How I saved your a** from the ZynOS (rom-0) attack !! ( Full disclosure )

Hello everyone, I just wanted to discuss some vulnerability I found and exploited for GOODNESS .. just so that SCRIPT KIDIES won’t attack your home/business network .

Well, in Algeria the main ISP ( Algerie Telecom ) provide you with a router when you pay for an internet plan. So you can conclude that every subscriber is using that router . TD-W8951ND is one of them, I did some ip scanning and I found that every router is using ZYXEL embedded firmware.

Analysis :

Let’s download an update and take a look at it and try to find some vulnerabilities. ( )


The ras file is in LIF format !! …
Hmmm let’s put that file for Binwalk test for God’s sake ! ( check : for more informations on how to install it ).

This is what Binwalk told me about that file :

You can clearly see and confirm that the router is using zynos firmware. We can also see that there is two blocks of LZMA compressed data … let’s extract them and have a look.

The problem is that when I tried to decompress the two blocks I get an error : ” Compressed data is corrupt “Image

Hmm, first the “ras” file was in LIF format .. and now the lzma compress blocks are corrupted !!
I googled this and tried to find a solution for this, FOUND NOTHING . How am I going to solve this ??
One idea came in my mind .. “Strings” command and here is what I got :


Aaaah ! so the blocks aren’t compressed with LZMA or anything ! and the whole “ras” firmware file is just big chunk of data in clear text.
Ok, let’s try and find some useful STRINGS …

After some time searching “I” didn’t find the useful thing that will help us find vulnerabilities on the firmware !!

I didn’t give up …
I just was thinking and questioning :

  • Me: What do you want from this firmware file !
  • Me: I want to find remote vulnerabilities that will help me extract the “admin” password.
  • Me: Does the web interface let you save the current configuration ?


  • Me: yes !!
  • Me: Is the page password protected ?


  • Me: No !!! I tired to access that page on a different IP and it didn’t require a passowrd !

Ok, enough questions haha ..

Now, when I activated TamperData and clicked “ROMFILE SAVE”  I’ve found out that the rom-0 file is located on “IP/rom-0” and the directory isn’t password protected or anything.

So we are able to download the configuration file which contains the “admin” password. I took a look at rom-0 file and couldn’t figure out how to reverse-engineer it, and when you don’t know something it’s not a shame to ask for help .. and that’s what I did !
I contacted “Craig” from, he is an expect when it comes to hacking embdded devices . He’s a great guy and he replied to my email and pointed me to which is a free rom-0 file decompressor .


When you upload and submit the rom-0 file there, the php page replies back with the configuration in clear text ( INCLUDING THE PASSWORD ) .

So what i need to do now is to automate the process of :

  • Download rom-0 file.
  • Upload it to
  • get the repy back and extract the admin password from it.
  • loop this process to a range of ip addresses.

And that’s exactly what I did, I opened an OLD OLD poc python script of mine that accessed routers via telnet using the default passwords. So what I just need to do now is to add some functionality to it.

Well I thought about  this, and I’m posting this script online ONLY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES.

You can find the scripts here :

Demo :



Prevention :

Now ! how do you prevent attackers from downloading your rom-0 configuration file and manipulating your router ? This is pretty simple if you think about it ..
You just have to forward port 80 on the router to and inused IP address on your network :

THATS ALL, or if you want to play a little with attackers that are using scripts too .. just forward port 80 to you local http server and put a LARGE file in the root directory and name it rom-0 .. just let them download like 1GB rom-0 file haha haha .. I have also automated the process of port forwarding and I’m running the scripts daily just to prevent hackers from attacking weak users …

In the next post I’ll demonstrate how would a malicious hacker exploit this to hack TONS of networks and get a meterpreter/reverse_shell on every PC on the target network ..

Hope you enjoyed this analysis, if you have anything to add or any questions to ask don’t hesitate to contact me ! BE THEIR HERO, HAPPY HACKING 😉


The decoded.php script is now located at : , I have updated the script

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About WordPress Security

WordPress based websites are mostly targeted through vulnerable plugins, themes installed on a WP website. They tend to inject their malicious code in header.php or footer.php under /wp-content/themes/<theme_name> as it loads up with every page of your website. It’s a smart way to infect full website with just one file.

There are few basic steps that need to be performed immediately whenever the website is hacked :

  1. Replace your website folder with clean copy of website.
  2. Perform a sucuri malware scan i.e. to check if you are already blacklisted
  3. Inspect your plugins or themes folder for malicious code
  4. Remove the malicious code from infected files

Once done, next step is to inspect your WP database.

WP Database Inspection

It is equally important to inspect and clean your WP database after you clean WP website files. This is to ensure that the malicious code does not appear again and you have a fully cleaned website. WP database can be accessed using PHPMyAdmin. Below is the quickest way to do a database inspection:

  1. Login to PHPMyAdmin
  2. Click on database_name in use ( ex. wordpress_database )
  3. Export your complete database in a .sql format and open it in a text editor
  4. Do a search for malicious code or any suspicious encoding
One final note .. the most important things to remember if you own a WP site are:
  1. Backup your website DAILY if possible.
  2. Keep your WP version up-to-date
  3. Have few of the security plugins installed for your WP website

The end of “Windows XP”

Microsoft will stop delivering security updates for the second most popular operating system in the world “Windows XP“. The company issued several blog posts urging users to upgrade to newer Windows versions before it was too late.

” NOW is the time to move to a more modern Windows operating system and modernize your IT infrastructure. “

According to metrics firm NetMarketShare, XP is second only to Windows 7 in terms of usage with 38.73 percent of the worldwide operating system market share, but what if there will still be some ( a couple of million ) using it after the END DATE ?, this will open a large door for hackers and motivate them to find more vulnerabilities and exploits inside “XP”. 

So like it or not, as the company is moving on you probably should too.


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w3af – Open Source Web Application Security Scanner ( UBUNTU installation )

Introduction : 

W3AF is a Web Application Attack and Audit Framework. The project’s goal is to create a framework to help you secure your web applications by finding and exploiting all web application vulnerabilities.The framework is developed using Python to be easy to use and extend, and licensed under GPLv2.0.

Installation :

Step 1 : (Install pip) 

$ sudo apt-get install python-pip

Step 2 : (Install dependencies)

$ sudo apt-get install python2.7 python2.7-dev
sudo pip install fpconst
sudo pip install nltk
sudo pip install SOAPpy
sudo pip install pyPdf
sudo apt-get install libxml2-dev
sudo apt-get install libxslt-dev
sudo pip install lxml
sudo pip install pyopenssl
sudo pip install python-scrapy
sudo pip install pysvn-1.7.6.tar.gz
sudo pip install pybloomfiltermmap

Step 3 : (Install w3af)

$ git clone

$ cd w3af

$ ./w3af_gui

If all packages are installed, you should see :



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Welcome !

Hi err_one !

This is my first blog post. First things first, I’d like to introduce myself: I’m ABDELLI NASSEREDDINE a computer science student, InfoSec enthusiast. One of the main reason why i created this blog is so i can share information and exchange ideas about my projects, theories and researches 🙂


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