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IoT Security Workshop Melbourne

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Box Hill Institute

Room N1. 160 Box Hill Institute

853 Whitehorse Rd Box Hill

Australia

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Professor Ray Hunt has been involved in networking and network security for over 30 years. He taught networking and network security at Canterbury University in New Zealand, and in 1987 provide consultancy for the New Zealand Defence Force as it upgraded from its mainframe proprietary network to an X.25 open packet switch network. In 2000, he began building a full Post Graduate Diploma in Security and Forensics. With his Masters and PhD students, Ray has published extensively on network security. He has now retired from full time work at Canterbury University in order to focus on delivering workshops on a range of security technologies globally. He is now a regular visitor to Royal Holloway College, University of London and the National Technical University in Singapore, as well as a locally at the University of South Australia, University of NSW, and Deakin University.

The workshop: IoT Security

There has been much in the literature about how vulnerable IoT devices are and the potential risks in this area of cybersecurity. This workshop utilises equipment commonly found in the home or small business IoT environment and to this end we use switches, lights, thermostats, IP cameras and similarly commonly used devices. This workshop is the end result of the purchase and security evaluation of a lot of equipment followed by extensive tests.

Further – there was no point in creating a lab based on developing and changing apps as by the time we run this workshop the bug(s) would have been long since fixed. Thus we address issues in equipment design which are independent of ever updated apps – issues which demonstrated the core problems in design with home and small business IoT systems.

Home and small business IoT equipment is normally potentially vulnerable because these switches, lights, thermostats etc have Wifi hotspots and web servers inside them – even a light bulb talks Wifi and has its own web server. It is the home or small business environment of these devices that starts to become interesting – and demonstrate very important insecurity issues.

Home and small business environments turn out to be the real weakness in some of these devices. Many are driven out of cloud services and this presented a problem for us. How could be have a workshop in which cloud services around the world drive our apps? Thus this workshop has been constructed in which the Androids control these devices via individual Access Points – and this is very much like how it works in a small business or home environment.

There are about six “IoT experimental configurations” all involving IoT devices, Androids and Access Points and careful experimental documentation has been developed which takes the vulnerability of these devices in to consideration.

These IoT Security experiments include the following:

  1. 1. This is obviously the first step. It involves a Muzo music player and your task is to use it with some tools to extract the encrypted IP/password of the Access Point – if you have that - then you potentially have access to anything that works out of the Access Point including all laptop operations.


  1. 2. Wemo switches. This is most interesting as it uses TCP – and encryption of course. You will use an interception engine such as Mallory to intercept and change basic parameters such as – for example – overriding a user’s Android control by creating MITM cybersecurity attacks.


  1. 3. A Lifx colour bulb which talks UDP so that traffic can be injected to demonstrate how you can do bad things to a configuration. For this you will use the hexinject tool. The combination of 2 and 3 are interesting as they cover both UDP and TCP operation – even when encrypted.


  1. 4. A Honeywell HVAC thermostat (which controls heating, ventilation and air conditioning) will be used. An LED panel which displays when heating, cooling etc are in operation has been constructed in place of HVAC equipment. We will use a different interception engine called mitmproxy which some of you may have met in Kali Linux – even where the channel is encrypted. You will see how very vulnerable IoT devices are and you will intercept and change “heating” to” cooling”, manipulate temperatures and – since it has an API interface (documented on the Internet) – you can really demonstrate cybersecurity damage with such IoT equipment.


  1. 5. This experiment involves an IP camera running a typical CCTV monitoring operation between the camera and a server. You will do a spectrum analysis and find the frequency band in which the images are being transmitted to the server and show how you can intercept and create data leakage.

Thus in summary this is likely to be a very interesting and challenging workshop but does require a lot of care and patience. The objective is to find out how to compromise security – and to do so without the user necessarily realising that their system has been compromised.

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Box Hill Institute

Room N1. 160 Box Hill Institute

853 Whitehorse Rd Box Hill

Australia

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