Electronic Safe Lock Analysis: Part 2

Introduction / Recap

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In a previous post we talked about the SecuRam Prologic B01, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) electronic lock marketed towards commercial applications. After performing an initial tear-down, we were able to map out the device’s behaviors and attack surface. We then narrowed our efforts on analyzing the device’s BLE wireless communication. The Prologic B01’s main feature is that it can be unlocked by a mobile Android or iOS device over BLE. The end result was a fully-automated attack that allows us to remotely compromise any Prologic B01 lock up to 100 yards away. We have contacted SecuRam about this vulnerability, but since these devices are not capable of OTA (Over-the-Air) firmware updates, it does not look promising that they will be patched. Because of this, we advise all current/prospective customers to avoid this entry pad.

Vulnerabilities Found

The mobile application used to control the Prologic B01 remotely had no anti-reversing protection on the Android version. This allowed us to decompile and conveniently audit the mobile application’s code, which lead us to find vulnerabilities within the communication protocol. BLE data between a mobile device and the Prologic B01 lacked encryption, allowing us to sniff traffic in plaintext as it was transmitted. The Prologic B01 also does not possess a secure channel to pair with a mobile device, meaning that any mobile device with the “SecuRam Access” application installed can communicate with any ProLogic B01. The lack of encryption and proper key management allows for a fully-automated remote attack.

Attack Model

Because the Prologic B01 has a unique advertising signature, safes can easily be discovered using commodity Bluetooth devices or software defined radios. These characteristics would allow an attacker to wardrive for devices. In other words, this would allow an attacker to drive around and map out the location of safes in a region.

Figure 1: Wireshark capturing Bluetooth traffic with wardriving filter

Figure 1: Wireshark capturing Bluetooth traffic with wardriving filter

Since BLE traffic is sent over plaintext, command packets can be decoded. The packet, shown in Figure 2, was a captured unlock command. The last four bytes of the receiver’s (pink) and sender’s (cyan) MAC address is included. The PIN (green) is parsed as a Long type and is sent in reverse order, which is illustrated above. Finally, the open time (blue) is included and specifies how long the lock should stay open, in seconds.

Figure 2: Bluetooth application payload containing the r eceiver MAC address (pink), sender MAC address (cyan), PIN (green), and open time (blue)

Figure 2: Bluetooth application payload containing the receiver MAC address (pink), sender MAC address (cyan), PIN (green), and open time (blue)

Figure 3: PIN in hexadecimal format

Figure 3: PIN in hexadecimal format

Automating this process is what makes this attack powerful. An attacker can drop BLE scanning devices in nearby areas where Prologic B01 safes were detected. The devices can continuously scan for unknowing victims to connect to their safe with their mobile devices. The BLE traffic is immediately captured, decoded, and the unlock PIN is sent back to the attacker who is located in a safe location.

In our attack, we used a Texas Instruments CC2540 and BLE Sniffer software to capture the BLE traffic of a specific target. The data is then funneled into a Python service that filters on the unlock command packet and extracts the PIN.

Info for Customers

The standards for wireless electronic locks are vague and few, making it difficult for consumers to tell whether they can trust a product or not. While the Prologic B01’s datasheet did not explicitly detail its wireless security features, the omission of that information is a perfect example of why consumers are confused, especially for a device assumed to be secure enough to protect a safe. The best measure for consumers is to avoid wireless electronic locks. Until there are verified security standards put in place, there are just too many unknown variables to take in account.

Info for IoT Companies, Engineers, and Developers

If you’re developing a wireless electronic lock, it is worth the investment to incorporate security features. The Prologic B01’s biggest downfall was that it did not encrypt any of its wireless traffic. Strong encryption schemes exist and would prevent an attacker from sniffing traffic and deriving the plaintext data. This could be implemented utilizing pre-shared keys at the link-level or application-level. Strong encryption, cryptographic integrity, authentication, and strong key management are all effective methods that prevent attacks and they should be implemented to enhance the security of wireless electronic locks.

Conclusion / Takeaways

Wireless electronic locks are entering the forefront of the physical security marketplace. The industry has recently been pushing on creating wireless electronic locks. As a new concept, there has been little to no regulation or standardization, causing the security of these devices to suffer. This has been the case for many residential-grade locks for a while now. However, our findings show that commercial-grade locks also suffer from the same vulnerabilities.

Posted on December 12, 2016 .