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A Universal Controller to Take Over a Z-Wave Network

Loïc Rouch 1 Jérôme François 1 Frédéric Beck 2 Abdelkader Lahmadi 1
1 MADYNES - Management of dynamic networks and services
LORIA - NSS - Department of Networks, Systems and Services, Inria Nancy - Grand Est
Abstract : Home automation systems adoption rapidly increases with the growth of Internet of Things (IoT). IoT devices are often equipped with wireless communication capabilities including WiFi, Z-Wave, or Zigbee to be remotely controlled and fit any home. They become thus natural targets for potential cyber-attacks, with the intent to take control over them and to eventually expose end-users to privacy , security and safety risks. However, realizing such attacks usually requires expert knowledge and costly hardware including Software-Defined Radio platforms for packets sniffing, spoofing, and injection. In this paper, we demonstrate that off-the-shelf hardware is sufficient to take over any Z-Wave network without knowing its topology or compromising any original devices and remaining unnoticeable for the primary controller. Our attack consists in building an adversary Z-Wave universal controller by reprogramming a mainstream USB stick controller. The technique exploits two features provided by the USB stick which allow (1) to set the network identi-fier (HomeID) and (2) learn many devices identifiers even if they are not physically available.
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Contributor : Loïc Rouch <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 15, 2018 - 3:49:55 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 4:48:19 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 1:09:07 AM


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  • HAL Id : hal-01684569, version 1



Loïc Rouch, Jérôme François, Frédéric Beck, Abdelkader Lahmadi. A Universal Controller to Take Over a Z-Wave Network. Black Hat Europe 2017, Dec 2017, London, United Kingdom. pp.1-9. ⟨hal-01684569⟩



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