Thursday, 19 June 2008

New Advances in Java Forensics

Yesterday I released a bug with the Internet access software for the Jura F90 coffee maker. This is a high end coffee machine that connects to the Internet.

The vulnerability was one thing, and demonstrates the lack of concern many people have for appliances. The move to the Internet connected house needs to also address the security of these devices. As a result of finding the vulnerability in the coffee maker, I decided to explore what else I could do with an Internet connected coffee machine.

Top this end I have to announce a whole new branch of “Java” forensics. Pun intended.

The Jura coffee machine has a small programmable ROM that stores information concerning the host coffee maker. The coffee machine also has a clock and can be configured to automatically start and warm up ready for the morning cup of espresso.

Some of the details that are tracked by the machine include:
1. The total number of cups made,
2. Details on the last few cups made including time and type of coffee (espresso, demitasse cup etc), if 1 or 2 cups where selected,
3. The time that the machine started and shutdown and the time running,
4. The total service time,
5. The time since the last service and the service codes that are active and have been fixed, and
6. Serial number, ownership details and coffee preferences.

When the connectivity kit is used (as with mine) the information stored is richer and more accessible than with the appliance on its own. Fault diagnosis is far easier; hence the likely use of this software by people other than total geeks such as me.

What this means to Forensics…

Here we have a whole new field of forensic science, appliance forensics. If a person claimed they left the house at 17.00 and they where the last to leave, how do they explain how a coffee was make at 17.15?

If a husband states he was not with anyone on the weekend, his wife can check if 2 coffees where made at one time giving an indication of another person (or a really bad coffee habit).

So with the Internet fridge, Internet coffee machine, Internet Oven… who knows, maybe we have a new forensic field.

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