Mar 22, 2016

Hardware Hacking Chronicles: IoT Hacking for Offence and Defence

Enterprise companies are using consumer and IoT devices to complete (or expand) their services such as broadband, IPTV, media streaming, satellite, voice and 3G/4G services. Although the devices are owned by the service providers, subscribers have limited (or full) access to them with service agreements. In addition to that, some of consumer devices also have roles on corporate communications, environment security or employee services. Consumer devices are located at subscriber premises; therefore, the traditional security testing approach only covers backend services security, not the devices.

Consumer and IoT devices are susceptible to hardware hacking based attacks such as firmware dumping, re-flashing with a custom firmware, and getting low level access using the physical management interfaces such as SPI, JTAG and UART. Low level access obtained can be used to modify device behaviours or their initial states. This helps attackers to debug consumer devices and operator services, to find new vulnerabilities, and to obtain the device configuration which may contain credentials for the service infrastructure. 

Embedded device and hardware hacking is a rising skill set for penetration testers. It is required to understand targeted attacks which may include hardware implants, modified hardware attacking their own infrastructure or compromised devices that target the human factor. Some of advanced testing examples to be discussed are preparing a custom hardware for persistent access during a red teaming exercise, preparing a compromised consumer device for human factor pen-testing, attacking TR-069 services of a provider using smart home modems or altering the security controls of a device to abuse the service. 

The presentation focuses on how the existing security testing techniques should be evolved with hardware and IoT hacking, and how service providers can make their infrastructure secure for cutting-edge attacks. Essential hardware hacking information, identifying and using physical management interfaces, hardware hacking toolset, well-known hardware attacks and hardware testing procedure will be presented in a road map for consumer devices security testing. Also a security testing approach will be explained to develop new security testing services and to improve existing ones such as red teaming, human factor pen-testing and infrastructure pen-testing.

AusCERT 2016 - Thursday, 26th May 2016 - 11:40