There are more mobile devices than actual people on this planet. These contain loads of personal information, private files and sensitive data. We carry them everywhere at all times and as such, we are prone to lose them or leave them unattended. What are the real consequences of doing so?
News like the Apple vs FBI case help spread the idea that if a mobile device is locked, encrypted and protected with a PIN or biometrics, it is secure. The truth is, major OS including iOS and Android help and encourage you to downgrade security on locked devices through certain features and insecure settings. Personal assistants on mobile devices are very popular. Siri, OK Google and Cortana are just a few of them. They can perform multiple tasks including calls, sending emails and reading SMS among other sensitive actions. How secure are they? Can we trust our personal assistants to keep our data safe? How about displaying your notifications on the lock screen?
Let’s explore how secure mobile devices are when locked.
I just achieved one of my career goals, giving a talk at DEF CON. What an incredible experience, I cannot thank enough the amazing people that make this con happen. My talk’s title was “Compromising online accounts by cracking voicemail systems” and I thought I write a blog post about it for people that was not able to attend. The goal of my talk was to demonstrate that the current state of security of voicemail systems is not much better than it was 30 years ago and what exactly is the impact of gaining unauthorized access to a victim’s voicemail today.
Voicemail systems have been with us for a long time and started to become popular in the ’80s. Just like with any other technology, the hackers and phreakers at the time got busy testing the security of these systems. They left us an amazing collection of articles and e-zines with valuable information of the approaches they took to hack them.
With that in mind, as in any other research, we need to start by looking into prior art.
Apple introduced a new set of features in iOS 8 and Yosemite under the name “Continuity”. These features allow iPhones to work with other iDevices such as Macs and iPads in new ways. Handoff, Instant hotspot and Airdrop are some of the new services offered by Continuity. Among these new services is one named “Call Relay”. Essentially, it allows one to make and receive phone calls via iDevices and route them through the iPhone. This is not your typical VOIP service as it’s a P2P connection based on a proprietary protocol.
In order for it to work, both devices (iPhone and the iDevice that makes/takes the call) need to be on the same WiFi. This is what caught my attention. Apple’s security white-paper is short and vague on this particular topic. Only four paragraphs are dedicated to explain how Call Relay works and the only security relevant information is as follows: “The audio will be seamlessly transmitted from your iPhone using a secure peer-to-peer connection between the two devices.”
How it works
The first step is to get a high level understanding of the protocol and how the different actors interact. Wireshark is our friend here. For easy reading, we will take the case of an incoming call from now on. That is, somebody calls the victim, his iPhone rings but he picks up the call on his MacBook.
I am back from Amsterdam after presenting our research at Blackhat “Even the LastPass Will be Stolen, Deal with It!” together with Alberto Garcia. We had a blast at the conference and we got great feedback from the audience. Many asked for the video, slides, etc. so I though it was worth writing a post with all the details of our talk.
During one of Alberto’s red team pentests, he gained access to several machines and found that all of them had files with references to LastPass. He came to me and told me it would be cool to check how LastPass works and if it was possible to steal LastPass credentials. 10% of our time is for research so we made that our small project.
We found how creds where stored locally and wrote a Metasploit plugin so he could use it to extract vault contents from all the compromised machines. Thanks to the module, he was able to obtain SSH keys to critical servers and the pentest was a success.
As part of the time that my company offers for research, my good friend and talented hacker Alberto Illera () and me decided to “checkout” LastPass.
Many of you may already know (or even use) LastPass. It is a pretty well known password manager that stores all your passwords in a “vault” and keeps them secure. Additionally, it can automatically populate the credentials for you when you visit a website in which your are registered making it easy to use more secure, random and unique passwords. You will just have to remember the master password that decrypts the vault and that’s all.
LastPass comes in many forms. As a browser plugin, as a mobile app or even as Webapp.
As you may agree, a service that stores all your passwords sounds like a cool target so we decided to have “A look into LastPass”, understand how it works, check if it really keeps our passwords secure and why not? Try to find vulnerabilities.