Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint Security

// // //
5/24/2019
10:25 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb

Zscaler Finds Security Issues Galore in IoT Traffic

The use of plain-text HTTP communication, outdated libraries and weak default credentials all rang alarm bells.

Zscaler's ThreatLabZ took a look at one month of data for IoT device footprints which were based in the Zscaler cloud. They came up with a reportthat they have released this week which is a snapshot of the protocols the devices used, the locations of the servers with which they communicated, and the frequency of their inbound and outbound communications.

This idea was to see what was going on with IoT traffic patterns. Showing how widespread IoT adoption has become, the devices that they found passing information around were sort of prosaic in their functions.

The IoT devices seen most often in the Zscaler cloud were set-top boxes (generally used for decoding video), followed by smart TVs, smart watches, media players and printers.

They saw 109 different set-top box device profiles from 68 manufacturers, including AerialBox, Alfawise, Amazon, Amlogic, Apple, Beelink, BenQ, Bomix, Bqeel, Foxtel Now and Google.

The enterprise -- somewhat surprisingly -- also had a strong presence in DVR traffic. Here, a DVR is defined as a network-connected smart device used for recording and playing back digital videos. They found three manufacturers: TVT, EverFocus, and DIRECT TV.

Looking at just transactions, data collection terminals were the most active devices across all the categories. The terminals made up more than 80% of the IoT traffic that Zscaler found. The report identified a total of 20 unique data collection terminals from five manufacturers: Chainway, Coppernic, Honeywell, Motorola and Zebra.

If the terminals are ignored, printing devices became the most active category of devices in the transaction analysis. The report found that more than 51% of the remaining IoT transactions were coming from this single category.

They also found devices used for different types of industrial control systems and associated instrumentation (including the devices and systems used to operate and automate industrial processes) present in the enterprise.

Smart industrial networking devices from IXON, Netbiter and Synology were found in the analyzed enterprise logs.

Security practices were found to be uneven in the depth of execution. There were four major classes of security issues they observed, specifically:

      1. Plain-text HTTP communication to a server for firmware or package updates

 

      2. Plain-text HTTP authentication

 

      3. Use of outdated libraries

 

    4. Weak default credentials

Additionally, they found that approximately 91.5% of transactions were occurring over a plain text channel whereas only 8.5% were using SSL.

But, 18% of the total devices used SSL exclusively to communicate. Forty-one percent of devices were using partial SSL ("partial" meaning that there was some communication over SSL and some is over non-SSL channels), while the same percentage (41%) of devices were found to be using no SSL at all for any of their communications. The report also saw that because default IoT device passwords tend to be unchanged following installation, brute-force attacks remained effective.

The top destinations that were connected to by the IoT malware families observed were the US (66%), Canada (12%), France (2.5%), Greece (2.2%) and Russia (2%).

Security concerns need to be addressed by the well-known methods, and the enterprise needs to gain visibility of the shadow IoT devices that are already sitting inside the network so they can address them.

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Incorporating a Prevention Mindset into Threat Detection and Response
Threat detection and response systems, by definition, are reactive because they have to wait for damage to be done before finding the attack. With a prevention-mindset, security teams can proactively anticipate the attacker's next move, rather than reacting to specific threats or trying to detect the latest techniques in real-time. The report covers areas enterprises should focus on: What positive response looks like. Improving security hygiene. Combining preventive actions with red team efforts.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2022-1813
PUBLISHED: 2022-05-22
OS Command Injection in GitHub repository yogeshojha/rengine prior to 1.2.0.
CVE-2022-1809
PUBLISHED: 2022-05-21
Access of Uninitialized Pointer in GitHub repository radareorg/radare2 prior to 5.7.0.
CVE-2022-31267
PUBLISHED: 2022-05-21
Gitblit 1.9.2 allows privilege escalation via the Config User Service: a control character can be placed in a profile data field, such as an emailAddress%3Atext '[email protected]\n\trole = "#admin"' value.
CVE-2022-31268
PUBLISHED: 2022-05-21
A Path Traversal vulnerability in Gitblit 1.9.3 can lead to reading website files via /resources//../ (e.g., followed by a WEB-INF or META-INF pathname).
CVE-2022-31264
PUBLISHED: 2022-05-21
Solana solana_rbpf before 0.2.29 has an addition integer overflow via invalid ELF program headers. elf.rs has a panic via a malformed eBPF program.