Vulnerabilities in the EZCast TV streaming stick can allow a hacker to take full control of home networks, steal data and plant bots, researchers at security firm Check Point have warned, with the TV device's flaws effectively handing over root shell control over networks in users’ homes or offices.
EZCast is a HDMI dongle-based TV streamer that converts a TV into a smart TV, enabling users to connect to the internet and other media. The technology is controlled through either a smartphone app or a PC.
The stick, which has five million users worldwide, also allows users to easily connect a TV to a PC to view and transfer videos, photos, music and files.
The EZCast dongle runs on its own Wi-Fi network, secured only by an eight digit numeric password. This login credential can be cracked quite easily using a brute-force attack, Check Point’s researchers discovered. After running the attack, a hacker would gain access to an associated network.
The vulnerabilities leave all information stored on users’ personal networks exposed to potential theft. As a result, all sorts of potentially sensitive information including tax returns, bank statements, and credit cards might be up for grabs by identity thieves and cyber-criminals.
The Check Point team discovered other serious vulnerabilities in the same device last year. Check Point tried to contact EZCast several times since its discovery in July 2015 to alert it of the findings, but there have been no updates made to the device.
The EZCast dongle is marketed by China-based Visonicom. El Reg put out a request for comment on Check Point's research to Visonicom and will update this story as and when we hear more. ®
EZCast got in touch to comment: "Any Wi-Fi [device] comes with security problem[s]. I'm not sure how many people [have a] fondness [for] hacking [their] neighbour‘s Wi-Fi. After all, the dongle encryption is WPA2, though the password is 8 digits. Why don't these guys mention the hackers can hack the WLAN though the Wi-Fi signal from a PC or mobile phone Wi-Fi dongle/module? It should [be even] easier."