Pwn the LIFX Mini white

LIFX mini White

Bought on Amazon (30 euros).

The lightbulb is plugged. LIFX app is installed on an Android smartphone. Wi-Fi connection is set. The lightbulb works fine.

Wunderbar, easy setup.

The Teardown

Butcher mode activated:

Classic tools for hardware hacking

Work in progress:

Fireproof paste all around

The most difficult is to clean the board and remove this paste.

The Setup

The major component of the module is identified as ESP32D0WDQ6, a SoC from ESPRESSIF.

Datasheet is available here.

SDK & Tools are also available on GitHub.

Some pins are soldered to easily connect with a FT2232H board. A little bit of PCB Reverse is needed.

Simple setup

Connections from top to bottom = GND, VCC 3.3V, ADBUS0, ADBUS1.

Once VCC is powered, the LIFX LCM3 is booting:

UART activity during boot. It connects directly to the SSID (here KabelBox-0570)

Vulnerability n*1: Wi-Fi credentials stored in plaintext into the firmware

Dumping the firmware is straightforward. ESP32 is set in Download Mode:

Download mode activated

then launch the read flash command from esp-tool to access the content of the memory: -p /dev/ttyUSB0 -b 460800 read_flash 0 0x200000 flash.bin

A simple research into the binary file flash.bin using an hex editor or even string|grep command is enough to retrieve the Wi-Fi credentials.

WPA2 key is stored in plaintext (ASCII encoded)

Vulnerability n*2: No security settings (at all)

To check the device configuration , E-fuses values are dumped: --port /dev/ttyUSB0 summary
Efuses content

According to the values, this device is totally open (no secure boot, no flash encryption, no JTAG disabled).

Vulnerability n*3: Root certificate and RSA private key extracted

Root certificate and RSA private key are present into the firmware.

Oh Jesus…


I decided to stop the investigation after that.


In a very short limited amount of time, three vulnerabilities have been discovered:

  • Wifi credentials of the user have been recovered (stored in plaintext into the flash memory).
  • No security settings. The device is completely open (no secure boot, no debug interface disabled, no flash encryption).
  • Root certificate and RSA private key have been extracted.


  • 24/05/2018: E-mail to LIFX. Want to discuss with their engineering team, asking for PGP keys.
  • 03/10/2018: No PGP keys, no feedback from LIFX during 4 months. Report finally sent via e-mail.
  • 04/10/2018: Acknowledgement from LIFX.
  • 17/10/2018: LIFX team confirms the vulnerabilities, asks for a call and a 150 days disclosure.
  • 23/10/2018: Call with LIFX team. 90 days disclosure agreement.
  • 23/01/2019: Posted.