SHAKACON was a well run and friendly conference with about 300 attendees and high quality talks over 2 days. If you are thinking about it for 2016:

GO – If you live in Hawaii. This is a no brainer. The opportunity to go to Hawaii draws better speakers than you would typically see at a local conference, and how many security conference options are there in Hawaii?

GO – If you want to combine a vacation in Hawaii with some business. Book ahead and you can get some good airline rates.

NO GO – If you are on the mainland, except for maybe California, and are looking for a 2-day security conference. This is not due to any deficiency at SHAKACON, but it’s a long trip for a two-day event, where you are inside and could be anywhere, if you are going to turn around and fly home.

Now for the ICS related highlights from Day 2.

Scott Erven on Medical Devices

He unveiled about 100 default and possibly unchangeable passwords for GE medical devices … sort of. These default passwords were available on the GE site for many years. The image below is the word cloud Scott provided in the session.


Scott reported this to ICS-CERT. GE responded to ICS-CERT that these were default passwords that could be changed, so they are not vulnerabilities.

The problem arises when you read the GE documentation. They have numerous, very strongly worded warnings to never change the default passwords at the risk of permanently breaking the medical device, eliminating the possibility of vendor support and other terrible things. So as you can imagine almost all of the deployments of these 100 medical devices have the default credentials for administration and other roles.

I had two questions for Scott:

  1. Did ICS-CERT know about the documentation saying not to change the default credentials? Answer: Yes and they chose not to issue an Advisory.
  2. Did GE commit to modifying processes and updating documentation to recommend changing default credentials. Answer: Unknown. GE did not respond to Scott’s requests to meet and discuss their solution.

Craig Smith on Auto Exploitation Techniques

I had to skip out on the second half of this session, but not before hearing about two new tools. Craig began the session by stating that “hacking cars is not really that hard”. It basically is the insecure by design ICS protocol problem combined with a lack of attention to the security of remote access to the car.

Craig announced his CAN of Fingers (c0f) that will listen on the CANBus and provide a make/model/year of car based on the monitored messages. This can then be checked against a database of vehicle profiles and eventually choose what attack or defense code to run.

Craig also announced his F1337 tool that essentially creates a botnet of autos using a Fleet Management application. This video from NBC News shows the tool in action. He was careful to not point to any specific auto manufacturer or fleet management service, but it appeared to be a tool that would work across numerous vendors.