Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui

Blog Feed Post

Context helps to improve IoT security

Research leads to identification and improvements in IoT security

4 July 2014: Researchers at Context Information Security have been able to expose a security weakness in a wifi enabled, energy efficient LED light bulb that can be controlled from a smartphone.

By gaining access to the master bulb, Context was able to control all connected light bulbs and expose user network configurations. The bulb manufacturer LIFX has since worked closely with Context to promptly patch the issue, which is now available as a firmware update. A spokesperson, Simon Walker from LIFX says that, "Prior to the patch, no one other than Context had exposed this vulnerability, most likely due to the complexity of the equipment and reverse engineering required."

Details of the vulnerability and the subsequent fix, have been published today at: contextis.co.uk/blog/hacking-internet-connected-light-bulbs

The work by Context is part of ongoing research into the security of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) and raises some questions. "It is clear that in the dash to get onto the IoT bandwagon, security is not being prioritised as highly as it should be in many connected devices," said Michael Jordon, Research Director at Context. "We have also found vulnerabilities in other internet connected devices from home storage systems and printers to baby monitors and children's toys. IoT security needs to be taken seriously, particularly before businesses start to connect mission critical devices and systems."

The LIFX bulb was launched in September 2012 with crowd funding through the Kickstarter website. The architecture, based on the 802.15.4 6LoWPAN wireless mesh network, requires only one bulb to be connected to the wifi at a time. Context researchers found that they were able to monitor packets on the mesh network and identify the specific packets which shared the encrypted network configuration among the bulbs.

The fix, developed with the help of Context, is included in the new firmware available at updates.lifx.co and now encrypts all 6LoWPAN traffic, using an encryption key derived from the wifi credentials. It also includes functionality for secure 'on-boarding' of new bulbs on to the network.

The detailed steps of gaining access to the device involved accessing the firmware by physically interrogating the device's embedded microcontrollers to identify and understand the encryption mechanism in use. Armed with knowledge of the encryption algorithm, key, initialisation vector and an understanding of the mesh network protocol, Context was able to inject packets into the mesh network, capture and decrypt the network configurations, all without any prior authentication or alerting of its presence.

"Hacking into the light bulb was certainly not trivial but would be within the capabilities of experienced cyber criminals," said Michael Jordon. "In some cases, these vulnerabilities can be overcome relatively quickly and easily as demonstrated by working with the LIFX developers. In other cases the vulnerabilities are fundamental to the design of the products. What is important is that these measures are built into all IoT devices from the start and if vulnerabilities are discovered, which seems to be the case with many IoT companies, they are fixed promptly before users are affected."

For more details, visit: contextis.co.uk/blog/hacking-internet-connected-light-bulbs

About Context
Launched in 1998, Context has a client base that includes some of the world's most high profile blue chip companies, alongside government organisations. An exceptional level of technical expertise underpins all Context services, while a detailed and comprehensive approach helps clients to attain a deeper understanding of security vulnerabilities, threats or incidents. Many of the world's most successful organisations turn to Context for technical assurance, incident response and investigation services. Context is also at the forefront of research and development in security technology. As well as publishing white papers and blogs addressing current and emerging security threats and trends, Context consultants frequently present at open and closed industry events around the world. Context delivers a comprehensive portfolio of advanced technical services and with offices in the UK, Germany and Australia, is ideally placed to work with clients worldwide.

www.contextis.com

For more information for editors, please contact:
Peter Rennison / Allie Andrews
PRPR, Tel + 44 (0)1442 245030 / + 44 (0)7831 208109
[email protected] / [email protected]

Source: RealWire

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By RealWire News Distribution

RealWire is a global news release distribution service specialising in the online media. The RealWire approach focuses on delivering relevant content to the receivers of our client's news releases. As we know that it is only through delivering relevance, that influence can ever be achieved.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.