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5 Open-Source and Tools to Audit the Security of IoT Devices

The use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is rapidly growing due to the exponential increase in global volumes of data. According to a report by the Business Research Company, the Internet of Things (IoT) market is estimated to grow at the rate of 24% through 2025. This level of uptake is due to the increase in advanced technologies. Technological advancement means IoT technology becomes easy to implement and opens the door for potential security risks. 

Cyber attacks are rapidly evolving, and government agencies and businesses are implementing robust cybersecurity measures to protect their infrastructure and applications from online attacks. However, with organizations being more alert, cybercriminals find more sophisticated ways to attack that are difficult to detect. 

For efficient and secure system functioning, it’s necessary to audit the security of IoT devices regularly. For this, penetration testing or ethical hacking is the best way to detect loopholes. While various causes contribute to its growth, one of the most essential is the availability of security auditing tools that make the tasks easier. This article will highlight the best open-source tools to audit the security of IoT devices.

Disclaimer: The list presented here is not based on any rank criteria. Listed as First could not be the best or listed as Last in the list is not the worst by any means. This is not a complete product review. Please don’t go with the order of the tools. We clarify that the order doesn’t carry any rank. We are not here to judge the rank of the tools. We created this post to share the best options available in the market. Let’s get started.

Why Do You Need To Audit The Security Of IoT Devices?

As discussed earlier, the number of connected devices has increased considerably in recent years. The widespread use of these devices gives opportunities to malicious actors to compromise the security of organizations, individuals, and government agencies. Companies need to audit IoT controls regularly to ensure the security of all aspects of the IoT environment. 

Audit the security of IoT devices as it generally assesses all exposed infrastructure that manages IoT devices, including wireless connections devices, ports exposed by the device, and backend services. Security is the fundamental issue of every IoT deployment. However, organizations neglect it at any time during the development of a system. IoT auditing means analyzing the following.

  • Analyze the firmware of IoT devices
  • Detect potential vulnerabilities in embedded devices’ hardware
  • Assess the security of applications and software.

With an IoT security audit, you can detect vulnerabilities in IoT devices before hackers exploit them and reduce the risk of attacks.

Here are some reasons you need to audit the security of IoT devices.

  • Early-stage detection_ It helps reduce risks by detecting and remediating vulnerabilities and deploying them to the maximum security level of IoT devices.
  • Enhance security_ It increases end-user confidence and the organization’s reputation by enhancing your defense mechanism and meeting the high-security standards.
  • Reveal vulnerabilities_ It helps reveal the risk of data breaches that hackers could exploit to access your IT infrastructure and environment and reduce the risks of compliance penalties.

Open-Source Tools To Audit The Security Of IoT Devices

There are several tools for IoT devices’ security auditing. However, not all of them are suitable for your organization. You must pick the most suitable based on your requirements. We have compiled a list of some best tools to ease your burden. Here are some most widely used open-source tools to audit the security of IoT devices. 

Routersploit

RouterSploit is an open-source exploitation tool dedicated to embedded services. It has several exploits for various router models with the ability to check whether the remote target is exposed to risks before sending off an exploit. RouterSploit framework consists of different modules that help penetration testing operations. These include

  • Exploits_ It’s a module taking advantage of detected vulnerabilities.
  • Scanner_ It’s a module that checks if the target is vulnerable to any exploit.
  • Creds_ It’s a module designed to test all credentials against network services.
  • Payloads_ These are responsible for generating payloads for different injection points and architectures.
  • Generic_ These modules perform generic attacks.

Key Features

  • It supports brute force for several network services.
  • It has universal modules that can be used for different models.
  • Open-source code and command-line navigation
  • Interactive shell logic to build your own tools

Organizations use RouterSploit not because not because they are interested in the security of embedded devices but because they want to use the interactive shell logic. This tool lets you wrap your application easily inside a customized interactive shell.  

PENIOT

PENIOT is a security auditing that helps penetrate/test devices. It targets their internet connectivity with different security attacks. In simple words, PENIOT is a penetration testing tool for the Internet of Things that exposes devices to both active and passive security attacks. 

By default, PENIOT is a highly extensible tool and it consists of several IoT protocols and security attacks for those protocols. The main goal of this security auditing tool is to accelerate the processes of security testing. 

It supports the following protocols:

  • Advanced Message Queuing Protocol
  • Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Constraint Application Tool
  • Message Queuing Telemetry Transport

PENIOT helps you perform active security attacks after deciding the target device and necessary information. Moreover, you can also perform passive security attacks on that device including, breaching of confidentiality, reaching traffic analysis, etc. with this tool, you can figure out security flaws on your IoT devices. 

