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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Embedded OS Security Issues
This month seems to be "medical industry month" around here. My email has been loaded up with various hospitals and medical facilities. One of the topics that is hot right now is 'embedded OS' security issues. For example, the three devices shown in the image above all contain Microsoft embedded operating systems - Windows Embedded CE. (See

How many hosts on your network support an embedded OS? Is the vendor keeping those hosts up-to-date with patches and security fixes? An interesting question... this is a great reason to run OS fingerprinting against the range of IP addresses supported on your network (with permission of course) to find out where the addressable devices are. Listen to the network traffic and check out the endpoint listing that Wireshark provides. Any unusual devices around?

Some of our office printers have embedded OSes in them and can tell you they've never been updated by the vendor. What outdated OS is hanging around on those boxes? We're tapping into the nets now and doing some OS fingerprinting to see what we're up against - I suggest you do the same!

Have fun one bit at a time...