Now that a patch has been circulated to vendors, researchers at Sentinel One have released details of a worrying bug in an IoT software driver called NetUSB.

The product comes from a Taiwanese hardware and software maker called Kcodes, which describes itself as follows:

[A] leading supplier and developer of USB over IP technology products. Today, over 20% of worldwide networking devices are embedded with KCodes solution.

The idea is a neat one: NetUSB is a virtual connector for USB hardware, so that you can plug a range of different USB devices directly into your router, and then access them remotely from some, many or all of the other devices on your network.

Instead of sharing a USB device such as a disk drive, a printer or a TV tuner by plugging it into your various laptops, desktops and mobile phones in turn, you hook up the USB device permanently at the virtual centre of your network by connecting it to your router.

Then you share it out using a “virtual USB cable” that shuffles the USB data over your wireless network instead of over a physical cable – in much the same way that Windows lets you redirect drive letters, directories and files across the network with the NET USE command.