In this video I talk about the tools required to modify a router slightly, so that the serial console can be accessed. The serial console is basically a backdoor, sometimes “locked”, into the heart of the router.
Having serial console access enables you to find out what’s going on when your router boots up (i.e. starts), which may provide information about misconfigurations or other interesting information, because even if you can’t modify the boot parameters without reflashing the device, and it prompts you with a login screen that cannot easily be guessed, then you still have access to the entire bootlog which can provide useful in many cases.
Safety Disclaimer: Soldering irons are tools that should be handled properly as they can easily cause injury. Soldering thread containing lead is toxic and should not be exposed to open wounds. If you do a lot of soldering, then you should consider wearing some thin gloves. (Not plastic!)
Always wash your hands after handling lead. If you’re going to eat something while soldering, then wash your hands first. Keep food and drinks away from your working table too.
Lead-free solder thread is not without risks too, as it’s harder to use, and the increased fumes it may produce are in return more toxic.
Warranty Disclaimer: By opening and modifying your router you forfeit/nullify all warranties. If you break your router while modifying it like I do in my videos, then it is your own fault. Soldering on equipment is not without risks. (I haven’t managed to break my routers yet though.)
– Tools required
– Router specifications (brief)
– Serial console (UART) location
– DD-WRT notes about router vulnerabilities
– Solder bridges
– Basic theory about connecting to serial consoles (in relation to power, etc.)
– JTAG port location
– Multimeter (The one I have with a “beep” sound is Velleman DVM821. Link: https://www.velleman.eu/products/view/?id=432336)
– Oscilloscope (Velleman EDU09. This is not an easy kit to assemble. Link: http://www.vellemanprojects.eu/products/view/?country=be&lang=en&id=411826)
– USB to TTL Serial Cable (https://www.adafruit.com/product/954)
– Bus Pirate – v3.6a (http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Bus_Pirate)
– TP Link Router (TL-WA801ND)
– D-Link Router (DIR-842 – Revision B)
Stay tuned and subscribe for more upcoming videos showing actual hacks!