Embedded device security is an issue of global importance, and one that has grown exponentially over the last few years. Because of their slow patch cycles and the increasing difficulty of exploiting other,more traditional platforms, they have quickly become a favorite target for researchers and attackers alike. While deeply fragmented, each country has its own unique “footprint” of these devices on the Internet, based largely on the embedded devices distributed by major ISPs. We will use our survey of Japanese devices as an example of how, by fingerprinting and examining popular devices on a given country's networks, it is possible for an attacker to very quickly go from zero knowledge to widespread remote code execution.
During this talk, we provide an in-depth analysis of various routers and modems provided by popular Japanese ISPs, devices which we had never heard of on networks we had never used . We discuss how we approached surveying approximate market usage, reverse engineering obfuscated and encrypted firmware images, performing vulnerability analysis on the recovered binaries, and developing of proof-of-concept exploits for discovered vulnerabilities, all from the United States. In addition, we provide recommendations as to how ISPs and countries might begin to address the serious problems introduced by these small but important pieces of the Internet.
All vulnerabilities discovered were promptly and responsibly disclosed to affected parties.