A group of researchers that analyzed security of a number of smart watches discovered a $17 smartwatch is sold with a backdoor in the pairing app.
Be careful of cheap smartwatch offered on the web, security researchers at Mobile Iron have found that the U8 Smartwatchavailable on eBay for sale is offered with an Android or iOS app that contains a backdoor that is linked to a Chinese IP address.
The discovery was presented at the BSides San Francisco conference and of course, the wearable device represents a serious threat to the users’ privacy.
The U8 smartwatch is offered on eBay for 15,99 Euro (just US$17), the buyers download the pairing app from an IP address reported on a piece of paper that comes with the device.
The smartwatch has 1.48″ touch screen and Bluetooth connectivity to mobile devices to control calls by using an Android app that can access the user’s contacts, call and SMS histories.
Mobile Iron research director Michael Raggo told the BSides San Francisco conference the watch is a threat to individual and enterprise security.
The U8 Smartwatch is only one of the list of devices analyzed by Raggo and his colleagues, including the Apple Watch running the WatchOS, the Samsung Gear 2 running Samsung Tizen, and the Moto 360.
“We ran dynamic and behavioural analysis (on the pairing app) and discovered that when it was paired, it started communicating outbound over a random IP address to China,” explained the Mobile Iron research director Michael Raggo (@datahiding)
“We don’t know what the IP address is. “In terms of corporate espionage, in terms of risk, there’s definitely a lot of suspicious behaviours there.”
Raggo has developed a Python tool called SWATtack tool that could be used for forensics analysis and vulnerability assessment on the smartwatches. The tool is also able to bypass PIN protection implemented on Samsung Gear 2 Neo watches and exfiltrate data.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.