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IT Security

A Thousand-Watt Shock For TP-Link Smart Bulb Users As IoT Device Threat Exposed!

By TD NewsDesk

TD NewsDesk

Updated on Thu, Aug 24, 2023

Overall Rating
Bulb: (Glowing warmly) Hey there, Fan! Long night, huh?

Fan: (Whirring softly) Oh, you bet!

Bulb: (Chuckling) I know what you mean! I've been lighting up rooms since dawn – but at least we make people's lives more comfortable, right?

Fan: (Nodding) Absolutely! You bring the light and I bring the cool breeze. Teamwork, my friend!

We know that banter sounds pretty hypothetical but IoT (Internet of Things) is making it possible for devices to connect with each other and the system. IoT has emerged as one of the remarkable technologies. In fact, according to Statista, revenue in the IoT market is estimated to hit the mark of USD 1,177 bn in 2023.

Yet, it’s not all positive as risks exist!

According to a recent report, researchers from Italy and the UK have unearthed four vulnerabilities in TP-Link's popular Tapo L530E smart bulb and the associated Tapo app. These security flaws pose a severe risk, potentially enabling malicious actors to steal their target's WiFi password.

The TP-Link Tapo L530E smart bulb has gained significant popularity across various marketplaces, including Amazon. Meanwhile, TP-Link's Tapo app boasts a user base of 10 million installations on Google Play.
So, what are the exact vulnerabilities.
  • The report says initial vulnerability revolves around improper authentication on the Tapo L503E, allowing attackers to mimic the device during the session critical exchange phase. With a CVSS v3.1 score of 8.8, this high-severity flaw exposes a pathway for attackers to access Tapo user passwords and manipulate Tapo devices.

  • A medium-severity concern relates to a lack of randomness during symmetric encryption, rendering the cryptographic process predictable.

  • The next issue arises from an absence of checks for the freshness of received messages, allowing session keys to remain valid for 24 hours. This oversight permits attackers to replay messages during this timeframe.

  • Moreover, switching gears to the broader landscape of IoT devices, a report highlights a significant challenge in the healthcare sector. According to a 2022 FBI study, "53% of digital medical devices and other Internet-connected devices contain at least one unpatched critical vulnerability," leaving them vulnerable to malicious actors.

Now the question arises: Why is this a pressing concern?
  • Recent projections suggest a staggering increase in IoT connections, reaching 83 billion by 2024, up from 35 billion in 2020. It equates to over 32,000 new device connections daily.

  • Until stricter security regulations for IoT device manufacturers come into effect, billions of new devices and associated risks will continue to increase.

  • Moreover, many of these devices operate outside IT operations and security purview, making them vulnerable until discovered and identified.

  • According to Forbes, recognizing this, the federal government underscores the importance of real-time visibility into connected assets as a fundamental prerequisite for enhancing security. This visibility aids in identifying vulnerabilities, detecting suspicious activity, preventing attacks, and mitigating their impact. Every organization should adopt this philosophy to safeguard their vulnerable devices and networks.

Fortunately, the tools necessary for this proactive approach are available and can be implemented without waiting for federal mandates or FDA deadlines. The urgency of the situation cannot be overstated. Every new IoT device connected to a network represents an attack vector that malicious actors will exploit to endanger the business.

Do you think it is possible to deploy measures that can steer clear hackers from stealing sensitive information through IoT-based access points? How should businesses respond to such vulnerabilities?

Our comments section awaits your thoughts!

First published on Thu, Aug 24, 2023

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Network SecurityIoT Internet Of Things IoT Devices Smart Devices Smart Bulbs TP-Link Smart Bulbs Cyber Threats Risks IoT Risk

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