Due to the fact they provide no traditional feedback (monitor) or input (mouse/keyboard) If one were able to compromise an embedded host it would be the perfect vantage point for a MiTM attack or a beachhead to launch other attacks.
In this video from DerbyCon, Daniel Buentello guides you through some of the steps from initial reconnaissance to building binaries for different architectures. The end goal is to take over the host without breaking designed functionality, being able to run third party binaries at start, and surviving basic removal techniques.
As part of this walkthrough Buentello is guiding you through the exploitation of the Belkin WeMo light switch appliance.
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