Key Features

  • It has an easy-to-use graphical user interface.
  • PENIOT provides automated penetration testing with several security attacks.
  • It is highly scalable.
  • It helps users integrate new attacks and protocols.
  • With PENIOT, both active and passive security attacks can be semi-automated or fully automated. 
  • It also provides a report generation facility. 
  • It creates a fast end-to-end product testing environment.

Objection

Objection is a runtime mobile exploration toolkit designed to help you evaluate the security posture of your mobile apps without requiring a jailbreak. Objection aims to let the user call the main actions offered by Frida. Otherwise, the user needs to create a single script for each application that must be tested.

The project name explains the approach whereby runtime-specific objects are injected into a running process and run using Frida.

Key Features

  • Supports both Android and iOS.
  • Inspect and interact with the container file system
  • Dynamically dump parameters using methods called as you use the target application.
  • Perform common SSL pinning bypasses.
  • Explore and manipulate objects on the heap
  • Perform memory relevant tasks, such as patching and dumping
  • Execute custom Frida scripts
  • Dump iOS keychains and export them to a file.
  • Discover loaded classes and list their methods.
  • Interact with SQLite database inline without requiring to download the targeted database and leverage an external tool.

Binwalk

Binwalk is a great tool for analyzing and extracting firmware images including, but not limited to, UEFI images. It is written in python and helps search given binary images for embedded files and executable code. Also, binwalk can extract any file found in the firmware image.

Binwalk supports the following Operating Systems:

  • Linux
  • OSX
  • Cygwin
  • FreeBSD
  • Windows

Moreover, binwalk can analyze potential file signatures and filter out obvious false positives. It is a tool for signature analysis and extraction utility. Users can also customize and extend Binwalk through python plugins. 

Furthermore, the signature file format of binwalk is based on the libmagic file format. Binwalk is compatible with magic signatures and signatures created for Unix file utility. In addition, it can search for files, file system signatures, custom strings, generate an entropy graph, etc.

Key features:

  • Binwalk is written in python.
  • It provides top-notch documentation.
  • Easy-to-use and fast tool for analyzing and extracting firmware images.
  • It can extract various components of firmware images.
  • It can identify signatures matching various file standards and file types.
  • It also allows users to scan their own list of proprietary signatures.
  • It can also extract compressed file contents. 
  • It supports many forms of compressions. 

Firmwalker

Firmwalker is a simple bash script to search the mounted or extracted firmware file system, irrespective of where it is extracted or mounted. A comprehensive security audit can be performed using this tool. It will search the firmware file system for things of interest including: 

  • etc/shadow and etc/password
  • Search for SSL related files such as .crt, .pem, etc.
  • list out the etc/SSL directory
  • look for script and configuration files
  • search for .bin files
  • Search for common web servers used by IoT devices
  • Search for keywords, such as password, admin, remote, etc.
  • search for email addresses, URLs, and IP addresses
  • Search for common binaries such as FTTP, SSH, dropbear, etc
  • Experimental support for calling Shodan API via the Shodan CLI

If you want to leverage the static code analysis script, install npm i -g eslint

./firmwalker {path to root file system} {path for firmwalker.txt}

A file firmwalker.text will be created within the same directory where the script file is located unless you define a different filename as a second argument. 

It’s a great tool for scanning and detecting issues in IoT firmware.

Final Words

Today, the whole world is connected to the Internet and thus generating a lot of information and data that can be leveraged, analyzed and even exploited. Cybercriminals take advantage of data produced and use it against an organization’s reputation. Therefore, it’s essential to protect your IoT devices and IT infrastructure. Perform regular security auditing of IoT devices and protect them from being exploited by attackers. Choose and leverage the best tool based on your organization’s requirements. It helps detect security vulnerabilities and resolve them before they are exploited by hackers.

We hope this post will help you learn about the best open-source tools to audit the security of IoT devices. Thanks for reading this post. Please share this post and help to secure the digital world. Visit our social media page on FacebookLinkedInTwitterTelegramTumblr, & Medium and subscribe to receive updates like this. 

About the author

Arun KL

Hi All, I am Arun KL, an IT Security Professional. Founder of “thesecmaster.com”. Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Writer, Editor, Author at TheSecMaster. To know more about me. Follow me on LinkedIn

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