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Old 05-09-2022, 09:59 AM   #1
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Wifi Ranger - How to Fix Security

We have seen other discussions regarding Wifi Ranger the following facts are established:

* Wifi Ranger has a method to disable the managment network. Newmar has documented the steps in their security bulletin.
* Wifi Ranger will allow you to opt out of telemetry data (data collection), but by doing so, you void your support, and will no longer be able to apply future wifi ranger updates.

For those of us that have used Wifi Ranger, it is generally understood to be slow, unreliable, and too much hassle. Many have swapped out with Peplink or other solutions.

What I have discovered that is Wifi Ranger utilizes generic hardware, which can accept other software. Most importantly, the DD-WRT package.

I will come back with further details, but here is a link to a document that describes how to do the firmware change on a "Wifi Ranger Poplar" indoor unit.

https://ltefix.com/wp-content/upload...g_Firmware.pdf
"https://ltefix.com/wp-content/uploads/LTE_Fix_It_Series_WE826_Flashing_Firmware.pdf"
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Old 05-09-2022, 10:40 AM   #2
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I will be the first to admit that each users configuration and experience may vary. In my case, I have found the Wifiranger Aspen to be easy to set up, stable, and meets my needs. Since the update to the 0b11 firmware, I have had no issues with the Aspen. I leave the Aspen powered up and operational 24/7, even on days that we travel. Sometimes on travel days, the Aspen will lose the LTE signal, but all it takes is a reboot to get things working. Currently sitting in an RV park about 50 miles north of Houston. Aspen is configured for mult-WAN with a very good park wifi and TMob sim card in Aspen. It has been solid for the 3 weeks that we have been here. No drop outs, no failures, just works.

Yes, at some point I may make the jump to a higher end device, but see no need to spend a minimum of $600 for a high end device.

YMMV.
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Old 05-09-2022, 10:56 AM   #3
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It is hard to ignore the fact that many do not care about the privacy and security issues. For those that are not bothered by it, Wifi Ranger products are a good fit.

Regardless of your concern for security, you should take the time and follow Newmars advice on how to remove the management (aka: hidden) network so that others cannot access your coach.

For newmar owners with Silverleaf or My Rosie, this is very important.
Tiffin users have Coach Proxy and other related systems to be worried about.
I know entegra has a system similar. If you can use Wifi to access it, then you must secure your network.
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Old 05-09-2022, 11:18 AM   #4
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Spruce can be flashed back to Mikrotik RouterOS pretty easily, once you jump through a couple of hoops. Need the Mikrotik Netinstall software, a direct ethernet connection between the computer and Port 1 of the Spruce and your choice of RouterOS.

I say choice of RouterOS because there are two major versions- v6 and v7. V7 is not an upgrade in some respects because it removed packet cache to maintain internal performance for other plugins. Packet cache really only affects gigabit throughput not any lower speeds like cellular use.

WFR uses a secret menu combined with a preconfigured SSH server to provide updates. You can't access it because it has a private key, nor can they access it after destroying the private key. It's not an irreversible process, but it is technically a one way change because WFR will never provide their firmwares publicly. More on that later, particularly on routers with UART terminals. (evil grin)

RouterOS 7.2.3 is much more stable the WFR 7.1b11 and so far the finicky business like restarting when certain hardware is connected has stopped. I'm sort of suspicious that Davey's antibroadcast echo plugin caused a memory leak in WFRcontrol, but that's not my problem any more.

I'm going to take a look at my Denali and see what I can do with it. From a cursory search it appears to be a Mofi3500 clone but could potentially be a raw board from Mikrotik. Will find out when I inspect the board and bootloader more.
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Old 05-09-2022, 11:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Need the Mikrotik Netinstall software, a direct ethernet connection between the computer and Port 1 of the Spruce and your choice of RouterOS.
I'm reviewing the Netinstall/RouterOS install instructions that are here. It indicates that the install process will reformat the device's drive but not the required RouterOS license key. Given that the WFR router device is not currently running RouterOS (or is it?), is there a RouterOS license key currently installed on the device as it would seem that this is required to use RouterOS?
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Old 05-09-2022, 12:03 PM   #6
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... More on that later, particularly on routers with UART terminals. (evil grin)
Glad to see someone else understands what can be done

My only purpose in doing this would be to return to original, for documentation of steps and testing. Even with shell access, etc. I have no interest in exploiting modification of their firmware, since it is commercial.

