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Re: Chromecast devices?
From: Dexter Caldwell <dexter.caldwell () FURMAN EDU>
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2013 08:32:06 +0000

In theory you should be able to use a NAC to require these to be registered before accessing your wireless network.

-----Original Message-----
From: The EDUCAUSE Security Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:SECURITY () LISTSERV EDUCAUSE EDU] On Behalf Of Brian 
Sent: Friday, October 4, 2013 12:27 AM
Subject: Re: [SECURITY] Chromecast devices?

I bought a couple of these to play around with.  When in use, it's a relatively quiet device.  When not in use, it 
beacons quite a bit.  From a Networking viewpoint, I am not liking what I am seeing.

You are correct about the (lack of) security.  I read last week that Google will be pushing a code update out to the 
units over the next few weeks.  If your (or your students') units are able to access the Internet, they will get the 
update automatically.  Unlike the AppleTV or GoogleTV, you have no access to a Systems menu to force the upgrade.

We have 2000 resident students.  The last scan I performed found 120 unauthorized wireless devices in our res halls 
(routers, myfi's, wireless printers, apple/googleTV's).  We are starting to crack down on these.  It's a losing battle, 
but every little bit helps.  And yes, at $35 the ChromeCasts are going to pop up.  Luckily it looks like the only way 
to get them right now is from Google, so they aren't quite as convenient to acquire as the other devices.

FYI my device has not yet updated.  I may reset it to see if it forces an upgrade.


From: The EDUCAUSE Security Constituent Group Listserv [SECURITY () LISTSERV EDUCAUSE EDU] on behalf of Joe St Sauver 
Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 1:11 PM
Subject: Re: [SECURITY] Chromecast devices?

Joshua commented:

#Chromecast a cheap device that plugs into your TV and allow you to stream #content from your computer or mobile device 
to your TV.  We have students #who have purchased these devices.
#My concern is that as soon as you plug a Chromecast device into your TV, #anyone who has the Chromecast software (free 
download) can play content #on your TV (even harassing content or porn).

I was given one of these as a gift by a family member. (Thanks, son!)

The model obviously expects you to be operating in a closed personal WiFi network, e.g., Ye Olde Family WiFi Private 

That "residential deployment model" expects that if Junior or Sissy injects unacceptable content onto the family 
Chromecast, "surprising"
the family, Mom or Dad will detect the miscreant involved and discipline them, likely by confiscating their system or 
revoking their access to the family network until that pesron has Gotten the Message (as my long departed parents used 
to describe it, way back when).

Clearly this is not a terrific access control model if you've got
500 random people connected to an unsegmented ResHall wireless network, and of course, most schools aren't very happy 
if students attempt to "deal with the issue" by running their own private WiFi network, subordinate to their 
institutional connections, either.

A more sophisticated device pairing and authentication model is obviously needed (but hey, we're talking a $35 device, 

I will also add that I'd love to see more specific release notes.
For example, mid September, Chromecast devices got build 13300.
That build included "Security fixes" (see http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/2013/09/chromecast-update.html ), 
but, unfortunately, I've not been able to find any additional information about what those specific "security fixes" 
actually involved. Anyone else know?



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