Pratap Chandra Allena

Product Security Engineer at Polycom Research Center

Pratap Chandra Allena

Talk Title

Abusing and Attacking Content Sharing Solutions


In the recent era, solutions that can facilitate sharing content using Unified Communications Infrastructure has become key differentiators for business communication, especially for collaboration among the teams during the meetings. The traditionally used solutions are "Interactive White boards" and "Desktop sharing".

There are many free and commercial applications available with different capabilities such as: screen sharing, remote access, IM, Audio / Video conferencing, sharing control, file transfer for 'Desktop Sharing' etc. On the contrary the "Interactive Whiteboard's" can be a computer having a touch screen or a dedicated touch sensitive device that works in tandem with a computer, which takes user input in the form of annotation, picture, text (handwriting recognition) etc. Both the modalities use a Client / server model communicating over a TCP / IP network to share content as a H.264 stream (or proprietary encoding) along with the voice / video.

With the advent of the smart devices, advancement in wireless technologies, cloud based technologies such as storage and computing, have significantly changed the way in which the users communicate and share content. Though the fundamental means of communication remained intact, the source of information and the way in which it reaches the conferencing device has been going through a sea change. Hence it becomes even more important to safeguard the data while at rest (storage) and while in transit (moving from storage to the conferencing equipment via BYOD / laptop computer). For the ease of sharing content, the modern devices are supporting content sharing via Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth (Classic and Low Energy), Miracast, Airplay, via a custom built thick client applications etc. As the number of features / functionalities on the device are increasing, the implementation of security controls around these functionalities are also necessary.

This paper attempts to uncover the attack surfaces involved in evaluating the security aspects of a content sharing device and the possible ways to implement security at each of the layers. The attack surfaces of this architecture are classified as follows: Miracast, BLE, Wifi Direct, Cloud based Portals, Thick Client Apps, Network level and finally hardware. The different areas where an attacker can gain foot hold on the device will be discussed along with the kind of vulnerabilities discovered / encountered.


An Information Security Enthusiast with 4+ years of technical experience in Product Security and is currently working as a Product Security Engineer at Polycom Research Center. His interest lies in Network Security, SDR and hardware pentesting. He is an active member of bug bounty programs and is a member of Synack listed as one among the top 20 researches globally. He spoke about Bluetooth Low Energy Security at multiple conferences such as cocon, EuropeanSec etc.

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