Opening Pandora’s Box: Effective Techniques for Reverse Engineering IoT Devices

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10728)


With the growth of the Internet of Things, many insecure embedded devices are entering into our homes and businesses. Some of these web-connected devices lack even basic security protections such as secure password authentication. As a result, thousands of IoT devices have already been infected with malware and enlisted into malicious botnets and many more are left vulnerable to exploitation.

In this paper we analyze the practical security level of 16 popular IoT devices from high-end and low-end manufacturers. We present several low-cost black-box techniques for reverse engineering these devices, including software and fault injection based techniques for bypassing password protection. We use these techniques to recover device firmware and passwords. We also discover several common design flaws which lead to previously unknown vulnerabilities. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by modifying a laboratory version of the Mirai botnet to automatically include these devices. We also discuss how to improve the security of IoT devices without significantly increasing their cost.


Reverse Engineering Process Mirai Botnet Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (UART) UART Ports Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ben-Gurion University of the NegevBeershebaIsrael

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