Reflections on the Engineering and Operation of a Large-Scale Embedded Device Vulnerability Scanner

Cui, Ang; Stolfo, Salvatore

We present important lessons learned from the engineering and operation of a large-scale embedded device vulnerability scanner infrastructure. Developed and refined over the period of one year, our vulnerability scanner monitored large portions of the Internet and was able to identify over 1.1 million publicly accessible trivially vulnerable embedded devices. The data collected has helped us move beyond vague, anecdotal suspicions of embedded insecurity towards a realistic quantitative understanding of the current threat. In this paper, we describe our experimental methodology and reflect on key technical, organizational and social challenges encountered during our research. We also discuss several key technical design missteps and operational failures and their solutions.


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Proceedings of the First Workshop on Building Analysis Datasets and Gathering Experience Returns for Security: BADGERS 2011: April 10, 2011, Salzburg, Austria
ACM Press

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Academic Units
Computer Science
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October 10, 2012