Spitballing IoT Security

Ken Matlock matlockken at gmail.com
Wed Oct 26 20:12:09 UTC 2016

As a relative 'outsider' I see a lot of finger-pointing and phrasing this
as (effectively) someone else's fault.

To me this is a failing on a number of levels all contributing to the

1) The manufacturer - Backdoors, hidden accounts, remote access
capabilities, no proper security testing. No enforcing of security updates.
2) The end-user - No initiative on the end-user's perspective to gain even
a basic understanding of how the device works, connects, etc. Also no tools
or understanding of how to recognize *which* of their many devices on the
network might be compromised and participating in the botnet. (Only
indication they get is maybe their internet is slow)
3) The service providers - No effective monitoring of outgoing traffic from
the end users to identify botnets and DDoS in a real-time fashion

I contend that all 3 levels have failed in this, and nothing has
fundamentally changed (today it's IoT, before it was unpatched windows
boxes, etc) in decades. We keep talking about the problem but very little
actual action has occurred to *fix* the underlying issues.

- Manufacturers need to be held accountable for devices that go on the
internet (that includes *anything* that's connected. PCs, servers, routers,
IoT devices, etc)
- End users need to have ways to easily see what's going on over their
local networks, to see botnet-like activity and DDoS participation (among
other things) in a more real-time fashion
- Service providers need to be much more proactive in watching for threats
and identifying/blocking them at the source, not allowing the traffic to
flow to your peers and making it someone else's problem. Right now there's
a financial disincentive to doing this, in both real costs (standing up
monitoring gear/etc), and imagined (my ISP is SPYING on me!).

Until we fix all 3 of these main issues we're just going to keep going in
the same set of circles we do every time a 'new' threat/vector comes in.

Now, are these issues *easy*? Oh, heck no!  Are they *cheap*? Once again,
heck no! But to 'fix' this issue it will take all 3 levels being fixed.

If we continue to keep pointing fingers at "the other guy" as the root of
the problem we're inviting external forces (Legislation) to step in and
'fix' the problem for us (and it will just make it worse).

My 2 cents (adjust for inflation)

On Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 1:40 PM, jim deleskie <deleskie at gmail.com> wrote:

> So device is certified,  bug is found 2 years later.  How does this help.
> The info to date is last week's issue was patched by the vendor in Sept
> 2015, I believe is what I read. We know bugs will creep in, (source anyone
> that has worked with code forever) Also certification assuming it would
> work, in what country, would I need one, per country I sell into?  These
> are not the solutions you are looking for ( Jedi word play on purpose)
> On Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 3:53 PM, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ <
> jordi.palet at consulintel.es> wrote:
> > Exactly, I was arguing exactly the same with some folks this week during
> > the RIPE meeting.
> >
> > The same way that certifications are needed to avoid radio interferences,
> > etc., and if you don’t pass those certifications, you can’t sell the
> > products in some countries (or regions in case of EU for example),
> > authorities should make sure that those certifications have a broader
> > scope, including security and probably some other features to ensure that
> > in case something is discovered in the future, they can be updated.
> >
> > Yes, that means cost, but a few thousand dollars of certification price
> > increase, among thousands of millions of devices of the same model being
> > manufactured, means a few cents for each unit.
> >
> > Even if we speak about 1 dollar per each product being sold, it is much
> > cheaper than the cost of not doing it and paying for damages, human
> > resources, etc., when there is a security breach.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Jordi
> >
> >
> > -----Mensaje original-----
> > De: NANOG <nanog-bounces at nanog.org> en nombre de Leo Bicknell <
> > bicknell at ufp.org>
> > Organización: United Federation of Planets
> > Responder a: <bicknell at ufp.org>
> > Fecha: miércoles, 26 de octubre de 2016, 19:19
> > Para: <nanog at nanog.org>
> > Asunto: Re: Spitballing IoT Security
> >
> >     In a message written on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 08:06:34AM -0400, Rich
> > Kulawiec wrote:
> >     > The makers of IoT devices are falling all over themselves to rush
> > products
> >     > to market as quickly as possible in order to maximize their
> > profits.  They
> >     > have no time for security.  They don't concern themselves with
> > privacy
> >     > implications.  They don't run networks so they don't care about the
> > impact
> >     > their devices may have on them.  They don't care about liability:
> > many of
> >     > them are effectively immune because suing them would mean
> > trans-national
> >     > litigation, which is tedious and expensive.  (And even if they
> lost:
> >     > they'd dissolve and reconstitute as another company the next day.)
> >     > They don't even care about each other -- I'm pretty sure we're
> > rapidly
> >     > approaching the point where toasters will be used to attack garage
> > door
> >     > openers and washing machines.
> >
> >     You are correct.
> >
> >     I believe the answer is to have some sort of test scheme (UL
> >     Labratories?) for basic security and updateability.  Then federal
> >     legislation is passed requiring any product being imported into the
> >     country to be certified, or it is refused.
> >
> >     Now when they rush to market and don't get certified they get $0
> >     and go out of business.  Products are stopped at the boader, every
> >     shipment is reviewed by authorities, and there is no cross boarder
> >     suing issue.
> >
> >     Really it's product safety 101.  UL, the CPSC, NHTSA, DOT and a
> >     host of others have regulations that if you want to import a product
> >     for sale it must be safe.  It's not a new or novel concept, pretty
> >     much every country has some scheme like it.
> >
> >     --
> >     Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org
> >     PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > **********************************************
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> > Are you ready for the new Internet ?
> > http://www.consulintel.es
> > The IPv6 Company
> >
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> >
> >
> >
> >

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