Wi-Fi hacking will move to Zigbee, Bluetooth and Sigfox says WatchGuard

By Zenobia Hegde

The commoditisation of wireless attack tools is driving Wi-Fi hackers to focus their attention on intercepting and decoding traffic from wireless devices based on protocols such as Zigbee, Sigfox and Bluetooth along with RFID, LoRa, and 802.11 variations, according to researchers at WatchGuard Technologies.

WatchGuard believes that the same trends that spurred the expansion of Wi-Fi hacking are now beginning to impact criminal activities involving other wireless standards and products, ranging from cars to gas and water meters, personal health devices and alarm systems.

“Wi-Fi attack tools with simple user interfaces such as the Wi-Fi Pineapple by Hack5 made it possible for amateurs to perform advanced Wi-Fi attacks and there are now some 3 million ‘how to’ videos online for performing man-in-the-middle attacks on 802.11 networks,” said Corey Nachreiner, CTO at WatchGuard. “These new attack trends focused on the likes of Zigbee, Bluetooth and Sigfox are possible due to the affordability and availability of software defined radios (SDRs), which allow a device to talk and listen to a very broad range of wireless frequencies.”

SDR-based attack tools such as the HackRF One by Great Scott Gadgets have already been introduced to the market and there is a growing community of YouTube videos, with ‘how to’ topics ranging from unlocking luxury car doors to spoofing GPS signals.

“With demand for wirelessly connected devices continuing to grow sharply and equipment vendors incorporating wireless connectivity into a variety of products we can expect to see new attacks leveraging SDR technology in 2018,” says Nachreiner.

See the WatchGuard prediction videos here.

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Posted on: December 7, 2017

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