Story image

Logitech Harmony Hub vulnerabilities leave devs fuming

05 Mar 2019

Logitech has bowed to public pressure and reinstated a developer firmware version of its popular Harmony Hub, after it was revealed that the Hub had critical security flaws.

Harmony Hub is used by millions of people worldwide. It is a home system that connects entertainment and smart home devices to a single touch control. It can connect gaming consoles, smart lights, computers and tablets, CCTV and even door locking systems.

However, four vulnerabilities in the system allow an attacker to take control of the Hub – and all the devices connected to it.

Tenable’s Joseph Bingham explains the details:

“The hub has several services open over 3 ports implementing XMPP, WebSocket, and a custom web API service.”

“The Harmony hub uses a messaging system, whereby functionality is implemented by handlers in the application code that can be called by Logitech’s remote servers when the user is controlling the hub with the smartphone app. These message handling functions control the life-blood of the device as the hub turns up the thermostat at night and unlocks your door when you get home.

“Of course, there is a protection mechanism to ensure that only trusted servers can make requests or use the protected message handling functions. The protection mechanism is flawed, however, allowing any remote attacker to bypass the security measures.

While the hub processes all requests from remote hosts, it tries to verify the origin first. Attackers can forge the origin with a single line in an HTTP header, which means they can bypass validation check and get access to protected message handling.

After a few more technical moves, the attacker can perform an HTTP request to shift the sync server to a server controlled by the attacker themselves.

“The hub will make a request to resynchronise its clock using the newly set server and the attacker and respond with the command injection payload to root the hub.”

Now that the attacker has rooted the Hub and all connected devices, they can modify thermostats, shut down home security systems, and create mayhem.

While Logitech initially fixed the issue by removing its external software interfaces, the decision wasn’t popular with users and developers.

Logitech then introduced an XMPP beta programme that allows developer firmware versions to be installed. The firmware can reinstate the XMPP API as it was – including the security vulnerabilities.

Logitech says it is working on a new Hub firmware fix to patch the vulnerabilities.

Safety solutions startup wins ‘radical generosity’ funding
Guardian Angel Security was one of five New Zealand businesses selected by 500 women (SheEO Activators) who contributed $1100 each.
Industrial control component vulnerabilities up 30%
Positive Technologies says exploitation of these vulnerabilities could disturb operations by disrupting command transfer between components.
McAfee announces Google Cloud Platform support
McAfee MVISION Cloud now integrates with GCP Cloud SCC to help security professionals gain visibility and control over their cloud resources.
Why AI and behaviour analytics should be essential to enterprises
Cyber threats continue to increase in number and severity, prompting cybersecurity experts to seek new ways to stop malicious actors.
Scammers targeting more countries in sextortion scam - ESET
The attacker in the email claims they have hacked the intended victim's device, and have recorded the person while watching pornographic content.
Cryptojacking and failure to patch still major threats - Ixia
Compromised enterprise networks from unpatched vulnerabilities and bad security hygiene continued to be fertile ground for hackers in 2018.
Princeton study wants to know if you have a smart home - or a spy home
The IoT research team at Princeton University wants to know how your IoT devices send and receive data not only to each other, but also to any other third parties that may be involved.
Organisations not testing incident response plans – IBM Security
Failure to test can leave organisations less prepared to effectively manage the complex processes and coordination that must take place in the wake of an attack.