17.11.16

Z-Wave Alliance Issues New Security Requirements

Z-wave installer kit

The Z-Wave Alliance has added a security requirement to its long-standing interoperability certification with Alliance Board of Directors voting to make the implementation of the new Security 2 (S2) framework mandatory for all products that are Z-Wave certified after April 2nd, 2017.

“This recent decision to make the S2 framework mandatory on all Z-Wave certified devices stems from a growing need for industry leadership in the smart home space to take the security and privacy of devices in the market seriously,” said Mitchell Klein, executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance, “No one can afford to sit on their hands and wait – consumers deserve IoT devices in their home to have the strongest levels of security possible. IoT smart home technologies that  don’t act will be left behind.”
 
Z-Wave’s S2 framework was developed in conjunction with cybersecurity hacking experts, giving Z-Wave devices new levels of impenetrability. By securing communication both locally for home-based devices and in the hub or gateway for cloud functions, S2 also completely removes the risk of devices being hacked while they are included in the network. By using a QR or pin-code on the device itself the devices are uniquely authenticated to the network as well. 

Common hacks such as man in the middle and brute force are virtually powerless against the S2 framework through the implementation of the industry-wide accepted secure key exchange using Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH), the Alliance noted in a statement. Finally, Z-Wave also strengthened its cloud communication, enabling the tunnelling of all Z-Wave over IP (Z/IP) traffic through a secure TLS 1.1 tunnel, removing vulnerability.
 
The changes to Z-Wave’s technical certification program, which is administered through 3rd party test facilities in Europe, US and Asia, first established to test and certify Z-Wave devices in 2005 will check that all S2 security solutions, which contain rules for command classes, timers and device types are correctly implemented.