Open-source tool scans for hackable robots on the net

January 21, 2019 // By Julien Happich
Open-source tool scans for hackable robots on the net
In the hope of making robot manufacturers and users react promptly to secure their installations, robot cybersecurity startup Alias Robotics has released the code for a robot scanning tool, able to track any internet-connected robots powered by ROS, SROS and other robot technologies.

The tool dubbed aztarna (“footprint” in Basque language) allows security researchers to audit robots connected to the web, locating and identifying robots and their components, not only in the open internet, but also upon industrial environments where robots operate.

Scan results for industrial routers by country.

As a demonstration, the company says a first scan using aztarna revealed close to 9000 insecure industrial routers potentially hosting more connected vulnerable robots. In a study titled "aztarna, a footprinting tool for robots", researchers from Alias Robotics detailed that 1586 of those insecure routers were in Europe, with France and Spain leading the ranking of misconfigured devices at 63% and 54% respectively. North American countries such as the US and Canada also showed a large proportion of misconfigured industrial routers.

Most popular industrial routers from Ewon, Moxa, Westermo and Sierra Wireless manufacturers were scanned as they represent the majority of industrial routers nowadays. 26801 routers were found, out of which 8958 (a stunning 33%) were tagged as insecure. Results showed that most countries follow a similar balance between correctly configured and misconfigured devices, Colombia being the most insecure country with 26 connected devices of which 100% were using default credentials.

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