TP-Link Devices setDefaultHostname Stored Cross-site Scripting (Unauthenticated)

CVE Category Price Severity
CVE-2021-33745 CWE-79 $500 High
Author Risk Exploitation Type Date
Unknown High Remote 2021-04-02
CVSS:4.2/AV:N/AC:M/PR:N/UI:R/S:C/C:L/I:L/A:N 0.02192 0.50148

CVSS vector description

Our sensors found this exploit at:

Below is a copy:

TP-Link Devices setDefaultHostname Stored Cross-site Scripting (Unauthenticated)
# Exploit Title: TP-Link Devices - 'setDefaultHostname' Stored Cross-site Scripting (Unauthenticated)
# Date: 24-07-2020
# Exploit Author: Smriti Gaba, Kaustubh Padwad
# Vendor Homepage:
# Version: Multiple

Unauthenticated Stored Cross-site Scripting in Multiple TP-Link Devices


1. DSL and DSL Gateway
2. Access Points
3. WIFI Routers

Tested Version: : Multiple versions of DSL & DSL Gateway, WIFI Routers and
Access Points including:

Model             |   Firmware Version
TD-W9977          |
TD-W9977v1_0.1.0_0.9.1_up_boot(161123)_2016-11-23_15.36.15 |
TL-WA801ND        | TL-WA801NDv5_US_0.9.1_3.16_up_boot[170905-rel56404]
TL-WA801N         | TL-WA801Nv6_EU_0.9.1_3.16_up_boot[200116-rel61815]
TL-WR802N         | TL-WR802Nv4_US_0.9.1_3.17_up_boot[200421-rel38950]
Archer-C3150      | ArcherC3150(US)_V2_170926)

Severity: Med-High

About the Product:

* The (products from above list)  are high performance WIFI Routers(Wireless AC routers), Access Points, ADSL + DSL Gateways and Routers.
* Provides Configuration modes: Access Point mode, Router Mode, Range Extender mode.
* Provide Ethernet and other interfaces to meet the access requirements of different devices.
* It can provide high-performance functionalities, services for home users, individual users, and businesses.
* Supports multiple functionalities including CWMP management, TR069 Configuration, SNMP management, Traffic statistics, etc.

An issue was discovered, common to all the TP-Link products including WIFI Routers(Wireless AC routers), Access Points, ADSL + DSL Gateways and Routers.
This affected TD-W9977v1,TL-WA801NDv5, TL-WA801Nv6, TL-WA802Nv5, Archer C3150v2 devices. A malicious XSS payload if injected in hostname of Wireless Client devices connected to TP-Link device, allows remote attackers to execute unauthenticated malicious scripts because of improper validation of hostname. Some of the pages including dhcp.htm, networkMap.htm, dhcpClient.htm, qsEdit.htm, qsReview.htm and others use this vulnerable hostname function(setDefaultHostname()) without sanitization and push the value of hostname ($defaulthostname) directly to the ACT stack along with other parameters. The ACT stack is called on for multiple operation ids covering LAN, WAN and while intialisation of multiple tables (arp, dhcp, client list) across the device. For example, ACT_SET stack for WAN_IP_CONN is called while dhcp operation, during which value of vulnerable defaulthostname is being assigned to parameter X_TP_Hostname and pushed to stack. This causes XSS at all the endpoints which display hostname for example: Wireless client information table, ARP bind table such as networkMap, DHCP.

Additional Information
The hostname value is only validated on ASCII characters, while there is no validation for Non-ASCII characters which allows hostname with XSS payload say "<script>alert('XSS')</script>" to execute. This value of hostname is pushed to an array as plain text along with IP address and MAC address in initClientListTable() function, and other tables use the same value of hostname accross the device. This array is then returned to the callback function which in turn is called from proxy.js.
This data is pushed to stack corresponding to operation:"LAN_HOST_ENTRY" (vary for different firmware), operation id: "gl" (gl is getList function). As client initiates request with operation id:"LAN_HOST_ENTRY" and oid: "gl", $dm.getList and $.act is called which fetches the corresponding stack and sends data to ajax call. The crafted value of hostname is sent to the device and results in execution of payload.

[Affected Component]
hostName parameter inside different htm pages including DHCP, DhcpAP, ArpBind, networkMap.

[Attack Type]
[Impact Code execution]

[Attack Vectors]
Malicious payload execution on initiating request for Wireless Client List table or DHCP html page.

[Vulnerability Type]
Stored Cross-site Scripting

How to Reproduce: (POC):

    1. Change the default hostname of wireless client by using following command (for Linux):
        a. vi /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf
        b. Insert and change the value of hostname to xss payload "<script>alert('XSS')</script>"
    2. Renew IP address by sending DHCP request to TP-Link device via following command:
        a. vi /etc/network/interfaces
        b. Add these lines:
            auto wlan0
            iface wlan0 inet dhcp
        c. On Terminal run command: ifup wlan0
    3. Login to the router web interface, navigate to DHCP settings or Wireless Client tab.
    4. As soon as DHCP or Wireless client table is requested Xss payload executes and pops up alert box.


| Model             |   Firmware Version
       | Mitigation Comments   |
| TL-WA801ND        | TL-WA801NDv5_US_0.9.1_3.16_up_boot[170905-rel56404]
      | Patched               |
| TL-WA801N         | TL-WA801Nv6_EU_0.9.1_3.16_up_boot[200116-rel61815]
       | Patched               |
| TL-WR802N         | TL-WR802Nv4_US_0.9.1_3.17_up_boot[200421-rel38950]
       | Patched               |
| Archer-C3150      | ArcherC3150(US)_V2_170926)
       | EOL Product           |
| TD-W9977          |
TD-W9977v1_0.1.0_0.9.1_up_boot(161123)_2016-11-23_15.36.15  | EOL Product

Link for patched software version for products:
    1. TL-WA801ND -[210119-rel61453].zip
    2. TL-WA801N -[210119-rel62190].zip
    3. TL-WR802N -[210119-rel63071].zip

[Vendor of Product]

Disclosure Timeline:
24-July-2020 Discoverd the vulnerability
11-Aug-2020 Responsibly disclosed vulnerability to vendor
15-Aug-2020 Vendor Acknowledged the disclosure
17-Nov-2020 Communicated with vendor after 90 days for updates
19-Nov-2020 Vendor asked for model and version details
20-Nov-2020 Provided the required details to vendor
25-Nov-2020 Vendor provided software build to verify the issue
9-Dec-2020 Issue not fixed in the provided software.
4-Jan-2021 Asked Updates on the status of the issue.
20-Jan-2021 Vendor provided software build to verify the issue.
20-Jan-2021 Issue found fixed in the provided software.
21-Jan-2021 Requested for CVE-ID assignment
25-March-2021 CVE-ID Assigned.


* Smriti Gaba
* Kaustubh Padwad

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