Breaking BHAD: Abusing Belkin Home Automation Devices

Presented at Black Hat Europe 2016, Nov. 4, 2016, 9:30 a.m. (60 minutes)

In 2013 and 2014 several high profile vulnerabilities were found in Belkin's WeMo line of home automation devices. Belkin not only patched most of those vulnerabilities, but also maintains a very regular update cycle, which makes them one of the more responsive players in the IoT space. Therefore, we thought it would be interesting to revisit this line of IoT products to see how we could break or abuse them. What we found are multiple vulnerabilities in both the device and the Android app that can be used to obtain a root shell on the device, run arbitrary code on the phone paired with the device, deny service to the device, and launch DoS attacks without rooting the device.

The talk will walk through the details of heap overflow, SQL injection, and code injection zero days, as well as their associated exploits. We will also introduces a new technique for achieving code execution via SQL injection into a SQLite database on an embedded device. The talk will conclude with demonstrations of rooting a WeMo device and injecting code into the WeMo Android app from a WeMo device. That's right, we will show you how to make your IoT hack your phone.


  • Scott Tenaglia - Associate Research Director, Invincea Labs
    Mr. Scott Tenaglia is an Associate Research Director and Principal Research Engineer focusing on algorithmic complexity, side-channel, and memory corruption vulnerabilities through static reverse engineering, dynamic program tracing, and symbolic execution. Previously, Mr. Tenaglia was a Lead Cyber Security Engineer at MITRE Corporation. While at MITRE, Mr. Tenaglia supported a number of research and operational programs focused on all aspects of binary and program analysis, including reverse engineering, vulnerability research, incident response and malware analysis. Mr. Tenaglia earned bachelors degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from Purdue University, and a masters degree in Computer Science with a concentration in Machine Learning from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Joe Tanen - Senior Research Engineer, Invincea Labs
    Mr. Joe Tanen works as a senior research engineer at Invincea Labs, where he develops security solutions for mobile and embedded systems. Previously, he created consumer electronics products, focusing on custom RF protocols, real-time operating systems, hardware design, and MEMS technologies.


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