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HP Study Reveals 70 Percent of Internet of Things Devices Vulnerable to Attack

HP Study Reveals 70 Percent of Internet of Things Devices Vulnerable to Attack



HP Fortify on Demand is pleased to announce the release of its Internet of Things State of the Union Study, revealing 70 percent of the most commonly used Internet of Things (IoT) devices contain serious vulnerabilities.


Why we did the study

Late last year, we were hearing a lot about Internet of Things, and a bit about IoT security, but had not seen anything that focused on the complete picture of IoT security, i.e. all the various surface areas that represent the IoT ecosystem. So, we decided to start the OWASP Internet of Things Top 10 Project, which aims to educate on the main facets of Internet of Things Security that people should be concerned with.


Then earlier this year, we decided to use that project as a baseline for testing the top 10 IoT devices being used today. We bought them, shipped them to Craig Smith's home lab, and beat up on them for around three weeks.


What we found 

On average, 25 vulnerabilities were found per device, totaling 250 vulnerabilities. Highlights include:

  • Privacy concerns
  • Insufficient authorization
  • Lack of transport encryption
  • Insecure web interface
  • Inadequate software protection 

(full details here)



We have a number of things we'd like people to take from the report:

  1. Internet of Things security is not one-dimensional. You need to look at all the surface areas discussed in the report and in the OWASP Internet of Things Top 10 Project in order to have a complete view of your risk.
  2. IoT Security is not just a consumer problem. Corporations need to be looking at how their ICS and SCADA systems fare when looked at under a similar light.
  3. The current state of Internet of Things security seems to take all the vulnerabilities from existing spaces, e.g. network security, application security, mobile security, and Internet-connected devices, and combine them into a new (even more insecure) space, which is troubling.

We hope that this study will help consumers, SMBs, corporations, and manufacturers to gain some level of improved understanding of their risk related to Internet of Things security, and to place some focus on the issues highlighted in the report when making decisions in the future.


 A special thanks to Craig Smith on the Fortify on Demand Research Team for spearheading the testing efforts!



:: The Full IoT State of the Union Study


Ping us with any thoughts, questions, or comments.


 : :

Daniel Miessler is a Practice Principal with Fortify on Demand based out of San Francisco, California. His areas of expertise are web and mobile application security testing and building application security programs for the Global and Fortune 100. He can be reached on Twitter at @danielmiessler

About HP Fortify on Demand 

HP Fortify on Demand is a cloud-based application security solution. We perform multiple types of manual and automated security testing, including web assessments, mobile application assessments, thick client testing, ERP testing, etc.--and we do it both statically and dynamically, both in the cloud and on-premise.

  • Application security
About the Author



I am amazed that in this day and age we are still getting pawned by buffer overflow attacks. I have recently read an article about Android vulnerabilities on Ars that describes a real-world problem. It's always some obscure research lab that has invented some implausible situation. Well, thanks for awaring us from this internet of things application vulnerabilities.

New Member.

Interesting find. I just have a conversation with our SCADA contractor about their system security, which is not exist.


Unfortunately the link appears to be broken. Would be very helpful to have ab access to the report.



Super Contributor.

I am so glad you have brought some light on this issue. IoT to me seems like a smart way for companies to get better insight in customer behaviour. This might benefit the customer as well, but there are a lot of pitfalls and privacy issues involved.