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Blogs | RESEARCH | February 17, 2016

Remotely Disabling a Wireless Burglar Alarm

Countless movies feature hackers remotely turning off security systems in order to infiltrate buildings without being noticed. But how realistic are these depictions? Time to find out.   Today we’re releasing information on a critical security vulnerability in a wireless home security system from SimpliSafe. This system consists of two core components, a keypad and a base station. These may be combined with a wide array of sensors ranging from smoke detectors to magnet switches to motion detectors to create a complete home security system. The system is marketed…

Andrew Zonenberg
Blogs | RESEARCH | September 10, 2014

Killing the Rootkit

Cross-platform, cross-architecture DKOM detection To know if your system is compromised, you need to find everything that could run or otherwise change state on your system and verify its integrity (that is, check that the state is what you expect it to be).   “Finding everything” is a bold statement, particularly in the realm of computer security, rootkits, and advanced threats. Is it possible to find everything? Sadly, the short answer is no, it’s not. Strangely, the long answer is yes, it is. By defining the execution environment at…

Shane Macaulay
Blogs | INSIGHTS | December 4, 2013

Practical and cheap cyberwar (cyber-warfare): Part II

Disclaimer: I did not perform any illegal attacks on the mentioned websites in order to get the information I present here. No vulnerability was exploited on the websites, and they are not known to be vulnerable.   Given that we live in an age of information leakage where government surveillance and espionage abound, I decided in this second part to focus on a simple technique for information gathering on human targets. If an attacker is targeting a specific country, members of the military and defense contractors would make good human…

Cesar Cerrudo
Blogs | INSIGHTS | November 11, 2013

Practical and cheap cyberwar (cyber-warfare): Part I

Every day we hear about a new vulnerability or a new attack technique, but most of the time it’s difficult to imagine the real impact. The current emphasis on cyberwar (cyber-warfare if you prefer) leads to myths and nonsense being discussed. I wanted to show real life examples of large scale attacks with big impacts on critical infrastructure, people, companies, etc.   The idea of this post is to raise awareness. I want to show how vulnerable some industrial, oil, and gas installations currently are and how easy it is…

Cesar Cerrudo
Blogs | INSIGHTS | October 17, 2013

Strike Two for the Emergency Alerting System and Vendor Openness

Back in July I posted a rant about my experiences reporting the DASDEC issues and the problems I had getting things fixed. Some months have passed and I thought it would be a good time to take a look at how the vulnerable systems have progressed since then. Well, back then my biggest complaint was the lack of forthrightness in Monroe Electronics’ public reporting of the issues; they were treated as a marketing problem rather than a security one. The end result (at the time) was that there were…

Mike Davis
Blogs | INSIGHTS | July 11, 2013

Why Vendor Openness Still Matters

When the zombies began rising from their graves in Montana it had already been over 30 days since IOActive had reported issues with Monroe Electronics DASDECS.   And while it turned out in the end that the actual attacks which caused the false EAS messages to be transmitted relied on the default password never having been changed, this would have been the ideal point to publicize that there was a known issue and that there was a firmware update available, or would soon be to address this and other problems……

Mike Davis
Blogs | INSIGHTS | May 23, 2013

Identify Backdoors in Firmware By Using Automatic String Analysis

The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) this Friday published an advisory about some backdoors I found in two programmable gateways from TURCK, a leading German manufacturer of industrial automation products. http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/advisories/ICSA-13-136-01 Using hard-coded account credentials in industrial devices is a bad idea. I can understand the temptation among manufacturers to include a backdoor “support” mechanism in the firmware for a product such as this. This backdoor allows them to troubleshoot problems remotely with minimal inconvenience to the customer. On the other hand, it is only a…

Ruben Santamarta
Blogs | INSIGHTS | February 6, 2013

The Anatomy of Unsecure Configuration: Reality Bites

As a penetration tester, I encounter interesting problems with network devices and software. The most common problems that I notice in my work are configuration issues. In today’s security environment, we can accept that a zero-day exploit results in system compromise because details of the vulnerability were unknown earlier. But, what about security issues and problems that have been around for a long time and can’t seem to be eradicated completely? I believe the existence of these types of issues shows that too many administrators and developers are not paying…

Aditya K. Sood
Blogs | INSIGHTS | December 20, 2012

Exploits, Curdled Milk and Nukes (Oh my!)

Throughout the second half of 2012 many security folks have been asking “how much is a zero-day vulnerability worth?” and it’s often been hard to believe the numbers that have been (and continue to be) thrown around. For the sake of clarity though, I do believe that it’s the wrong question… the correct question should be “how much do people pay for working exploits against zero-day vulnerabilities?” The answer in the majority of cases tends to be “it depends on who’s buying and what the vulnerability is” regardless of the…

Gunter Ollmann
Blogs | INSIGHTS | October 30, 2012

3S Software’s CoDeSys: Insecure by Design

My last project before joining IOActive was “breaking” 3S Software’s CoDeSys PLC runtime for Digital Bond. Before the assignment, I had a fellow security nut give me some tips on this project to get me off the ground, but unfortunately this person cannot be named. You know who you are, so thank you, mystery person. The PLC runtime is pretty cool, from a hacker perspective. CoDeSys is an unusual ladder logic runtime for a number of reasons.   Different vendors have different strategies for executing ladder logic. Some run ladder logic…

Reid Wightman

Commonalities In Vehicle Vulnerabilities

With the connected car becoming commonplace in the market, vehicle cybersecurity continues to grow more important every year. At the forefront of security research, IOActive has amassed real-world vulnerability data illustrating the general issues and potential solutions to the cybersecurity threats today’s vehicles face.

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