Security Experts:

Flaw in Fingerprint Access Devices Could Make It Easy to Open Doors

Fingerprint access controllers developed by Taiwan-based Chiyu Technology are plagued by a vulnerability that could allow hackers to make it easier to open the doors protected by these devices, a researcher has warned.

Fingerprint access controllers made by Chiyu Technology can be managed and configured through a built-in HTTP web server. The problem, according to researcher Maxim Rupp, is that the web server is plagued by a vulnerability that allows an attacker with network access to view and modify the device’s configuration without authentication by directly accessing known paths (CVE-2015-2871).

Chiyu fingerprint access controller

The paths for accessing communications, fingerprint and other setup pages vary depending on the model and the services that are available, CERT/CC said in an advisory published on Friday.

By gaining access to the controller’s fingerprint setup page, an attacker could modify settings, such as “security level” and “sensitivity,” to make it easier to open the door protected by the device. An attacker can also change the device’s network settings and disconnect it from the targeted organization’s network, Rupp told SecurityWeek.

The researcher has also found that some of the vulnerable biometric devices are accessible via the Internet, which allows an attacker to exploit the weakness remotely.

An attacker might be able to carry out other actions as well once he gains access to the controller’s configuration pages, but the expert says he hasn’t conducted further tests.

Rupp verified the existence of the vulnerability on BF-660C, BF-630 and BF-630W controllers, but it’s possible that other models are also affected. Furthermore, the expert says there are several other companies that sell the same devices under a different brand.

This issue and a less serious reflected cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability (CVE-2015-2870) were reported by the researcher to Chiyu Technology via CERT/CC on May 29. CERT/CC has not managed to get in touch with the manufacturer so it’s unclear at this time if the flaws have been patched or if the company plans on addressing them. CERT/CC says it’s “currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem.”

Chiyu Technology has not responded to SecurityWeek’s request for comment.

This is not the first time Rupp identifies vulnerabilities in control systems. Earlier this year, he reported finding security holes affecting XZERES wind turbines and Honeywell Tuxedo Touch home automation controllers.

Related: Learn more about control system security at the ICS Cyber Security Conference

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Eduard Kovacs is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.