4 devices that might sign safety hassle

Digital Safety

Their innocuous appears to be like and endearing names masks their true energy. These devices are designed to assist establish and forestall safety woes, however what in the event that they fall into the unsuitable fingers?

The hacker’s toolkit: 4 gadgets that could spell security trouble

Can seemingly innocuous objects that feign the looks of normal USB sticks, charging cables or kids’s toys be co-opted as instruments to assist and abet an precise hack? Or is that this simply the stuff of TV shows?

There are a bunch of popular geeky gadgets with endearing names that present precious performance for hobbyist hackers and safety professionals alike. Nonetheless, many such bits of equipment will be likened to double-edged swords – they’ll help each in testing a company’s safety and breaching its defenses. A few of them pack a surprisingly hefty punch and will morph from helpful instruments to potent weapons if misused by people with malicious intent.

This might ultimately be a trigger for fear, together with as a result of I’ve personally witnessed quite a few firms grapple with implementing applicable protections as a consequence of a lack of expertise relating to potential dangers. One such instance is the usage of unknown exterior gadgets on company methods – particularly people who usually don’t elevate suspicion, resembling USB drives. Which brings us to the primary pair of devices that may in the end set off safety complications:

Ducky and Bunny

Regardless of resembling run-of-the-mill flash drives, Hak5’s USB Rubber Ducky and Bash Bunny are, in reality, USB assault platforms that include some critical capabilities. Initially designed to assist penetration testers and different safety professionals in automating their duties, these plug-and-play devices can wreak havoc in mere minutes.

The Rubber Ducky, for instance, can mimic the actions of a human interface machine (HID), resembling a keyboard or mouse, and trick the system into accepting its inputs as trusted. This implies it may be used to execute malicious instructions in an effort to harvest login credentials, monetary data, proprietary firm information or different delicate data.

Figure 1. Rubber Ducky (source:
Determine 1. Rubber Ducky (supply: Hak5)

By posing as a keyboard, it could instruct the pc to visit a malware-laden website or executing malicious payloads – as if accomplished by a hacker sitting on the desk. All it takes is to pre-load the ducky with a sequence of keystrokes that carry out particular actions on the system.

All scripting functionalities out there within the Rubber Ducky may also be discovered within the Bash Bunny. Potential dangers related to the Bash Bunny are, due to this fact, not dissimilar from these involving the Rubber Ducky and embrace the installation of malicious software and data theft.

That mentioned, the Bash Bunny nonetheless ups the ante additional. It retains the Rubber Ducky’s skill to masquerade as a trusted HID machine, however builds on it by including options resembling administrative privilege escalation and direct information exfiltration utilizing MicroSD card storage. It’s also optimized for higher efficiency.

To high it off, even frequent thumbnail drives will be co-opted for malicious ends by being transformed into USB Rubber Ducky- and Bash Bunny-style gadgets.

Determine 2. Bash Bunny (supply: Hak5)

Flipper Zero

Flipper Zero is a little bit of a Swiss military knife of hacking that has been turning heads due to its wide selection of options and applied sciences packed right into a compact type issue. The palm-sized machine lends itself nicely to pranks, hobbyist hacking and a few penetration testing, particularly when the safety of wi-fi gadgets and entry management methods must be examined. There’s additionally numerous free third-party firmware that may additional improve its performance.

However, Flipper Zero’s skill to work together with numerous wi-fi communication protocols and gadgets might permit attackers to realize unauthorized entry to restricted areas or delicate methods. By combining functionalities resembling RFID emulation, NFC capabilities, infrared (IR) communication, Bluetooth, and Normal Function Enter/Output (GPIO) management, amongst others, it permits individuals to work together with and manipulate numerous varieties of digital methods.

Figure 3. Flipper Zero
Determine 3. Flipper Zero (source)

For instance, because the gadget may transmit and obtain IR alerts, it could possibly be used to manage IR gadgets like TVs or air conditioners. Extra worryingly, the gadget can be utilized to clone RFID-enabled entry playing cards or tags. Until these are correctly secured in opposition to cloning, attackers might use Flipper Zero to realize entry to areas secured by RFID-controlled locks. Flipper Zero may mimic USB keyboards and execute pre-configured rubber ducky scripts to automate duties and carry out or facilitate particular actions inside a goal atmosphere, resembling extracting delicate information.

As cute as it could be, then, Flipper Zero has copped numerous flak as a consequence of considerations that it may be used to assist and abet crimes, notably automotive theft given its skill to clone key fobs (although, to be truthful, this is not without some serious limitations). It has, due to this fact, come underneath scrutiny from numerous governments, with Canada mulling an outright ban and Brazil seizing incoming shipments of the product at one level.


The O.MG cable seems as unremarkable as your common smartphone charging cable. Developed by a safety researcher who calls himself “MG” online, the cable was created as a proof-of-concept to exhibit the potential safety dangers related to USB peripherals.

Figure 4. O.MG cables
Determine 4. O.MG cables (source)

The cables harbor a plethora of capabilities that permit their misuse for numerous malicious actions. They will function equally to the USB Rubber Ducky and Bash Bunny, executing pre-configured code and functioning as a keylogger that make them appropriate for information exfiltration and distant command execution.

Certainly, O.MG cables embrace a Wi-Fi entry level and will be managed from an attacker-controlled machine by way of an internet interface. The cables are outfitted with connectors which are appropriate with all main varieties of gadgets and will be plugged into, and configured for, gadgets working Home windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Oh my God.

Staying protected

Whereas these instruments have been utilized in numerous demonstrations, there don’t appear to be any experiences of them being truly utilized in real-world assaults. Even so, it’s prudent to use a mix of technical controls, organizational insurance policies and worker consciousness coaching in an effort to assist your group keep protected from probably dangerous devices.

For instance:

  • Organizations ought to limit the usage of exterior gadgets like USB drives and different peripheral gadgets and implement insurance policies that require all exterior gadgets to be accredited earlier than being linked to company methods.
  • Bodily safety measures are simply as vital in order that unauthorized people can’t achieve bodily entry to company methods and gadgets and may’t tamper with them.
  • It’s additionally essential to prepare common safety consciousness coaching for workers and educate them concerning the dangers related to USB-based assaults, together with being cautious of plugging in random USB drives.
  • Use safety options that may detect and thwart malicious exercise initiated by rogue devices and provide machine management options that permit admins to specify which varieties of gadgets are allowed to connect with company methods.
  • Be certain that autorun and auto-play options are disabled on all methods to forestall malicious payloads from being robotically executed when exterior gadgets are linked.
  • In some conditions, USB information blockers, also called USB condoms, might come in useful, as they strip a USB port of its data-transferring capabilities and switch it into charge-only.

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