How to hack smart refrigerator

I talked to people who work in a field called IoT forensics, which is essentially snooping on these devices for data and eventually clues. While U.S. law enforcement agencies and courts often don’t explicitly refer to data from IoT devices, those devices are increasingly becoming an important part of construction cases. . That’s because, when they’re at the crime scene, they hold secrets that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Secrets like when someone turns off the lights, makes a pot of coffee or turns on the TV can play a pivotal role in the investigation.

Mattia Epifani is one such person. He doesn’t call himself a hacker, but he is someone the police turn to when they need help investigating whether it’s possible to extract data from an item. He is a digital forensics analyst and lecturer at the SANS Institute, and he has worked with attorneys, police and private clients around the world.

“I was like… haunted. Every time I see a device, I think, How can I extract data from that? Of course, I always do it on test devices or under permission,” says Epifani.

Smartphones and computers are the most common types of devices that police seize to aid in investigations, but Epifani says criminal evidence can come from anywhere: “It could be one location. It could be a message. It could be a picture. It could be anything. Maybe it could also be the user’s heart rate or the number of steps the user took. And all of this is basically stored on electronic devices.”

Take, for example, a Samsung refrigerator. Epifani used data from VTO Labs, a digital forensics lab in the United States, to investigate the amount of information a smart refrigerator holds about its owner.

VTO ​​Labs reverse-engineered the data storage system of Samsung refrigerators after they provided test data for the device, extracted that data, and posted a public copy of the database on its website. their website for researchers to use. Steve Watson, CEO of the lab, explains that this involves finding all the places where the refrigerator can store data, both inside and outside the device, in the app or cloud storage. Once they had done that, Epifani got to work analyzing and organizing the data and gaining access to the files.

What he found was a treasure trove of personal details. Epifani found information about Bluetooth devices near the refrigerator, Samsung user account details such as email addresses and home Wi-Fi networks, temperature and geo-location data, and inventory statistics. hours on energy use. The refrigerator stores data about when the user plays music through the iHeartRadio app. Epifani can even access Diet Coke and Snapple photos on the shelf of the refrigerator, thanks to the small camera mounted inside it. Furthermore, he found that the refrigerator can hold more data if the user connects the refrigerator to other Samsung devices through a centralized shared family or personal account.

All of this doesn’t have to be a secret or not disclosed to people when they buy this model of refrigerator, but I certainly wouldn’t expect that if I was under investigation, a police officer— There’s an arrest warrant, of course—my hungry face can be seen every time. when I open the fridge looking for cheese. Samsung did not respond to our request for comment, but it follows fairly standard practices in the IoT world. Many of these devices access and store similar types of data.

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