Dorottya Papp, Kristóf Tamás and Levente Buttyán

IoT Hacking – A Primer

The Internet of Things (IoT) enables many new and exciting applications, but it also creates a number of new risks related to information security. Several recent attacks on IoT devices and systems illustrate that they are notoriously insecure. It has also been shown that a major part of the attacks resulted in full adversarial control over IoT devices, and the reason for this is that IoT devices themselves are weakly protected and they often cannot resist even the most basic attacks. Penetration testing or ethical hacking of IoT devices can help discovering and fixing their vulnerabilities that, if exploited, can result in highly undesirable conditions, including damage of expensive physical equipment or even loss of human life. In this paper, we give a basic introduction into hacking IoT devices. We give an overview on the methods and tools for hardware hacking, firmware extraction and unpacking, and performing basic firmware analysis. We also provide a survey on recent research on more advanced firmware analysis methods, including static and dynamic analysis of binaries, taint analysis, fuzzing, and symbolic execution techniques. By giving an overview on both practical methods and readily available tools as well as current scientific research efforts, our work can be useful for both practitioners and academic researchers.

Dorottya Papp, Kristóf Tamás and Levente Buttyán, "IoT Hacking – A Primer", Infocommunications Journal, Vol. XI, No 2, June 2019, pp. 2-13.