On Tuesday 17 June, Craig Wright, supposedly “Manager of Risk Advisory Services” in an Australian Company called “BDO Kendalls”, posted a rather odd note to Bugtraq and a few other security related lists titled “Hacking Coffee Makers”. In that posting he said that the Jura F90 Coffee maker (which can apparently be networked) was vulnerable to remote attack. His post said that the vulnerabilities allowed the attacker to:
“- Change the preset coffee settings (make weak or strong coffee);
- Change the amount of water per cup (say 300ml for a short black) and make a puddle;
- Break it by engineering settings that are not compatible (and making it require a service);”
“the software allows a remote attacker to gain access to the Windows XP system it is running on at the level of the user”.
Now I’ve been a subscriber to bugtraq for longer than I care to remember and I’ve seen some odd posts in the past – particularly around the beginning of April, but in June? I initially dismissed this as just one more nut trying to raise his profile in the security community, but since tuesday the story has been picked up by a range of commentators. Some have found the story simply amusing (slashdot – “All Your Coffee Are Belong To Us”), others such as CNET seem to have taken it only slightly more seriously. OK, the bits about attacking the coffee maker itself may be amusing, but there is a serious point here if Wright is correct in his statement that attacking the coffe jug gets you access to the windows system its management software runs on. Certainly Thor of Hammerofgod has taken the post seriously enough to question Wright’s professional judgement in posting details of a vulnerability before alerting the manufacturer.
The point to note is that as more and more consumer devices become networkable (and networked) then the attack surface gets larger and larger. And it is a fairly good bet that the manufacturer of (say) a networked microwave oven is not going to take network security as seriously as would the manufacturer of a router, NAS, or mainframe.
Oh and Wright has done it again today. His latest post to bugtraq is titled “Oral B SmartMonitor Information Disclosure Vulnerability and DoS”. It’s about a “remote exploitation of an information disclosure vulnerability in Oral B’s SmartGuide management system [that] allows attackers to obtain sensitive information.”
That’s right, he’s talking about a toothbrush.
Some people have way too much time on their hands.