Saturday, September 19, 2020
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Unsafe IoT – Get Familiar with Common Firmware Vulnerabilities 

Malicious hackers have been generating plenty of buzzes employing IoT [Internet of Things] devices to execute extensive cyber-attacks on corporate networks. Hackers compromise all kinds of devices connected to the World Wide Web including video decoder, Wi-Fi office printer, VoIP, etc. to access the company’s network. It is a subject of concern for businesses and homes because there is a maximum of 14 billion IoT devices being used.

It is high time to review a firmware’s security risk. There is specific software, which offers poor control on IoT device’s hardware. Therefore, firmware is a common cyber-attack surface employed to gain footing inside a network.

A single unlocked front or backdoor means cybercriminals gain access to a single IoT device and then move laterally across the corporate network. As new IoT products get introduced in the market, businesses make sure to capitalize on its benefits. It also means they need to prioritize cybersecurity concerns.

For example, homes are getting smart but stories about ‘cameras hacked are getting viral. Hikvision has been a supplier for reliable network surveillance cameras. Their blogs have discussions on cyber threats and IoT devices.

Users need to be aware that making home smart and adding functionalities to control and monitor from remote areas are computers with an operating system and vulnerabilities. Therefore, it is crucial to employ the best cybersecurity practice to avert the potential hacking risk. Get to know common firmware vulnerabilities to avoid security breach that can cause a lawsuit, reputation damage, and loss of revenue or worse.

Common firmware vulnerabilities

  • Unauthenticated access – It allows hackers to access the IoT device and easily exploit the data controlled by the device.
  • Weak authentication – With a firmware’s weak authentication program ranging from a password-based single-factor authentication to a weak cryptographic algorithm can be breached into using forceful attacks.
  • Hidden backdoors – Proprietary backdoors allow customer support for troubleshooting, but cause severe consequences when cyber attackers find them.
  • Password hashes – Users forget or ignore to change default passwords, which makes it easy for leveraging DDoS attacks.
  • Encryption keys – Encryption keys stored in any format like DES is vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
  • Buffer overflows – Insecure string-handling functions used by the coder can cause buffer overflow within a firmware. Hackers can remotely identify the buffer overflow and access devices to create code-injection or denial-of-service assaults.
  • Open source code – IoT devices make use of gentle 3rd party open source components that can possibly include undocumented sources. It is crucial to update the latest open-source platform version to stay on top of hackers yet several devices get released including the known susceptibilities
Uchenna Ani-Okoye
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk.

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