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Internet-connected Sonos Speakers Leak User Information

A vulnerability found in Internet-connected Sonos Play:1 speakers can be abused to access information on users, Trend Micro has discovered.

A vulnerability found in Internet-connected Sonos Play:1 speakers can be abused to access information on users, Trend Micro has discovered.

By exploiting the issue, an attacker could learn a user’s musical preferences, get hold of their email address, and could even learn where the user lives and whether they are at home. Additionally, an attacker could play a recorded message on the device and trick the target into downloading malware.

While analyzing the device, Trend Micro’s researchers discovered the device had only three ports open and that Sonos applications on it were pointed to a specific website, while most of the communications were performed over port TCP/1400.

Looking at the specific URI path of /status on the device, the researchers also noticed that many of its subpages were shown via a simple website. Thus, no authentication was required to access information about the tracks being played or the music libraries the device knows about.

Furthermore, the website revealed personal information such as emails associated with audio streaming services and exposed various debug functions, including “the ability to traceroute, ping, and even make an mDNS announcement via a simple website,” the researchers say. The status page can reveal other information as well.

“Let’s say an attacker knows the target uses a Sonos device. The attacker can then take the information collected here to tailor better attacks against the target. This could include mobile devices, printers, and even types of computers on the networks,” Trend Micro notes in a technical analysis (PDF).

The security researchers also discovered a series of plausible attack scenarios that could be used not only against home users, but also to target enterprise networks.

By learning the user’s musical preferences, an attacker could craft phishing emails and deliver them to the target. In a workplace environment, such an attack could be used to discover other IoT devices connected to the same network and find vulnerabilities on them to further compromise the network.

Using a website that compounds multiple sources of Wi-Fi geolocation an attacker could also find where the user lives (the researchers determined the device location by looking at the wireless access points (WAPs) the device tried to access during installation) and whether they are at home by monitoring when the speaker is activated and deactivated.

“This hybrid attack involving cyber and physical elements presents new dangers that home and enterprise users should be aware of. Devices leaking presence data not only make users easier to predict — they can also put the user at physical risk,” the researchers say.

Leveraging information discovered on the aforementioned status page, including model numbers and serial numbers, an attacker could disrupt the device and even play a crafted status message containing misleading information.

The attacker could also send tailored emails to the user (to the addresses tied to accounts on music streaming applications) and trick them into downloading malware masquerading as a software update. Using other discoverable information on the target, the attacker could add personalized information to the message to make it even more convincing.

With the help of search service Shodan, the security researchers were able to find roughly 5,000 Sonos devices exposed to the Internet. The manufacturer was informed on the findings and has already released and updated to address the discovered bugs, but some of the issues continue to impact users, Trend Micro says.

“The problem of unsecured internet-connected devices is not limited to home users but also extends to workplace environments when seemingly safe IoT devices are introduced into the company network, as was shown in the attack scenarios. Whether these devices are installed to improve productivity or are simply brought to work by employees, the risk of having an exposed and unsecured device should not be taken lightly,” Trend Micro concludes.

Related: Improved IoT Security Starts with Liability for Companies, Not Just Legislation

Related: Millions of IoT Devices Possibly Affected by ‘Devil’s Ivy’ Flaw

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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