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Emerging Long-Range WAN Networks Vulnerable to Hacking, Compromise
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Jaikumar Vijayan
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Jaikumar Vijayan,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2020 | 5:31:15 PM
Re: Inaccuracies
The article makes quite clear that encryption is an issue only because the root keys can be easily obtained. The article also makes clear that version 1.1 addresses many of the issues raised in the IOActive report. The story in fact, lists the specific enhancements in the version.

It is also a fact, according to IOActive, that most currently installed devices are older versions. This is not just an opinion but is in fact something that is well known in LoRaWAN community/ecosystem. These devices are vulnerable to the issues identified in the story. New versions are unlikely to replace the older ones entirely. Rather they will coexist because many of the older devices can't be updated, according to IOActive.

Regarding, the DoS issue, here is what IOActive researcher Cesar Cerrudo says: "DoS can be caused once an attacker has AppKeys. Attackers can desynchronize devices since they can impersonate other devices for which they have the keys. They also can act as a rogue gateway and send commands to devices. In these ways, devices won't be able to communicate with the network since their transmissions won't be valid causing a DoS."
wte
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wte,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2020 | 3:07:17 PM
Re: Encryption
The encryption is two layers of 128-bit AES. Not really outdated. I assume you mean "keys" rather than "Keats" ?

I was a bit surprised after reading through the entire article that most of the vulnerabilities are not unique to LoRaWAN. For example:
  • Physical security and reverse engineering of a device. First, it's nothing new, and it's already being handled in newer devices using "secure elements" to protect the keys, preventing them from being retrieved even through a physical attack.
  • Fixed keys being stolen. LoRaWAN provides two ways of joining a network: essentially pre-shared keys, and keys that are renegotiated upon joining (OTAA: over-the-air authentication). The first method is never recommended for any production devices. Anyone releasing such a device simply hasn't read the specs, or anything else regarding LoRaWAN joins. 
  • Default passwords unchanged, etc. Again, nothing unique to LoRaWAN. Most of this type of issue is at the network or system level, regardless of wireless protocol

I'm glad they acknowledge that the v1.1 LoRaWAN spec addresses most of these issues. I was teaching on most of these vulnerabilities as early as 2Q 2018, and v1.1 was released later that year. Yes, it does take time for the changes to progagate into working systems, but that's the nature of rapidly-changing technology, and v1.1 has some pretty dramatic changes/improvements from the prior version.
wte
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wte,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2020 | 2:52:21 PM
Re: Sensors
When it's done in hardware, it doesn't take much power to do the encryption required for LoRaWAN. Many devices commercially available will run for 2-5 years or more on a pair of off-the-shelf alkaline C cells, or even 5-10 years on a 3.6V AA-size lithium battery. The key factors are limiting the frequency and duration of transmissions, and conserving power when the device is idle. Since NOT encrypting isn't an option for LoRaWAN, they've made it feasible even for low-power, limited-memory devices.
wte
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wte,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2020 | 2:45:37 PM
Re: Older devices
Many LoRaWAN devices rely on a separate chip/chipset that handles the LoRaWAN communications at the MAC and physical layers, and the MCU controlling the actual device may not be able to update the firmware inside the LoRa chip (separate from the MCU's own firmware). And, of course, many IoT devices were never made to handle updates of the device's main firmware itself, but this is changing as we collectively focus more on security. Newer parts of the LoRaWAN spec are providing mechanisms for firmware update over LoRa. This was demoed at the LoRa Alliance conference over 2 years ago. So while it's true that older devices won't be able to support newer aspects of the protocol, this is hardly a new scenario in technology in general. How many of us have a 10-year-old cell phone that can still communicate on today's cell networks?
techilife99
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techilife99,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2020 | 3:16:40 AM
Re: Older devices
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Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2020 | 10:07:31 PM
Older devices
Devices connected to these networks cannot be updated to new versions because of hardware limitations That is what I would imagined, these edge devices are old and could not support new protocols.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2020 | 10:05:35 PM
Attacks
While we havent seen attacks in the wild yet, we have proven with our research that the problems are real and can be exploited If there is vulnerability then it will be exploited obviously.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2020 | 10:03:18 PM
Everywhere
Other areas where organizations are increasingly deploying LoRaWAN include logistics, utilities, healthcare, and agriculture. I think this is good as long as we can secure them. We need smart of everything.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2020 | 10:01:15 PM
Sensors
The main appeal of the LoRaWAN protocol is that it gives organizations a way to connect sensors and other low-power devices to the Internet When it comes to sensors it may be that senders does not have enough power and bandwidth to support string encryption protocols and overhead
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2020 | 9:57:52 PM
Encryption
According to the vendor, its research shows that the encryption keys used for securing communications between devices, gateways, and network servers in LoRaWAN environments are weakly protected and easily obtainable I wouldve is it because outdated encryption protocol or weak Keats.
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