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.

IoT
11/8/2019
11:00 AM
50%
50%

Ring Flaw Underscores Impact of IoT Vulnerabilities

A vulnerability in Amazon's Ring doorbell cameras would have allowed a local attacker to gain access to a target's entire wireless network.

A vulnerability in Amazon’s Ring Video Doorbell Pro IoT device could have allowed a nearby attacker to imitate a disconnected device and then sniff the credentials of the wireless networks when the owner reconfigured the device, according to a report issued by security firm Bitdefender.

The issue, which was fixed by Amazon in September, underscores the impact of a single insecure Internet-of-Things device on the organization in which it is deployed. While the vulnerability may only occur in a single network device, the result of the flaw could be leaked information — the wireless network password, for example — which  would have far more serious repercussions.

"IoT is a security disaster, any way you look at it," says Alexandru Balan, Bitdefender's chief security researcher. "Security is not the strong suit of IoT vendors — only rarely, do we see vendors who take security seriously."

The discovery of a serious vulnerability in a popular IoT product comes as businesses and consumers increasingly worry about the impact that such devices may have on their own security. Only about half of security teams have a response plan in place to deal with attacks on connected devices, according to recent report from Neustar. Even critical-infrastructure firms, such as utilities that have to deal with connected operational technology, a widespread class of Internet-of-Things devices, are ill-prepared to deal with vulnerabilities and attacks, the report says.

Vulnerabilities in IoT devices can have serious repercussions. In July, a team of researchers found widespread flaws in the networking software deployed in as many as 200 million embedded devices and found millions more that could be impacted by a variant of the issue in other real-time operating systems.

The issue with Amazon Ring is not as serious but it is a reminder that vulnerabilities can still be easily found in the devices by attackers paying attention, says Balan"We tend to look at the popular devices, and those tend to have better security than the less popular devices," 

The rest of the Ring device's communications are encrypted and secure, according to Bitdefender. The mobile application only communicates with the device through the cloud, even if the app and device are already on the same network, the company's analysis stated. Cloud communications are conducted over encrypted connections to API services using Transport Layer Security (TLS) and certificated pinning. 

The device's initial connection with the local network is the only time that it sends data without encryption, Balan says. "This is a proximity based attack, so its not that big of a threat on a global scale. You need to be with a hundred meters or so to issue the deauthentication packets and force the user to reset the password."

The existence of the vulnerability is not an indicator of the commitment of Ring's security team, Balan adds, noting that within a few days Amazon responded and two months later closed out the report. By September, the company issued a patch — within three months after the initial communication, according to Bitdefender's disclosure timeline. As of November, all affected devices had been patched, which Balan says is a better outcome then the majority of disclosures that Bitdefender works on with other IoT vendors.

"Amazon is one of the few that take security seriously," he says. "Inherently everything has some flaw that will be discovered. The only challenge with IoT is whether you take that disclosure seriously."

The trend that more vulnerabilities are being discovered in popular products is a sign that the manufacturers are paying attention and responding to researchers, Balan observes. "If someone does not have vulnerabilities disclosed in their product, then that is likely the most risky product, from a security perspective. If the vulnerabilities were discovered, then props to them — that's a good thing."

Related Content

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "What a Security Products Blacklist Means for End Users and Integrators."

Veteran technology journalist of more than 20 years. Former research engineer. Written for more than two dozen publications, including CNET News.com, Dark Reading, MIT's Technology Review, Popular Science, and Wired News. Five awards for journalism, including Best Deadline ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
News
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Commentary
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27020
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
Password generator feature in Kaspersky Password Manager was not completely cryptographically strong and potentially allowed an attacker to predict generated passwords in some cases. An attacker would need to know some additional information (for example, time of password generation).
CVE-2021-30183
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
Cleartext storage of sensitive information in multiple versions of Octopus Server where in certain situations when running import or export processes, the password used to encrypt and decrypt sensitive values would be written to the logs in plaintext.
CVE-2021-31922
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
An HTTP Request Smuggling vulnerability in Pulse Secure Virtual Traffic Manager before 21.1 could allow an attacker to smuggle an HTTP request through an HTTP/2 Header. This vulnerability is resolved in 21.1, 20.3R1, 20.2R1, 20.1R2, 19.2R4, and 18.2R3.
CVE-2021-32051
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
Hexagon G!nius Auskunftsportal before 5.0.0.0 allows SQL injection via the GiPWorkflow/Service/DownloadPublicFile id parameter.
CVE-2021-32615
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-13
Piwigo 11.4.0 allows admin/user_list_backend.php order[0][dir] SQL Injection.