RF Remote controllers are used widely to operate various devices, the RF remote transmits the radio waves that corresponds to the binary command of button that you are pressing in the remote.

Recent research by Trend Micro reveals that millions of Industrial Machines such as Cranes, drills, and miners are using RF remote controllers that are vulnerable to command spoofing.

“Attackers can persistently and remotely take control or simulate the malfunction of the attached machinery, through attacks like command injection, emergency-stop (e-stop) abuse, and malicious re-pairing.”

The vulneranbility found with several vendors including Saga, Juuko, Telecrane, Hetronic, Circuit Design, Autec, and Elca.

Replay attack – The attacker records RF packets and replays them to obtain basic control of the machine.

Command injection – Knowing the RF protocol, the attacker can arbitrarily and selectively modify RF packets to completely control the machine.

E-stop abuse – The attacker can replay e-stop (emergency stop) commands indefinitely to cause a persistent denial-of-service (DoS) condition.

Malicious re-pairing – The attacker can clone a remote controller or its functionality to hijack a legitimate one.

Malicious reprogramming – The attacker “trojanizes” the firmware running on the remote controllers to obtain persistent, full remote control.

“By exploiting various vulnerabilities that we discovered, we were able to move full-sized cranes deployed in production at construction sites, factories, and transportation businesses.”

These vulnerabilities could pose a serious threat such as Sabotage and Injury, Theft and Extortion.

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