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Fuzz Testing Finds IoT & ICS Most Vulnerable to Exploits

August 10, 2017

A fuzzing report has provided deep analysis on potential zero-day exploits in the open source protocols and common file formats used across six key industries, including automotive, financial services, government, healthcare, industrial control systems, and Internet of Things (IoT). The results stem from more than 4.8 billion fuzz tests conducted by Synopsys' customers in 2016 using the Defensics Fuzz Testing solution.

"Fuzz testing is a powerful component of the Synopsys Software Integrity Platform to uncover zero-day vulnerabilities and help organizations protect their software," said Andreas Kuehlmann, senior vice president and general manager for the Synopsys Software Integrity Group. "By analyzing such a large data set from our customers, the Synopsys fuzzing report provides visibility into unknown, hard-to-find vulnerabilities and highlights where security teams should look to improve the quality and security of their software."

Major findings of the Synopsys State of Fuzzing 2017 include:

•The overall average time to first failure (TTFF) — the first instance when a protocol crash is recorded — was 1.4 hours. In the case of more mature protocols, the length of time is in hours. But with less mature protocols, that time could be as short as a few seconds, indicating a higher likelihood of exploitable vulnerabilities.

•The least mature protocol tested in 2016 was IEC-61850 MMS (ICS). This is a niche protocol used in IoT and industrial control systems. The average TTFF for IEC-61850 MMS was 6.6 seconds.

•The most mature protocol tested in 2016 was TLS client (Core IP). This is commonly used for secure web browsing including online banking and e-commerce. The average TTFF for TLS client was 9 hours.

According to a recent Forrester Research report, "Security pros have applied fuzz testing and application hardening tools on web applications for many years. However, these tools are finding new footholds in the IoT market, where applications are hard to crawl with traditional prerelease testing tools like DAST and face the same tampering threats as mobile applications. As IoT applications become more prevalent, expect fuzz testing and application hardening tools to have a rebirth."

The Synopsys Fuzz Testing product was used to identify the infamous Heartbleed vulnerability OpenSSL, which had gone unidentified for more than two years and impacted more than 500,000 websites. The product uncovers hidden, unknown vulnerabilities and helps organizations improve software security with advanced test suites for 250+ standard network protocols, file formats, and other interfaces. It not only uncovers dangerous unknown vulnerabilities, but also provides expert remediation advice to help organizations future-proof the software they rely on.

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