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A Behind-the-Scenes Look Smart Home Device Security Testing with Kudelski IoT Security Labs

In the rapidly evolving world of smart home technology, standards and regulations, ensuring the security of IoT devices is paramount. At Kudelski IoT Security Labs, we offer a robust and thorough testing process that helps manufacturers and design engineers safeguard their products. In this article, we dive deep into the intricacies of our testing lab, exploring the processes, methodologies, and outcomes that make Kudelski IoT a leader in IoT security.

Benoît Gerhard
Benoît Gerhard
Senior Director Security Evaluations, Kudelski IoT Labs
Updated on
July 10, 2024
🔒🔍 Inside Kudelski IoT Security Labs: Explore our rigorous testing process for smart home IoT devices! From advanced penetration tests to continuous firmware monitoring, we ensure robust security for a safer smart home ecosystem.
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The Typical Testing Process

When a smart home IoT device arrives at Kudelski IoT Security Labs, it undergoes a meticulous and comprehensive testing process designed to uncover any potential vulnerabilities and ensure robust security. This process follows several critical steps:

  1. Exploration Phase: The evaluation begins with an exploration phase. During this stage, the device’s standard usage and behavior are analyzed, along with a thorough review of the documentation and relevant open-source intelligence (OSINT) data. This helps identify security domains, interfaces, and communication protocols, laying the groundwork for a detailed testing strategy.
  2. Teardown and Component Analysis: Next, the device is physically dismantled to assess its physical implementation and identify individual components. Data extraction from external memories, often through chip-off techniques, allows for a deeper understanding of the device’s inner workings.
  3. Advanced Penetration Testing: This phase involves a series of sophisticated penetration tests, including hardware attacks, network attacks, software attacks, and local attacks. The device’s security lifecycle is also reviewed to ensure comprehensive coverage of potential vulnerabilities.
  4. Retesting: If the device manufacturer has addressed any identified security gaps, we conduct retesting to validate that the mitigations are effective and that the device meets the required security level.

Interoperability Testing

While we specialize in security testing, we do not conduct interoperability testing. However, for clients needing both interoperability and security assessments, we partner with third-party labs that focus on communication standards to ensure a comprehensive evaluation.

Identifying and Assessing Vulnerabilities

Security vulnerabilities and potential exploits are identified and assessed through a combination of advanced testing capabilities and expert analysis. Our security experts focus on validating business goals and thwarting hacker objectives by assessing the impact and likelihood of successful attacks. Key techniques include:

  • Common Vulnerabilities Exposure (CVE) Scan: Identifies known vulnerabilities in the device’s software.
  • Chip-off Data Extraction: Provides detailed insights into data storage and potential weaknesses.
  • Software Reverse Engineering: Analyzes the device’s software to uncover hidden vulnerabilities.
  • Communication Protocols Analysis: Evaluates the security of data transmission protocols.
  • Device Authentication Mechanism Robustness: Tests the strength of authentication processes.
  • Interface and Protocol Fuzzing: Identifies weaknesses through random input testing.
  • Security Code Review: Examines the code for security flaws.
  • Firmware Tampering and Rogue Firmware: Assesses the risks of unauthorized firmware modifications.
  • Hardware Reverse Engineering: Dissects the hardware to reveal potential exploits.
  • Side-Channel Attacks: Explores vulnerabilities through indirect information leakage.
  • Fault Injection Attacks: Tests the device’s resilience to electrical, laser, or electromagnetic glitches.
  • Timing Attacks: Analyzes the device’s response times to uncover vulnerabilities.
  • FIB Edit Invasive Attacks: Modifies circuits to test security.

Performance and Reliability Testing

At Kudelski IoT Security Labs, we focus exclusively on security implementation and robustness. Performance and reliability testing under various environmental conditions fall outside our scope, ensuring that our expertise remains sharply honed on security issues.

Compliance and Regulatory Testing

Kudelski IoT Security Labs is accredited for several certifications, including:

  • CSPN Certification for Hardware and Embedded Software (ANSSI)
  • Amazon Alexa Voice Services
  • Zoom Video Communication Built-in Device Security Validation
  • AT&T FirstNet
  • Ledger Crypto Wallet App Audit

In addition to these certifications, our security researchers assist customers in achieving regulatory compliance through pre-certification and gap analysis. This support extends to future regulations like the FCC Cyber Trust Mark, EU Radio Equipment Directive (RED), and the EU Cyber Resilience Act (CRA).

Comprehensive Security Evaluation

The culmination of a security evaluation at Kudelski IoT Security Labs is a detailed report that outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the device. This report includes an attack score for each identified threat and vulnerability, providing actionable insights for manufacturers. Beyond testing, we offer continuous support to mitigate risks and address security gaps through:

  • Firmware Monitoring: Daily scans to detect new vulnerabilities and ensure compliance with evolving regulations and security standards.
  • Post-Market Surveillance: Essential for maintaining security standards and meeting regulatory requirements, particularly under the CRA.


For design engineers and manufacturers, working with Kudelski IoT Security Labs means engaging in a rigorous and detailed security evaluation process. Our expert analysis, advanced testing capabilities, and commitment to continuous improvement ensure that smart home IoT devices are robustly protected against the ever-evolving landscape of security threats. By partnering with Kudelski IoT Security Labs, companies can not only secure their devices but also gain valuable insights into improving their overall security posture, ensuring a safer and more reliable smart home ecosystem for all users.

Fact Sheet

IoT Device Security Discovery

Understand the security level of your devices so you can fix identified security gaps.