20M IoT Devices Putting Enterprises, Homes at Risk
PALO ALTO, Calif., NOV. 15, 2017 — Armis, the enterprise IoT security company, today announced that popular, voice-activated personal assistant devices including the Amazon Echo and Google Home were impacted by BlueBorne vulnerabilities recently discovered by Armis researchers. By exploiting unpatched devices, hackers can take them over, spread malware, and establish a “man-in-the-middle” attack to gain access to critical data, personal information, traffic and networks. BlueBorne is especially dangerous as hackers can execute airborne attacks through any vulnerable Bluetooth-enabled device without having to fool users by clicking on malicious links, downloading a file, or interacting with them in any way.
In the first wave of BlueBorne vulnerabilities announced, Armis revealed that more than 5 billion devices were subject to attack. In this new phase, researchers have confirmed the attack surface includes as many as 20 million Amazon Echo and Google Home devices running on Android and Linux. BlueBorne is the first severe airborne vulnerability found to affect the Amazon Echo; it doesn’t require an extensive physical attack.
Device Demand Climbing
Amazon and Google voice-activated intelligent personal assistants have created a multibillion-dollar market. It is estimated that there are 15 million Amazon Echos sold and 5 million Google Home devices sold, according to a September report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). Additional estimates indicate that more than 128 million Echoes will be installed by 2020 and that they will drive more than $10 billion in revenue for the company by then.
“Burgeoning demand for digital personal assistants is expanding the avenues by which attackers can infiltrate consumers’ lives to steal personal information and commit fraud,” said Yevgeny Dibrov, CEO of Armis. “Consumers and businesses need to be aware how their devices are connecting via Bluetooth, and the networks they may be accessing, in order to take security precautions to protect their information.”
In addition to Echo and Google-powered smart devices and assistants being present in consumers’ homes around the world, both are making their way into business environments, with usage taking place from the boardroom to the copy room. Armis data shows that 82% of its customers have the Amazon Echo in their businesses. A 2016 survey from Spiceworks revealed that almost half of IT professionals polled are either using intelligent assistants or will be within three years at their organizations. With the increased adoption of the devices, it becomes all the more critical that they are secured in their interactions.
“Rising airborne threats such as BlueBorne and KRACK are a wakeup call to the enterprise that traditional security simply cannot defend against new attack vectors that are targeting IoT and connected devices in the corporate environment,” added Dibrov. “Every organization must gain visibility over sanctioned and unsanctioned IoT devices in their environments. If they don’t, they’ll be victimized by a breach that can lead to stolen identities for customers and employees, impact their bottom lines, and even cost top executives their jobs.”
Armis coordinated the disclosed these latest BlueBorne vulnerabilities directly with Google and Amazon ahead of making the discovery publicly known. This allowed them to release appropriate security patches and updates ahead of hackers gaining knowledge of the vulnerabilities. Google has already released patches to its partners to address the BlueBorne vulnerabilities. Both Amazon and Google have released security updates to the Echo and Home respectively. Updates are automatic and users do not have to do anything to get them.
Scanning App, Patching Available
To help consumers, device manufacturers and business users determine if any devices in use are vulnerable to BlueBorne, Armis has released an app on the Google Play Store that can be used to identify impacted devices. It has been downloaded between over 260,000 times since being released in September, and can be downloaded here.
For a video explanation of how BlueBorne works and may spread, click here.
For a video demonstration of BlueBorne impacting an Amazon Echo, click here.
For additional information, please visit https://www.armis.com/blueborne/.
- Connect with Armis on Twitter.
- Follow the company on LinkedIn.
- Like Armis on Facebook.
- Subscribe to the Armis YouTube channel.
Armis is the first agentless, enterprise-class security platform to address the new threat landscape of unmanaged and IoT devices. Fortune 1000 companies trust our unique out-of-band sensing technology to discover and analyze all managed, unmanaged, and IoT devices—from traditional devices like laptops and smartphones to new unmanaged smart devices like smart TVs, webcams, printers, HVAC systems, industrial robots, medical devices and more. Armis discovers devices on and off the network, continuously analyzes endpoint behavior to identify risks and attacks, and protects critical information and systems by identifying suspicious or malicious devices and quarantining them. Armis is a privately held company and headquartered in Palo Alto, California. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
About Bain Capital Ventures
Bain Capital Ventures partners with disruptive founders to accelerate their ideas to market. The firm invests from seed to growth in startups driving transformation across industries, from security and cloud infrastructure to logistics and e-commerce to finance and healthcare. The firm has helped launch and commercialize more than 240 companies, including DocuSign, Jet.com, Kiva Systems, Lime, LinkedIn, Rapid7, Redis Labs, Rent the Runway, Rubrik, SendGrid and SurveyMonkey. Bain Capital Ventures has $5.2 billion in assets under management with offices in San Francisco, New York, Boston and Palo Alto. Follow the firm via LinkedIn and Twitter.