QUESTIONS FROM PENTEST READERS
Please explain your company's latest developments in cellular threat detection sensors/capabilities. What are the potential legal challenges of these technologies?
Recently it has come to our attention that the technology used to create fake cell towers has been more and more accessible to criminals. Due to that Pwnie Labs began researching how to combat this growing threat. By using off the shelf fcc certified 4g components in (mostly) the intended way, we were able to gain some useful metrics to detect these fake cell towers. While monitoring cell phone frequencies is against the law for anyone except law enforcement, by using fcc certified 4g hardware we have made great strides towards detecting and alerting when these "rogue cell towers" become active.
Do any of your sensors / software provide RFID reader detection?
Pwnie Express: Not specifically, however, there are many ways to detect threats like this. Most RFID readers have a range of 4 centimeters or less, while it may be interesting to attempt to detect them, it would be very difficult. That said, most illicitly installed RFID hardware is more akin to a credit card skimmer. A device which can read RFID cards are a long range (~10 ft) can be hidden near a legitimate reader and captures cards as the legitimate reader reads them. The vast majority of devices like this have either a wifi or bluetooth backhaul to offload the skimmed data, and we are able to detect such devices using these backhauls.
How does the bluetooth adapter in the Pwn Pad compare with Ubertooth?
Pwnie Express: Currently the across a range of our products we use a high power bluetooth dongle to actively scan and find discoverable bluetooth devices. Discoverable bluetooth devices are the most vulnerable because they can be so easily spotted, so this type of standard bluetooth scan can be a very valuable metric for getting some baseline visibility and security policies established. While the ubertooth is able to see more devices since it can passively sniff the air, the device is officially classed as "test equipment" and is not certified by the fcc. Due to the lack of certification of the ubertooth, we do not sell it at this time, however, we do include support for it across a range of products and it's as simple as plug and play to use the ubertooth instead of the standard bluetooth dongle we sell.
Are you working to add new platforms besides Nexus for phones and tablets?
Pwnie Express: Of course, these types of questions keep us up at night. Our Mobile Sensor Engineering team spends hours reviewing multiple android systems looking at which platforms best support our feature set. Most recently we did release the PwnPad3 based off a non-nexus tablet, Fortunately we were able to find hardware which better met our needs and released the PwnPad 3 with benchmarks that were more than twice as high as the PwnPad 2014 edition. We hope to continue to expand our device support, although it is very important to note that these are fairly heavy modifications to make things work as expected. Not only do we need to modify the base android load, we also have to modify the kernel to support the feature set we want (external wifi, bluetooth, etc) and install a full linux chroot with loads of pen-testing software. Picking the next platform is always a challenge, however, we are constantly improving the build system and looking for ways to improve our flexibility to use new hardware.
What are the differences between the community edition and the full version of the Pwnie products?
Pwnie Express: In a word, support. The community edition of the Pwnie Express products and the image we flash onto the devices we sell are actually identical at this time.