

    US prosecutors have accused an American citizen of illegally funneling more than $10 million in Bitcoin into an economically sanctioned country.

    It's said the resulting criminal charges of sanctions busting through the use of cryptocurrency are the first of their kind to be brought in the US.

    Under the United States' International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEA), it is illegal for a citizen or institution within the US to transfer funds, directly or indirectly, to a sanctioned country, such as Iran, Cuba, North Korea, or Russia. If there is evidence the IEEA was willfully violated, a criminal case should follow. If an individual or financial exchange was unwittingly involved in evading sanctions, they may be subject to civil action. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022