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Luca Bongiorni at Hardwear NL 2022

Luca Bongiorni

HandPwning: security pitfalls of hand-geometry recognition-based access control systems

Talk Title:

HandPwning: security pitfalls of hand-geometry recognition-based access control systems


Biometrics applied to PACS (Physical Access Control Systems) has been an hot-topic for a few years now. The spread of fingerprint or face recognition based access control and time attendance systems among corporate, industrial and military environments has surged. And with it, also the number of potential attack vectors has increased. In this talk, after a brief overview of the state of art of available PACS utilizing biometrics to authenticate and authorize users, we will investigate one technology among others (usually perceived less-invasive) that has been widely used in some specific fields (e.g. industrial plants, airports, food industry, etc.): the handpunch access control and time attendance systems. The handpunch PACS are based on the hand-geometry recognition. In this presentation we will have a look how this tech works and, in particular, we will focus our attention on reviewing some of existing handpunch devices: from a physical security POV until reversing the communication protocol. Moreover, during the presentation will be demonstrated how to remotely push a new super-admin user into it (i.e. persistent backdoor), how to dump existing users credentials and will be also released an opensource tool-suite: HandScan & HandPwner.

Eventually, thanks the cooperation with Shodan’s creator, it has been confirmed that more than 1800 of these vulnerable devices were found exposed on the Internet. Finally, we will conclude the talk with practical and actionable countermeasures to prevent these attacks and how to harden these devices.

Speaker Bio:

Luca Bongiorni is working as Director of the ZTE Italia CyberSecurity Lab and is also Founder of WHID - We Hack In Disguise: a cybersecurity boutique focused on R&D offensive hardware implants and IIoT Security. Luca is also actively involved in InfoSec where his main fields of research are: Radio Networks, Hardware Hacking, Internet of Things, and Physical Security. He also loves to share his knowledge and present some cool projects at security conferences around the globe: BlackHat Europe & USA, TROOPERS, HackInParis, DEFCON, HackInBo, Defcon Moscow, OWASP Chapters, Security Analyst Summit, etc. At the moment, he is focusing his researches on bypassing biometric access control systems, IIoT Security & Forensics, Air-Gapped Environments and IoOT (Internet of Offensive Things).