Threat Intelligence
2/13/2017
12:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

New Bug Bounty Program Targets IoT Security

GeekPwn bug bounty program aims to collect Internet of Things security vulnerabilities, and highlight mistakes to vendors.

The Internet of Things, like all new tech, drives security risk. Similar to the PC in its early stages, IoT faces two security challenges: large amounts of vulnerabilities, and major consequences.

"As an emerging technology, IoT is far from the maturity stage," explain security researchers Huiming Liu and Yuhao Song, both with GeekPwn Lab. "The development of security always lags behind the corresponding industry."

Vendors working on product development tend to place more emphasis on improving usability and user experience, and less on security. There is a lack of security sense, the researchers say; most vulnerabilities are obvious and can be easily avoided.

This is a key takeaway from the GeekPwn Contest, a security contest focused on IoT devices and other smart devices.

The duo founded GeekPwn in 2014 to broaden white hats' research efforts to include IoT and help vendors strengthen product security. There are many contests and bug bounty programs focused on software security, they noticed, but nearly none geared towards IoT.

Since launching the contest, the team has collected more than 100 security vulnerabilities and exploit techniques for IoT products including smart home devices, wearables, routers, cameras, network protocols, and smart entertainment products. All were reported to their respective vendors following the contest.

They found IoT vendors, especially smaller businesses, are challenged to address the problems.

"When we collect vulnerabilities in GeekPwn and submit them to the vendors, some of the vendors don't have a process of vulnerability response, some reject and deny any vulnerabilities, some even regard vulnerabilities as infringement of their reputation and threaten court against us," the team says.

This issue has improved over time as vendors accept the responsibility of improving product security. After three years of GeekPwn, more are agreeing to "responsible disclosure" and welcome white hats' efforts to hunt flaws in their products.

The two acknowledge additional challenges companies face with IoT security including a small talent pool and lack of systemic guidelines, solutions, and standards related to this new wave of technology.

Both Liu and Song will be at Black Hat Asia 2017 to discuss design misconceptions and implementation mistakes that developers may overlook in IoT devices. Their briefing is entitled "Daily-Life Peeper: Bug Hunting and Exploit Techniques in IoT."

GeekPwn collected 32 router vulnerabilities. In their session, the duo will expand on one that exploits three vulnerabilities as a chain.

They also plan to discuss attack vectors and most vulnerable modules of IoT devices based on data collected in GeekPwn, and consequences these vulnerabilities could cause. Their idea is to help security researchers kick off their IoT security research.

"Based on our study and analysis, the current situation of IoT security is nearly catastrophic," the team states.

Businesses' lack of attention to IoT, implementation errors, and design flaws could have severe consequences and lead to damage to property or personal safety. Researchers cite last year's massive DDoS attack, which took down several major websites, as an example.

Related Content:

 

Kelly Sheridan is Associate Editor at Dark Reading. She started her career in business tech journalism at Insurance & Technology and most recently reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft and business IT. Sheridan earned her BA at Villanova University. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
BlueBorne Attack Highlights Flaws in Linux, IoT Security
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  12/14/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2017
A look at the biggest news stories (so far) of 2017 that shaped the cybersecurity landscape -- from Russian hacking, ransomware's coming-out party, and voting machine vulnerabilities to the massive data breach of credit-monitoring firm Equifax.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
Enterprises are spending more of their IT budgets on cybersecurity technology. How do your organization's security plans and strategies compare to what others are doing? Here's an in-depth look.
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.