With a variety of IoT devices being used by businesses, we cannot ignore questions about analyzing firmware for IoT devices. As the software runs on a hardware device, analyzing the code is a cursor for detecting IoT issues and ensuring your device’s security.
WebbyLab has massive experience developing smart home automation platforms. Our experts know all ins and outs of IoT devices functioning and demonstrate their expertise in real cases. We assisted MyBox, a universal cloud-based ecosystem for EV charging stations management, in analyzing firmware performance and eliminating vulnerabilities.
In this article, we will cover the logic and necessity of IoT device firmware security analysis, and explain how to manage all IoT technical challenges you may encounter during IoT solution development.
Simply put, firmware is the operating system of a smart device or a piece of code managing how a device behaves and interacts with other devices and systems. Firmware is held in non-volatile memory devices, including ROM, EPROM, EEPROM, and Flash memory.
With the growing popularity of IoT solutions, the cybersecurity threat increases in this domain. According to Gartner, 25% of identified attacks in enterprises involve IoT devices. Thus, the issue of cybersecurity is of paramount importance and it is critical to analyze IoT firmware to keep the IoT device’s firmware up to date to mitigate risk through remediation.
This software running on an IoT device consists of several elements: the kernel, bootloader, filesystem, and additional resources.
Analysis of firmware components of IoT devices is an integral element of security research. Controlling the firmware is having complete control over the IoT device. IoT products like smart home devices, connected appliances, wireless routers, wearables, and autonomous cars are often targeted by cyber attackers and have some vulnerabilities that originated in firmware.
Cyberattackers may not hack the devices themselves but use them as a platform for any other kinds of malicious behavior, including spamming or credit card data theft. People may suffer from money loss and companies from damaged reputations.
Let’s look at examples of firmware vulnerabilities to protect IoT products from possible risks. These all are the issues WebbyLab often encounters while working on the clients’ projects:
It’s possible to avoid and remedy these IoT exploits by upgrading the IoT device firmware, conducting analysis for firmware of IoT device, changing the default passwords, or compiling IoT device inventory. You may contact the manufacturer to specify if they implement secure coding practices in the firmware.
It’s essential to understand the process of firmware examination to get the best results. Here’s the main steps that the WebyLab team utilizes in order to automate firmware analysis in IoT.
The first thing to do is to download the IoT firmware from the vendor’s official website. If for some reason, you cannot do it or it doesn’t work, you can search it on Github. At this stage, everything looks simple until you move to the next step.
The next stage of automated IoT firmware analysis is extracting the firmware files that are usually bundled or compressed in bin, zip, gzip, or tar formats. There is a tool for extraction that is called Binwalk. It is already present in Kali Linux.
Here is a detailed guide on extracting the firmware.
And now, we can see that firmware extraction is not a piece of cake. This process requires time and effort, and if you need professional assistance, our WebbyLab experts will consult you on the issue and offer effective solutions.
Once the files are extracted, we need to run IoTGoat from OWASPover it. It will scan all the firmware files to detect the vulnerabilities. Make sure IoTGoat and the extracted firmware file are in the same folder. The tool will generate the output with the list of vulnerabilities after the scanning. Let’s look at how you can do it step by step:
This is what the IoT Devices firmware analysis process looks like at WebbyLab. Keep reading to learn more about the methodology of analyzing IoT devices’ firmware.
There are two ways to conduct analysis for IoT firmware: manual and automated. Manual analysis is quite complicated and time-consuming. Therefore, we will talk in detail about the automated firmware analysis for IoT device. It is a fast and easy solution powered by lots of high-quality tools. You can perform the automatic analysis with such open-source programs as Firmwalker, Binwalk, FACT, and Firmware Analysis Toolkit.
During the automatic firmware analysis, you will come across the following points:
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IoT products cybersecurity is crucial today if you do not want to lose your personal data and money. So having reliable professionals dealing with IoT testing is a must for a secure online presence. If you need a dedicated team to analyze firmware of IoT devices, WebbyLab experts are ready to help round the clock.
Our company provides comfortable tools for audit and monitoring and firmware development services. We offer software and hardware development using cutting-edge technologies. Some of the projects for which we’ve provided IoT firmware analysis assistance include 2smart, Ezlo, and Propuskator.
Contact us via email, find us on social media, or call us right now.
Now that you know what firmware is, its role, and its methodology. IoT firmware analysis is a challenging task, but it is essential for your devices and data security. With high-quality firmware analysis of your IoT devices, you could avoid common vulnerabilities such as cyberattacks, outdated software components, open source components, buffer overflows, and weak firmware authentication.
Only professionals with niche-relevant experience can conduct a solid firmware analysis. With WebbyLab’s technical competence, you will get a detailed analysis of the firmware’s content and get solutions to strengthen your system. Do not wait to get in touch with our experienced IoT developers and bring your ideas to life.
Learn more about how we engage and what our experts can do for your business
Head of IoT at Webbylab
Kostiantyn started his career in IT at Webbylab, where he quickly grew from the position of a tester to the role of a manager and business analyst. When the company’s management decided to develop the IoT direction, Kostia became one of its key figures.
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