Researchers from Avast discovered at least 600,000 GPS trackers that were exposed online with a default password of “123456.”
The devices were manufactured by the same Chinese vendor and the use of the same password poses severe risks to the users. Attackers could spy on the users, listen conversations made in the environment surrounding the GPS tracker, get and spoof the location of the tracker, send an SMS message to an arbitrary number to obtain the telephone number of the device and use SMS as an attack vector, replace the firmware of the device.
Avast focused its analysis on the T8 Mini GPS tracker manufactured by Shenzhen i365-Tech, a Chinese IoT vendor.
Conducting a scan of 1M IMEIs, Avast identified 29 different models of trackers sold by wholesaler Shenzen i365, and discovered that some models are being sold under different product names.
All the models have the same
Avast researchers found multiple issues in the implementation of the Chinese vendor, but the most severe one is that all user accounts use an easy to guess user ID and a password.
The GPS trackers use the same password of ‘123456’ for all the devices and the IMEI as users IDs, and experts noted that it was sequential allowing its enumeration.
“According to the specification, IMEI should be 15 digits long where the last digit is a so-called control digit. When we searched a bit more we found full IMEI inside the tracker (Figure 8) itself and later also on a small sticker on the box.” reads the analysis published by Avast. “The first part of so-called TAC consists of various sub-parts, but for simplification, we can say that it is assigned to the vendor in much the same way as prefixes of MAC addresses. What it also means is that the numbers of all other trackers are predictable and you can easily enumerate them. In combination with a fixed password, that means we could log into about 25% of devices in this sequence of IMEI numbers.”
The scan made by avast revealed that more than 600,000 accounts were still using the default password, even if it is possible to change it.
The use of default passwords represents a serious problem also for the Chinese vendor.
A hacker or a malicious competitor could hijack the accounts before the GPS trackers are sold and change their passwords. This means that real users will face problems after the purchase of the device and will contact the customer support flooding it of requests and additional work.
Avast attempted to report their findings to the Chinese firm, but it hasn’t received any reply, for this reason, the security firm decided to publicly disclose the issues.
Owners of the GPS trackers listed in the Avast report must change their passwords as soon as possible.