OpenWRT, RouterOS, and others are going to be far more productive for the larger audience.
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Old 05-09-2022, 12:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy013 View Post
I'm reviewing the Netinstall/RouterOS install instructions that are here. It indicates that the install process will reformat the device's drive but not the required RouterOS license key. Given that the WFR router device is not currently running RouterOS (or is it?), is there a RouterOS license key currently installed on the device as it would seem that this is required to use RouterOS?
The routerOS license key is the MAC address (or at least was on the boards I used) of the first ethernet.
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Old 05-09-2022, 12:19 PM   #8
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The routerOS license key is the MAC address (or at least was on the boards I used) of the first ethernet.
According to this Mikrotik page, the license key does not appear to be a MAC address. The page states that "MikroTik hardware routers that run RouterOS come preinstalled with a RouterOS license". Additionally, the netinstall utility has a command line option to specify a keyfile (which "provides the device with a license key (key file in .KEY format"). So if the WFR devices were not acquired with RouterOS installed, there may be no license key. Installing RouterOS most likely will not work if there is no license key on the device already, and it would appear that reverting back to the WFR HW is a no go. That would still leave other options (ie. OpenWRT and maybe DD-WRT), but always best to know ahead of time.
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Old 05-09-2022, 12:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy013 View Post
I'm reviewing the Netinstall/RouterOS install instructions that are here. It indicates that the install process will reformat the device's drive but not the required RouterOS license key. Given that the WFR router device is not currently running RouterOS (or is it?), is there a RouterOS license key currently installed on the device as it would seem that this is required to use RouterOS?
The current license key bakes into RouterBOOT at the factory- the hAP ac2 is a Level 4 license. Netinstall will pull and apply the factory license key to the new system firmware automatically. Just make sure to not overwrite the key field in Netinstall.

Also, if Netinstall seems to not pass the sending offer stage correctly, you may need to use a USB ethernet adapter instead of the built in one. Some built in NICs like Intel 211 or 219 don't work right.
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Old 05-09-2022, 12:38 PM   #10
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The routerOS is $45 for a level1 license. It may be a good idea to buy a better Microtik board with license.
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Old 05-09-2022, 01:03 PM   #11
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The routerOS is $45 for a level1 license. It may be a good idea to buy a better Microtik board with license.
Level 1 is a free, but fairly restricted "demo" license. Level 4 is $45.


All Mikrotik devices will still have a factory issued license key on them, unless someone has tampered with the boot firmware which is unlikely. WFR just rewrites the system firmware, the factory key is not tampered with. Pretty much all WFR Mikrotik-based devices will still have factory keys present for Netinstall to grab. The only time you might lose a key is if you purchased an upgrade for a factory device.
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Old 05-09-2022, 02:11 PM   #12
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Level 1 is a free, but fairly restricted "demo" license. Level 4 is $45.


All Mikrotik devices will still have a factory issued license key on them, unless someone has tampered with the boot firmware which is unlikely. WFR just rewrites the system firmware, the factory key is not tampered with. Pretty much all WFR Mikrotik-based devices will still have factory keys present for Netinstall to grab. The only time you might lose a key is if you purchased an upgrade for a factory device.
Yup--got my level numbers confused.

https://help.mikrotik.com/docs/displ...S+license+keys
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Old 05-11-2022, 12:17 PM   #13
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Exclamation WiFiRanger Security - Considerations of Stated Information

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaron73 View Post
We have seen other discussions regarding Wifi Ranger the following facts are established:

* Wifi Ranger has a method to disable the managment network. Newmar has documented the steps in their security bulletin.
* Wifi Ranger will allow you to opt out of telemetry data (data collection), but by doing so, you void your support, and will no longer be able to apply future wifi ranger updates.

For those of us that have used Wifi Ranger, it is generally understood to be slow, unreliable, and too much hassle. Many have swapped out with Peplink or other solutions.

What I have discovered that is Wifi Ranger utilizes generic hardware, which can accept other software. Most importantly, the DD-WRT package.
@RedBaron73 - Thanks for your deep dive into the WiFiRanger products security and access configurations. Evidently when iRV2 was bought, they purged my old account from 12 years ago, so I've got a new, appropriate handle, and no history!

I'd like to clear up a few things, and insure the WiFiRanger user base is made aware of the many security and privacy options they have. WiFiRanger has always been very focused on security, and was the first RV solution to implement WPA3, and fix the WPA2 hack CVE. I think if you look at the intent of the company, with features like SafeSurf, you can see that there is a high attention to making routers for RVers secure and safe, but also as easy to use as possible. It's pretty clear you are a seasoned IT professional, but the normal 99% of WiFiRanger users are people that just need connectivity, and don't want a degree in networking to have to stay connected. I think WiFIRanger has delivered on that combination of features over the 12 years of developing product.

Manufacturers Management Network:
First, the manufacturer hidden management network, which you assert is easily connected to, is often an SSID and password that is an assembly of the coach's serial number. This is commonly a 6-8 digit number, which someone would have to know to access it. It seems that it would be hard to find that number.

Additionally, this network can be turned off by customers or the manufacturer, by accessing the ../admin control panel. It's also worth noting that the WiFiRanger default passwords are random, and very strong, as a recent out the box WFR had MGT984523 password set to penguin97harley which seems to me that they went to great efforts to insure it was protected well from the WiFiRanger factory.

