Possible Scans for HiByMusic Devices

Published: 2022-06-28
Last Updated: 2022-06-28 15:52:36 UTC
by Johannes Ullrich (Version: 1)
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HiBy is a brand of portable music players built around the Android operating system. Probably a bit comparable to the now-defunct iPod touch, the device does use a close to "stock" version of Android and adds its own "HiByMusic" application as a music player. The hardware includes a Snapdragon ARM CPU standard on Android devices and attempts to distinguish itself with DACs claimed to be better than those found in other devices.

image of hiby music device
Image of HiBy device from store.hiby.com



The device offers a feature to load custom network radio station URLs via a "radio.txt" file. The file is a simple text file with a list of URLs. For example:

Radio Dismuke 1920s-30s pop/jazz,
SomaFM: Heavyweight Reggae, http://ice2.somafm.com/reggae-256.mp3
SomaFM: Groove Salad, http://ice5.somafm.com/groovesalad-256.mp3
SomaFM: Groove Salad Classic, http://ice4.somafm.com/gsclassic-128.mp3
(sample of a radio.txt file found here: https://www.head-fi.org)

I was a bit surprised that we recently started seeing some scans looking for radio.txt files based on our "First Seen" report. The number of submissions is small. (see the URL History for radio.txt)

So the question is: why?

  • I found one vulnerability specific to HiByMusic: CVE-2021-44124 . It is a simple directory traversal and may result in information leakage. I don't think this is all that interesting but sure. Maybe other vulnerabilities have not yet been made public, or the attacker is looking for generic Android issues
  • radio.txt files may include internal audio sources that are not openly advertised. This could leak information.
  • Or just someone essentially trying to build a "radio station spider" to find as many publicly available radio stations as possible. Anybody knows if this "radio.txt" file is unique to HiByMusic, or if other players use files like this?

At least one more report is not linked to our data observing requests for radio.txt.

Any ideas about what's going on here? 

Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D. , Dean of Research, SANS.edu

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ISC Stormcast For Tuesday, June 28th, 2022 https://isc.sans.edu/podcastdetail.html?id=8066


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