Positive Technologies Discovers Vulnerability in IDEMIA’s Biometric Identification Devices Capable of Unlocking Doors and Turnstiles

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Positive Technologies Discovers Vulnerability in IDEMIA’s Biometric Identification Devices Capable of Unlocking Doors and Turnstiles

January 14, 2022 – Positive Technologies researchers Natalya Tlyapova, Sergey Fedonin, Vladimir Kononovich, and Vyacheslav Moskvin discovered a critical vulnerability (VU-2021-004) in IDEMIA’s biometric identification devices used in major financial institutions , universities and world health organizations and critical infrastructure. By exploiting the flaw, which received a score of 9.1 on the CVSS v3 scale, attackers can unlock doors and turnstiles. The researchers claim that forcing the use of TLS as a management protocol will help eliminate the risk of bypassing biometric identification.

“The vulnerability has been identified in several lines of biometric readers for the ACS IDEMIA[1] equipped with fingerprint scanners and combination devices that analyze fingerprints and vein patterns,” says Vladimir Nazarov, ICS Security Manager, Positive Technologies. “An attacker can potentially exploit the flaw to enter a protected area or disable access control systems.”

A remote attacker can use the following commands without authentication:

  • trigger_relay to unlock a door or turnstile if they are directly controlled by the terminal
  • terminal_reboot to cause a denial of service

To eliminate the vulnerability, enable and properly configure the TLS protocol according to Section 7 of IDEMIA’s Secure Installation Guidelines. In future firmware releases, IDEMIA will make TLS activation mandatory by default.

Below is a list of devices affected by this vulnerability:

  • MorphoWave® Compact MD
  • MorphoWave Compact MDPI
  • MorphoWave Compact MDPI-M
  • VisionPass®
  • VisionPassMDPI
  • VisionPass MDPI-M
  • SIGMA Lite (all versions)
  • SIGMA Lite+ (all versions)
  • SIGMA Wide (all versions)
  • SIGMA Extreme
  • MY VP MD

In July 2021, IDEMIA fixed three vulnerabilities discovered by Positive Technologies experts.

About Positive Technologies

Positive Technologies is a leading global provider of enterprise security solutions for vulnerability and compliance management, incident and threat analysis, and application protection. Commitment to customers and research has earned Positive Technologies a reputation as one of the leading authorities in security for industrial control systems, banking, telecommunications, web applications and ERP, backed by recognition from the analyst community.


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