There were few studies in the cybersecurity realm done to understand the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of Network Connectivity Devices in day-to-day operations. This research presents a comprehensive study on reversing engineering and analysis of a Network Connectivity Device deployed widely from an attacker’s perspective. Through a meticulous process, we’ll dive into intricate details of the Network Connectivity Device and its management mechanism, including firmware extraction, analysis of the likeness of hardware-level attacks while demonstrating how to mount these attacks against the device and conducting a thorough analysis of its attack surfaces.
By reverse engineering the Network Connectivity Device, we aim to gain insights into its long-hidden internal management mechanism and unveil security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by adversaries or to enable customers to truly free their devices. We explore its architecture, communication protocols, and vulnerabilities that could be exploited by any determined adversaries. We will also explore the authentication process, which has been lacking in discussion before. In the process of demonstrating such possibilities, we will also delve into details of how vendors should implement better security practices for embedded, networking, and internet-facing devices.
As real-world attacks and incidents have indicated Network Connectivity Devices, obviously exposed to the Internet for an extended period, could be a great target for staging more complex cybersecurity attacks. Thus, such Network Connectivity Devices should be examined thoroughly. However, vendors may not have enough security knowledge to secure their management mechanism, and prior studies and cybersecurity incidents show that experienced attackers could find exploits within the system even without any insights into the device.
With this research, we hope to set an example for device vendors by demonstrating how real-world attackers might mount an attack on its management mechanism or end-user devices, and by understanding the attack surfaces and potential weaknesses, we pave the way for strong security practices and a more resilient management mechanism.
Sr. Vulnerability Researcher at TXOne Networks with focus on compromising everything that runs on 1 and 0’s. Long-time member of Taiwanese hacker group "UCCU Hacker". Presented various high-impacting topics at numerous International conferences.