As for the default private network password, there was a lot of discussion about this years ago. The changemenowXXYY standard was adopted with the thought if someone types it, and doesn't change it, then they need to own their decision. The main reason that it exists is that despite the inclusion of the password "sticker" that could have a unique password on it, many manufacturers would "lose" the sticker for rooftop ODU only units. (80% of WiFiRangers shipped) So WiFiRanger would get thousands of calls & tickets asking what the password was for the "WiFi thing on the roof..." The changemenowXXYY solved that dilemma and has persisted since that initial reliance on the stickers making it from the RV manufacturer to the end customer. They believed it was a good compromise of simplicity with notification.

Cloud Update & Access:
Your statement above regarding telemetry data is correct, in that users can turn that option off in the advanced control panel options. However, one can turn it back on to get the services in the future, so there is no void of support for future updates. Moreover, other posts that have been made regarding remote access and security issues needs further clarification. Nearly every device in todays world uses some form of a remote cloud connection back to a server farm to support updates and patches. These are often MQTT subscribes, or some use encrypted tunnels, etc. WiFiRanger is no different than your smart TV, iPhone, Alexa, Google home, and any other cloud enabled device, in that it has a form of connection back to its home servers to manage updates. These connections can also be very valuable for remote assistance and recovery, and are only used when a customer grants access to a customer service technician to resolve an issue that they have. They also support the very popular features of conduits and the built in SafeSurf VPN feature. The assertion that someone could get in and look at a camera is a bit of a reach, in that most cameras contain (or should!) their own login credentials. With 275,000+ WiFiRangers in the field, it would take a pretty diligent, nefarious technician to find an up WiFiRanger, with a camera, with no device credentials, that they wanted to go peek at.

I've also seen the WiFiRanger Release 8.0 alpha code base, and there are some great new features regarding privacy and security. It has some new abilities including different levels of firewall implementations, more toggles for better granularity of open services and assistance tools, and more integration with various manufacturers devices. (It even has some optimizations for mobile StarLink which I'm testing right now, but thats a different, more interesting thread....)

While your opinion of the WiFiRanger use model is hard for those of us that use them regularly to hear, I respect your view. It's a really tough balance to build a product that is easy enough for someone that has trouble turning the TV channel, and IT professionals and engineers. I've seen the evolution over the last 12 years by WiFIRanger to walk that rope, and believe they continue to strive for the best possible feature combination in a product for the tiny, niche market they serve.

Generic Hardware:
While some of the hardware that WiFiRanger uses is generic, there are many custom hardware boards. The Everest, Teton, and most Denali's are custom boards. Certainly someone could re-flash the others with another operating system, but you should be clear to those taking that route, that they will have a bit of a networking science project every time they want to use the system. Things like WFR Control encapsulate the complexities of a parallel router system pretty well, and I've seen a LOT of frustrated RVers that have been trying to roll their own finally buy a WiFiRanger and post "Wow, exactly what I was trying to do, but a LOT easier..." I could go into all the things they will have to deal with in detail, (loops, IP conflicts, subnet mismatches, MTU sizing, firewalls, iptables routing, MAC cloning, etc, etc, etc.....) But encouraging anyone other than a very capable network engineer to go this route is likely going to lead to frustration and a time consuming process. But for those that love networking projects, have at it.

Overall, I think that if we want to improve RV connectivity for the community, we as professionals should work together on the constant collaboration of improving products. As we all know in the security business, there is no such thing as a "Secure" system or product, only one that is in the process of finding the next CVE or new exploit. WiFiRanger has made great strides to deliver a solid, usable, and secure product for their market and will address any recommendation with tenacity brought to them.

With your kind of experience, you should consider working with WiFiRanger more closely and be an advocate of new features and innovation. They have always been receptive and responsive to all suggestions and strive to insure that the product is always the evolution of the RVers needs and suggestions. Over the years, many of my suggestions have been adopted into the product, and I continue to work closely with them to define the best possible RV connectivity solution out there.

Happy Travels!
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Old 05-11-2022, 12:49 PM   #14
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With your kind of experience, you should consider working with WiFiRanger more closely and be an advocate of new features and innovation. They have always been receptive and responsive to all suggestions and strive to insure that the product is always the evolution of the RVers needs and suggestions. Over the years, many of my suggestions have been adopted into the product, and I continue to work closely with them to define the best possible RV connectivity solution out there.

Happy Travels!
I did reach out to them and was not only ignored, but they made it very clear they do not consider the risks a problem. You will see other posts here about how poorly WifiRanger considers its end users.

The end user is not the customer. The OEM's are the customer.

The only solution to the privacy issue is to remove the WFR software, and use an open source product. If you are willing to help with this initiative, I would gladly welcome it.

Reading a lot of your content, I am not certain that you have read the Newmar bulletin. Anyone can gain access to any newmar managment network if they know 2 things: 1) Model of RV 2)Vin Number of rv --or production serial number.

The vin number is easily found outside the RV on a placard.
The serial number is often posted in the window or broadcast on bluetooth as a default ID for other devices. This is NOT theory, but proven.
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