Perimeter
3/23/2007
07:45 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

New RFID Attack Opens the Door

Proof-of-concept lets intruder gain entry into the building by faking RFID readers with SQL injection

Be careful of who walks up to your building and swipes an ID card: New proof-of-concept code will soon be released that lets attackers hack RFID readers and walk right in as if they work there.

The attack uses SQL injection to fake the back-end RFID reader into admitting the cardholder into the building, says Joshua Perrymon, hacking director for PacketFocus Security Solutions and the researcher who wrote the POC. Perrymon -- who's taking a cue from the recent Black Hat RFID flap and won't name RFID vendor names -- says he's tested it on a few RFID vendors' systems, but the exploit will work on most any of them. (See HID Lists RFID Security Steps, HID, IOActive Butt Heads Again, and Black Hat Cancels RFID Demo.)

The RFID databases don't validate the input they receive from the swiped cards, he says, which leaves them wide open for hacks. "I was noticing the back-end database is the same across all products -- I haven't seen any using input validation" to confirm the data they've swiped is legitimate, he says. "It doesn't really matter who the vendor is... In any building you go to with this, bang, you gain access."

Perrymon was able to fake out the readers by injecting SQL characters that appear to be legit into various brands of 1356 Mhz RFID cards. The SQL injection code looks legit when an intruder swipes his card, so he gains entry into the building. "In the user-data section, it uses numeric characters, but we're using brackets and SQL statements... That's standard with a SQL injection in an application."

Conventional attack methods on RFID such as SQL injection haven't been studied much so far, Perrymon says. Most of the attention has been on cracking RFID cryptography and RFID cloning, such as IOActive's research, which was yanked from the Black Hat DC briefing agenda after threats of a patent lawsuit by RFID vendor HID.

Perrymon used an RFID writer to copy a SQL injection statement to the card. Unlike cloning, which copies the user's ID and facility code, this attack uses SQL injection code. "The beauty of this is I'm using off-the-shelf stuff, and there's no reverse-engineering."

Perrymon says adding input validation to these products would be simple for RFID vendors, and he's hoping his work will pressure the vendors to fix the problem. "I want vendors to put in input validation in the reader or database," he says. "Preferably the reader."

But this attack is not for any script kiddie. "You have to be pretty skilled in RFID to understand all the components," says Perrymon, whose company does penetration testing and social engineering exploits. He plans to release the POC soon.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

  • PacketFocus Security Solutions
  • IOActive
  • HID Global Corp. Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon Contest
    Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
    Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
    Current Issue
    Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
    A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
    Flash Poll
    New Best Practices for Secure App Development
    New Best Practices for Secure App Development
    The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
    Slideshows
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2017-0290
    Published: 2017-05-09
    NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

    CVE-2016-10369
    Published: 2017-05-08
    unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

    CVE-2016-8202
    Published: 2017-05-08
    A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

    CVE-2016-8209
    Published: 2017-05-08
    Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

    CVE-2017-0890
    Published: 2017-05-08
    Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

    Dark Reading Radio
    Archived Dark Reading Radio
    In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.