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Blogs | RESEARCH | January 11, 2018

SCADA and Mobile Security in the IoT Era

Two years ago, we assessed 20 mobile applications that worked with ICS software and hardware. At that time, mobile technologies were widespread, but Internet of Things (IoT) mania was only starting. Our research concluded the combination of SCADA systems and mobile applications had the potential to be a very dangerous and vulnerable cocktail. In the introduction of our paper, we stated “convenience often wins over security. Nowadays, you can monitor (or even control!) your ICS from a brand-new Android [device].” Today, no one is surprised at the appearance of an…

Alexander Bolshev & Ivan Yushkevich
Blogs | RESEARCH | November 21, 2017

Hidden Exploitable Behaviors in Programming Languages

In February 28th 2015 Egor Homakov wrote an article[1] exposing the dangers in the open() function from Ruby. The function is commonly used when requesting URLs programmatically with the open-uri library. However, instead of requesting URLs you may end up executing operating system commands. Consider the following Ruby script named open-uri.rb: require ‘open-uri’ print open(ARGV[0]).read The following command requests a web page: # ruby open-uri.rb “”   And the following output is shown: <!DOCTYPE HTML> <!–[if lt IE 9]><html class=”ie”><![endif]–> <!–[if !IE]><!–><html><!–<![endif]–><head>                 <meta charset=”UTF-8″>                 <title>IOActive is…

Fernando Arnaboldi
Blogs | INSIGHTS | October 23, 2017

Embedding Defense in Server-side Applications

Applications always contain security flaws, which is why we rely on multiple layers of defense. Applications are still struggling with their defenses, even though we go through exhaustive measures of testing and defense layers. Perhaps we should rethink our approach to application defense, with the goal of introducing defensive methods that cause attackers to cease, or induce them to take incorrect actions based on false premises.   There are a variety of products that provide valuable resources when basic, off-the-shelf protection is required or the application source code is…

Fernando Arnaboldi
Blogs | RESEARCH | July 19, 2017

Multiple Critical Vulnerabilities Found in Popular Motorized Hoverboards

Not that long ago, motorized hoverboards were in the news – according to widespread reports, they had a tendency to catch on fire and even explode. Hoverboards were so dangerous that the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) issued a statement recommending consumers “look for indications of acceptance by recognized testing organizations” when purchasing the devices. Consumers were even advised to not leave them unattended due to the risk of fires. The Federal Trade Commission has since established requirements that any hoverboard imported to the US meet baseline…

Thomas Kilbride
Blogs | RESEARCH | April 20, 2017

Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities

By Tao Sauvage Last year I acquired a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi router, more specifically the EA3500 Series. I chose Linksys (previously owned by Cisco and currently owned by Belkin) due to its popularity and I thought that it would be interesting to have a look at a router heavily marketed outside of Asia, hoping to have different results than with my previous research on the BHU Wi-Fi uRouter, which is only distributed in China. Smart Wi-Fi is the latest family of Linksys routers and includes more than 20 different models…

Tao Sauvage
Blogs | RESEARCH | January 25, 2017

Harmful prefetch on Intel

We’ve seen a lot of articles and presentations that show how the prefetch instruction can be used to bypass modern OS kernel implementations of ASLR. Most of the public work however only focuses on getting base addresses of modules with the idea of building a ROP chain or maybe patching some pointer/value of the data section. This post represents an extension of previous work, as it documents the usage of prefetch to discover PTEs on Windows 10. You can find the code I used and perform the tests in…

Enrique Nissim
Blogs | INSIGHTS | March 22, 2016

Inside the IOActive Silicon Lab: Interpreting Images

In the post “Reading CMOS layout,” we discussed understanding CMOS layout in order to reverse-engineer photographs of a circuit to a transistor-level schematic. This was all well and good, but I glossed over an important (and often overlooked) part of the process: using the photos to observe and understand the circuit’s actual geometry. Optical Microscopy Let’s start with brightfield optical microscope imagery. (Darkfield microscopy is rarely used for semiconductor work.) Although reading lower metal layers on modern deep-submicron processes does usually require electron microscopy, optical microscopes still have…

Andrew Zonenberg
Blogs | RESEARCH | March 9, 2016

Got 15 minutes to kill? Why not root your Christmas gift?

TP-LINK NC200 and NC220 Cloud IP Cameras, which promise to let consumers “see there, when you can’t be there,” are vulnerable to an OS command injection in the PPPoE username and password settings. An attacker can leverage this weakness to get a remote shell with root privileges. The cameras are being marketed for surveillance, baby monitoring, pet monitoring, and monitoring of seniors. This blog post provides a 101 introduction to embedded hacking and covers how to extract and analyze firmware to look for common low-hanging fruit in security. This post…

Tao Sauvage
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

Arm IDA and Cross Check: Reversing the 787’s Core Network

IOActive has documented detailed attack paths and component vulnerabilities to describe the first plausible, detailed public attack paths to effectively reach the avionics network on a 787, commercial airplane from either non-critical domains, such as Passenger Information and Entertainment Services, or even external networks.