February 9, 2013
Recently discovered vulnerabilities within the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) service means that a large number of devices used to connect to the Internet are vulnerable to attack. To combat this, UF will begin blocking all incoming requests to UDP Port 1900, effective at 5pm on Monday, February 11. The block at UF’s Internet borders will prevent internal UPnP services from responding to requests, reducing the university’s exposure to malware.
The Universal Plug and Play service or “UPnP” is a set of networking protocols that allows personal computers, printers, Wi-Fi access points, and Mobile devices to join together and establish a functional network for data sharing and entertainment sources, like online gaming events.
Researchers found that, of more than 80 million unique IP addresses responding to UPnP requests, 40-50 million are vulnerable to at least one of three known attacks. UPnP is defaulted on many home computer connections, and nearly all network printers. UPnP is also on cameras and network storage servers.
UFIT’s Information Security and Compliance Office is vigilant about protecting the UF community from malware, phishing scams, and unsecured networks. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact information security engineer Chris Cuevas.