Hijacking Kankun IoT Smart socket


The Internet of Things (IoT) space is very interesting as it encompasses hardware, mobile and cloud/web. Its a very good mix of technologies to hack around where you can sharpen your software as well as hardware exploitation skills and not to mention that exploiting IoT/smart devices is fun. We recently purchased this interesting looking device called Kankun Smart socket. The manufacturer of the device is www.ikonke.com from china. I searched for known issues with the device and found that people have already found the ssh root password for the device and have written scripts to access it via HTTP. However most of the places on the internet mentioned that the device and the mobile app use encrypted communication and no one had hacked it yet. So, we had a starting point ūüôā and straight away went after the encryption and below is the result.



Hardcoded AES 256 bit key used in Kankun Smart socket and its mobile App.

Vulnerability Description

The kankun smart socket device and the mobile app use a hardcoded AES 256 bit key to encrypt the commands and responses between the device and the app. The communication happens over UDP. An attacker on the local network can use the same key to encrypt and send unsolicited commands to the device and hijack it.






Kankun Smart Socket

Disclosure Timeline

  1. 25 May 2015 ‚Äď Reported to Vendor, no response.
  2. 29 May 2015 ‚Äď Reminder sent to vendor, no response.
  3. 5 June 2015 ‚Äď Public disclosure.


  1. Aseem Jakhar
  2. Since at the time of publishing the finding, we searched online for the same and found that someone else had also published the key. In good faith we would like to mention the same person who goes by the handle: kankun hacker – https://plus.google.com/109112844319840106704/posts although both the research were independent of each other and we do not know who kankun hacker is.

PoC exploit source code


Technical details

We performed our analysis on the Android App and the device. The user manual specifies the app to be used for the device – http://kk.huafeng.com:8081/none/android/smartwifi.apk The smart socket has a newer version on the app on google play store which is also vulnerable – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hangzhou.zx

App image source:




  • The communication between the app and the device happens over UDP.
  • The commands are Broadcasted on the network to UDP destination port 27431

App Reversing

  • We decompiled the app using using apktool
  • The app has a native shared library libNDK_03.so which contains the encryption logic and the hard-coded key
  • We analysed the app and got an idea of the command/response protocol being used between the app and the device.
  • The Java code uses JNI functions to encrypt and decrypt the commands and responses. The functions are encode() and decode(). Interestingly there is also a function called add() which adds the two parameters and returns the result. This must definitely be a testing fuction used while starting to develop the library :).
  • The command and response for switching ON and OFF is a 4 step process
    • Step 1 – App sends an Open/Close request (Open means Switch ON, close means Switch OFF)
    • Step 2 – Device sends a response containing a confirmation ID (a number)
    • Step 3 – App sends the confirmation request along with the confirmation ID received from the Device
    • Step 4 – Device sends an Acknowledgement and Switches the device ON/OFF
    • An example of the communication protocol to Switch ON the device, assuming the MAC address of the device is ‚Äúde:ad:de:ad:de:ad‚ÄĚ, the password set by the user is ‚Äúsecretpass‚ÄĚ and the confirmation ID is 70018. If the user does not set any encryption password the string ‚Äúnopassword‚ÄĚ is used.

APP –> lan_phone%de:ad:de:ad:de:ad%secretpass%open%request –> Device
DEVICE –> lan_device%de:ad:de:ad:de:ad%secretpass%confirm#70018%rack –> APP

APP –> lan_phone%de:ad:de:ad:de:ad%secretpass%confirm#70018%request –> DEVICE
DEVICE –> lan_device%de:ad:de:ad:de:ad%secretpass%open%rack –> APP

  • As you can see above, the communication is a simple string where fields are separated by the % character. The fields are self explanatory. There is also an option of wan_phone and wan_device which we did not test.
  • A quick strings output showed up the key along with other strings. This particular string looked a little intersting and we started reversing the native library.
  • Output of $ strings libNDK_03.so


  • By the way the installed library is not stripped ūüėČ
  • In the library the JNI encode/decode functions call EncryptData/DecryptData respectively

00003990 <Java_hangzhou_kankun_WifiJniC_encode>:
   3990:       b5f0           push   {r4, r5, r6, r7, lr}
   3992:       b085          sub     sp, #20
   3994:       1c11           adds   r1, r2, #0
¬†¬† ….
   39b6:       2380           movs   r3, #128       ; 0x80
   39b8:       f7ff ff0e       bl     37d8 <EncryptData>
¬†¬†¬†¬† ….

