A robot vacuum cleaner sure makes cleaning floors easier, but it may also ease the load for those looking to eavesdrop on private conversations. That’s the conclusion of researchers at Positive Technologies, who found that they could compromise the Dongguan Diqee 360 robotic vacuum to turn it into a mobile surveillance device.
Researchers found a pair of vulnerabilities, one accessible to remote attackers and one that requires physical contact with the machine. The remote vulnerability would allow an outsider to gain superuser privileges on the device, giving them the ability to run unauthorized software. The physical contact vulnerability exploits the mechanism for doing firmware updates and allows an unauthorized user to insert a microSD card containing unauthorized code.
In either case, the unauthorized code could use the physical capabilities of the robot and spread laterally inside the network firewall to gain access to cameras and microphones. Then it could use the robot as a hub for distributing the information to the attacker or even turn the robotic vacuum into a node on a botnet.
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