What is Flipper Zero?
Flipper Zero is a pocket-sized, open-source hardware security device designed for various purposes, including hacking, pentesting, and security research. While it can be a powerful tool for security professionals, it also poses a threat to corporate security when used maliciously or without proper authorization. We bought one to test its capabilities, so we could advise our clients. Is Flipper Zero a Corporate Security Threat?
Brazil seems to think so. It is one of the first countries to recognize the threat to corporate and government security. “The Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency is seizing incoming Flipper Zero purchases due to its alleged use in criminal activity, with purchasers stating that the government agency has rejected all attempts to certify the equipment.” (3/11/23)
These are some of the threats that Flipper Zero pose to governments and corporate security:
- Unauthorized Access: Flipper Zero can be used to gain unauthorized access to a company’s network or sensitive information. Its capabilities include wireless communication, RFID/NFC emulation, and various hardware interfaces that could allow an attacker to bypass security measures and gain access to systems or data.
- Malware Injection: Flipper Zero can also be used to inject malware into a company’s network or systems. Its hardware interfaces can be used to connect to devices and upload malicious code or malware that could compromise security and steal sensitive data.
- Physical Access: Flipper Zero’s compact size and portability make it easy to conceal and carry into secure areas. An attacker with physical access to a company’s premises could use Flipper Zero to gain access to secure areas or systems.
- Social Engineering: Flipper Zero could be used as part of a social engineering attack. An attacker could use the device to impersonate a legitimate user or device, gaining access to sensitive information or systems.
- Network Traffic Analysis: Flipper Zero can capture and analyze network traffic, including sensitive data, passwords, and other confidential information. An attacker could use this information to launch a targeted attack against a company’s systems or steal valuable data.
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth & Video Hacks: An add-on circuit board, called Mayhem Hat, brings more vulnerabilities to the party. It installs simply by plugging into the top of the Flipper.
- Controlling Traffic Lights: In addition to corporate security, public safety organizations have concerns too… Hacker Uncovers How to Turn Traffic Lights Green With Flipper Zero
If you need more convincing about the threat potential pop over to YouTube for their Flipper Zero hackfest of tutorials.
How to Protect Against a Flipper Zero Attack
To mitigate these threats, Murray Associates recommends companies implement strict security measures, including physical access controls, network segmentation, and security awareness training for employees. They should also monitor network traffic and implement intrusion detection systems to detect and prevent unauthorized access or data exfiltration.
Companies should also consider implementing a security policy that prohibits the use of unauthorized or unapproved devices, including Flipper Zero, on company networks or premises.
Regularly scheduled Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) inspections–recommended–will identify the emerging security vulnerabilities posed by Flipper Zero.
Legal Remedies for Corporations
The legal implications of using Flipper Zero depend on how the device is used, of course. Flipper Zero can be used for legitimate security research and testing, but it can also be used for illegal activities. If your security or IT department catches someone using Flipper Zero illegally mention the following prosecutorial remedies to your attorney.
- Violation of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA): The CFAA is a federal law that criminalizes various computer-related offenses, including unauthorized access to computer systems, theft of information, and damaging or destroying computer systems. Using Flipper Zero to gain unauthorized access to computer systems or steal information could result in prosecution under the CFAA.
- Violation of State Hacking Laws: Many states have their own laws that criminalize computer hacking, and using Flipper Zero to gain unauthorized access to computer systems could result in prosecution under these state laws.
- Intellectual Property Theft: Using Flipper Zero to steal intellectual property, such as trade secrets or copyrighted material, could result in civil and criminal liability for copyright or patent infringement.
- Violation of Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Laws: Using Flipper Zero to intercept or record electronic communications, such as email or phone calls, without the consent of the parties involved could violate federal and state wiretapping and electronic surveillance laws.
- Violation of Company Policies: Companies may have policies that prohibit the use of unauthorized or unapproved devices, including Flipper Zero, on company networks or premises. Violating company policies could result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment.
Remember, the legal implications of using Flipper Zero depend on how the device is used. It can be a powerful tool for legitimate security research and testing. Your IT Department may want to use it that way. Others may want to use it against you. Knowing how Flipper Zero can be a corporate security threat is the first step in the protection process. You’ve done that. Your next step… read how to hire a competent technical information security consultant.
Murray Associates is an independent security consulting firm, providing eavesdropping detection and counterespionage services to business, government and at-risk individuals.
Headquartered in the New York metropolitan area, a Murray Associates team can assist you quickly, anywhere in the United States, and internationally.