  • The EncryptData internally calls aes functions which means it is using AES encryption

000037d8 <EncryptData>:
   37d8:       b5f0           push   {r4, r5, r6, r7, lr}
   37da:       465f           mov     r7, fp
   37dc:       4656            mov     r6, sl
¬†¬† ….
   3868:       9001           str     r0, [sp, #4]
   386a:       f7fd fb8b       bl     f84 <aes_set_key>
¬†¬† ….
   38be:       1c29           adds   r1, r5, #0
   38c0:       f7fd fd84       bl     13cc <aes_encrypt>

  • Now to find the key we look at the code of EncryptData. The below code generates the memory address of the key string within the library.

   3842:       4b4e           ldr     r3, [pc, #312] ; (397c <EncryptData+0x1a4>)
¬†¬† ….
   384a:       447b           add     r3, pc
¬†¬† ….
   384e:       3328           adds   r3, #40 ; 0x28
¬†¬† ….
   397c:       00003e96       muleq   r0, r6, lr

  • Lets look at the code:
    • The ldr instruction loads the value 0x3e96 in r3, which is the value at address 0x397c.
    • The ‚Äúadd r3, pc‚ÄĚ instruction adds 384e to r3. Because of pipelining and THUMB mode while executing the ‚Äúadd r3, pc‚ÄĚ instruction pc will point 4 bytes ahead of the address 0x384a i.e. 0x384e.
    • Finally the instruction ‚Äúadds¬†¬† r3, #40‚ÄĚ adds 0x28 (decimal 40) to r3.
    • In effect r3 = 0x3e96 + 0x384e + 0x28 = 0x770c which is where our key resides.
  • The key is fdsl;mewrjope456fds4fbvfnjwaugfo

   770c:       6c736466   # fdsl
   7710:       77656d3b   # ;mew
   7714:       706f6a72   # rjop    
   7718:       36353465   # e456  
   771c:       34736466   # fds4  
   7720:       66766266   # fbvf  
   7724:       61776a6e     # njwa
   7728:       6f666775     # ugfo

  • The algorithm uses 256 bits which is set in register r2 before the call to aes_set_key(). The below instructions translate to r2 = 128 Left shift by 1 = 256

3860:       2280           movs   r2, #128       ; 0x80
¬†¬† ….
   3866:       0052           lsls   r2, r2, #1

  • The same function i.e. aes_set_key() is called from DecryptData() as well.
  • We also confirmed that the key is being used by the UDP service listening on the device by simply running strings on it and we could see the same string in the program. There are two binaries in the device that use the key – kkeps_off and kkeps_on
    • Output of $ strings kkeps_off

pointer is null
pucOutputData too small
pucInputData dataLen is incorrect
pucOutPutData is too small

Hijacking the Smart Socket

Now that we have the encryption key lets go hijack the socket. Instead of writing your own openssl wrapper for encryption/decryption, we can simply use the native shared library to do the magic for us. A quick look at the IDA output shows that EncryptData() and DecryptData() are exported functions which means any native program can load libNDK_03 using dlopen() and family and can use these functions which is exactly what we did.

IDA output

.text:000037D8 ; int EncryptData(unsigned __int8 *pucInputData, int nInPutLen, unsigned __int8 *pucOutputData, int nOutputsize, int *pnOutPutLen)
.text:000037D8                 EXPORT EncryptData

But wait a minute! What if the user sets a password :O. Since, there is an option called Encryption in the app (which actually means set a password to be used between the app and the device communication and not actually an encryption passphrase), if the user sets a password, only that user will be able to control the device. Worry not! We previously saw that the app sends the commands as UDP broadcasts to port 27431. Which means anyone on the local network can sniff the command packets. So all you need to do is:

  1. nmap scan for UDP port 27431 on the network. When you find the device note down its MAC address to be used in the request.
  2. Encrypt and Send open/close request with default password string i.e ‚Äúnopassword‚ÄĚ
  3. Check the response
    1. If response received with confirmation ID goto step 7
    2. If no response received or response unknown goto step 4
  4. Listen on (broadcast address) UDP port 27431 and sniff all requests.
  5. Decrypt the request received and extract the password.
  6. Encrypt and send open/close request with the extracted password.
  7. Extract the confirmation ID from the response
  8. Send the confirmation request to the device
  9. Receive the acknowledgement response
  10. The device has been successfully hijacked


Comment ( 1 )

  1. I have the Konke K MiNi. I’m trying to get in on my network. The instructions to do so are in Chinese. I’m looking for a way to hack the device to get it on my network without using their instructions or apps.

    I’m aiming to have a raspberry pi switching my underfloor heating by sending commands to the Konke device.

    Well done on your reverse engineering work. Your instructions seem to be for once the device is actually configured to be on the network.

    I have my laptop connected to the wifi network that the Konke device creates after a reset. I’m given IP address I know that the device is at (MAC 28:d9:8a:84:c9:68).

    I can see that the device has a TCP port open on 37092.

    $ nmap -v -p-
    Discovered open port 37092/tcp on

    I’m able to telnet to

    But I’m stuck at this point. Would you be able to help me at all?

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