Asus RT-N16 with built in backdoor?

I was trying to fix a bug (I gave up now) on my Asus RT-N16. I was trying to use Dual WAN to configure a failback 3G connection with an USB stick. Whenever I disconnected my main WAN modem from it’s uplink, it would take the configured amount of time to switch over to 3G.

However, after a short amount of time, it will terminate the 3G connection with the error „received signal 15, good-bye“. To find out what’s happening, I activated telnet and connected to the box. I ran watch -n 1 ps so I’d see which processes are spawn and so on. I didn’t believe what I saw. Something (wget) was downloading from

http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/LiveUpdate/Release/Wireless/wlan_update_v2.zip

which is actually a textfile (not a zip as the filename indicates) with currently this content:

RT-AC87U#FW3004100#EXT5834-gbfeb361#URL#UT4208
RT-AC68U#FW3004374#EXT5656-g8d0a991#URL#UT4208
RT-AC66U#FW3004374#EXT5517-g302e4dc#URL#UT4208
RT-AC56U#FW3004374#EXT5656-g8d0a991#URL#UT4208
RT-AC55U#FW3004100#EXT0-g5f5c8d8#URL#UT4208
RT-AC53U#FW3004100#EXT0-g0f3bacc#URL#UT4208
RT-AC52U#FW3004100#EXT0-g0f3bacc#URL#UT4208
RT-N66U#FW3004374#EXT5517-g302e4dc#URL#UT4208
RT-N65U#FW3004374#EXT1317-g17e5f52#URL#UT4208
RT-N56U#FW3004374#EXT5656-g8d0a991#URL#UT4208
RT-N53#FW3004374#EXT311-g6d4f56e#URL#UT4208
RT-N18U#FW3004374#EXT4983-g18ff1de#URL#UT4208
RT-N16#FW3004374#EXT5517-g302e4dc#URL#UT4208
RT-N15U#FW3004374#EXT168-g50fb114#URL#UT4208
RT-N14U#FW3004374#EXT1667-g0005ce2#URL#UT4208
RT-N14UHP#FW3004374#EXT1631-gf2dd1d9#URL#UT4208
RT-N10PV2#FW3004100#EXT168-g50fb114#URL#UT4208
DSL-AC68U#FW3004374#EXT4923-gc53f521#URL#UT4208
DSL-N55U#FW3004374#EXT4422-gc83c78f#URL#UT4208
DSL-N55U-B#FW3004374#EXT4422-gc83c78f#URL#UT4208
WL-330NUL#FW3-0-0-36#EXT0-c7fcd5b9b#URL#UT1-0-3-8
DSL-N66U#FW1073#EXT#URL#UT4208
DSL-N55U-C1#FW1073#EXT#URL#UT4208
DSL-N16U#FW1073#EXT#URL#UT4208
DSL-N14U#FW1073#EXT#URL#UT4208
DSL-N12E-C1#FW1073#EXT#URL#UT4208
DSL-N12U-C1#FW1073#EXT#URL#UT4208
DSL-N10-C1#FW1073#EXT#URL#UT4208
AiCam#FW1_0_1_12_88#EXT#URL#UT

Harmless as it seems these are instructions where to look for further updates for the device. However, an attacker or an evil employee (not to say the agency with those three letters A, N and S) could most easily inject malware to own your network box.

What the hell is going on here? Why is Asus updating software on *my* Hardware without asking me first? This is a huge breach of trust and this is just one more reason to build my own router. After all, this is just a tiny linux running on poor hardware. If you ask me, get some ARM and install linux on it, i.e. the CompuLab Utilite Pro.

Boy, am I pissed!

Edit: Yes, the file is pulled via http. not https. http. H fucking T T P without the S