INSTEON Hub 2242-222 Lack Of Authentication

Type packetstorm
Reporter David Bryan
Modified 2013-08-02T00:00:00


                                            `Trustwave SpiderLabs Security Advisory TWSL2013-023:  
Lack of Web and API Authentication Vulnerability in INSTEON Hub  
Published: 8/01/13  
Version: 1.0  
Vendor: INSTEON (  
Product: Hub  
Version affected: 2242-222 (model discontinued)  
Product description:  
Home automation controller for INSTEON and X10 compatible devices such as,  
lights, RF deadbolts/door locks, Window/door sensors, thermostats, etc.  
Finding 1: Lack of Web and API Authentication  
*****Credit: David Bryan of Trustwave SpiderLabs  
CVE: CVE-2013-4859  
CWE: CWE-306  
The INSTEON Hub allows users to control their home automation devices from  
their home, and across the Internet. To allow control of the devices from  
the Internet requires that a user create a port forward from the Internet  
to the Hub on their home network. This is to allow direct access from a  
users smart phone. The hub will display a web page that is a legacy of their  
previous hardware version of home automation control systems. This page  
allows anonymous access to control any devices connected to the Hub, if the  
user has not set a user name and password. Additionally it reveals the  
name of the device, and what city and timezone the device is located.  
Because INSTEON does not restrict the user in the naming of their device,  
it is possible for users to use their street address in the naming. Having  
access to the name of the city, make locating the device trivial using  
mapping software to search for the house and street name of the controller,  
and potentially identify the location of the device. The web interface  
does not require the user to set authentication or authorization to make  
requests to the Hub. This allows an anonymous threat agent access to turn  
on and off lights/devices, change temperature settings on thermostats, or  
even open electronic door locks. Additionally a threat agent also has  
access to a buffer command, where they can see what lights or devices were  
turned on or off. For example, an ON Command is a simple GET request of:  
This turns on the device, and does not require authentication to perform  
this action. XXYYZZ is the ID of the INSTEON device.  
An OFF Command is a simple GET request of:  
This turns the device off, and does not require authentication to perform  
this action.  
http://A.B.C.D:8001/buffstatus.xml request, without any sort of authentication taking place:  
>From that response,it is possible to gather what INSTEON devices that were last used.  
>From there an attacker can then go back and easily decode the buffer status  
message and turn those devices on or off.  
Additionally, the device does not have the capability to enable SSL/TLS to  
encrypt the data in transit. This allows any anonymous threat agent to  
view, intercept, and replay commands. It also does not prevent someone  
from capturing authentication credentials when the device is accessed via  
the Internet.  
Remediation Steps:  
The vendor has recalled and discontinued affected units. Trustwave  
SpiderLabs has confirmed that Model 2422-222R is not affected by this  
Vendor Communication Timeline:  
12/27/12 - Vulnerability disclosed to vendor  
03/16/13 - Vendor emails upgrade notice  
07/17/13 - Advisory disclosed to vendor  
08/01/13 - Advisory published  
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