Embedded Devices Pose High Security Risks

4Q 2015 | IN-3921

An analysis of hundreds of publicly available firmware images for routers, DSL modems, VoIP phones, IP cameras and other embedded devices uncovered high-risk vulnerabilities in a significant number of them, pointing to poor security testing by manufacturers. The study was performed by researchers from the Eurecom research center in France and Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, who built an automated platform capable of unpacking firmware images, running them in an emulated environment and starting the embedded web servers that host their management interfaces. The researchers started out with a collection of 1,925 Linux-based firmware images for embedded devices from 54 manufacturers, but they only managed to start the web server on 246 of them. It is believed that with additional work and tweaks to their platform that number could increase.

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