Very often, new terms get overhyped in the IT security industry. Today, as we all look to find out more about the Internet of Things, the typical residence can easily have five devices connected to a home network that aren't computers, tablets, or cellphones. As users in this connected environment, we need to ask ourselves "What's the current threat level?" and "How vulnerable am I?"
Most people know what a computer virus is, that we should have strong passwords, and that it's important to install the latest security patches. But many of us (even those with an IT-security mindset) still focus primarily on protecting our traditional endpoints and forget that there are other devices connected to our networks.
For this reason, I decided to conduct research that would identify how easy it would be to hack my own home. Are the devices connected to my network vulnerable? What could an attacker actually do if these devices were compromised? Is my home hackable? I determined to look for real, practical, and relevant attack vectors to see whether it was.
During my research, I focused on all the "other" devices I have connected to my home network: a smart TV, satellite receiver, DVD/Blu-ray player, network storage devices, and gaming consoles. Before I started, I was pretty sure that my home was pretty secure. I mean, I've been working in the security industry for over 15 years, and I'm quite paranoid when it comes to such things as security patches.
As I started my research, it didn't take long to figure out just how easy it was to find vulnerabilities in all of the systems. I managed to find 14 vulnerabilities in the network attached storage, one vulnerability in the Smart TV, and several potentially hidden remote control functions in the router.
The most severe vulnerabilities were found in the network-attached storage, several that would allow an attacker to remotely execute system commands with the highest administrative privileges. The tested devices also had weak default passwords, lots of configuration files had the wrong permissions, and they also contained passwords in plain text.
This post continues on our sister site Dark Reading.