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  • Writer's pictureInfosec In the City (IIC)

#IICSG2018 Training — Applied Physical Attacks on Embedded Systems

by Joe FitzPatrick,

This course introduces and explores attacks on several different relatively accessible interfaces on embedded systems. Attendees will get hands-on experience implementing and deploying a number of low-cost hardware devices to enable access, privilege, and deception which is in some cases imperceptible from software. We'll examine UART, JTAG and SPI interfaces on embedded devices, representative of a wide range of embedded devices that span consumer electronics, medical devices, industrial control hardware, and mobile devices. We will observe, interact with, and exploit each interface to use physical access to enable software privilege. 

Date: 22-23 May 2018

Cost: $2,500 SGD

Course Outline

Day 1

  • UART Background: UART History, Architecture, and Uses

  • UART Lab 1: Connecting to known UART

  • UART Lab 2: Identifying and analysing an unknown UART

  • UART Lab 3: Escalating and persisting UART privilege

  • JTAG Background: JTAG History and Purpose

  • JTAG Lab 1: Hardware and Software Setup

  • JTAG Lab 2: Escalating privilege via kernel

  • JTAG Lab 3: Escalating privilege via a process

Day 2

  • SPI Background: Flash storage and the SPI interface

  • SPI Lab 1: Accessing Flash from software

  • SPI Lab 2: Sniffing and Parsing SPI

  • SPI Lab 3: Dumping SPI from hardware

  • Firmware Background: More types of Flash, Storage, and Firmware

  • Firmware Lab 1: Dumping Firmware from Software

  • Firmware Lab 2: Manipulating Firmware Images

  • Firmware Lab 3: Finding Software Bugs in Firmware

Target Audience

This course is geared toward pen-testers, developers and others with a security background who wish to learn how to take advantage of physical access to systems to assist and enable other attacks.

Student Requirements

No hardware or electrical background is required. Computer architecture knowledge, low-level programming experience, and Linux command-line familiarity are all very helpful, but not required.

What to Bring

All hardware and software are provided for use in the class. Optionally, bring your own USB keyboard/mouse if you have strong preferences.

About the Trainer

Joe FitzPatrick (@securityfitz) is an Instructor and Researcher at Joe has spent over a decade working on low-level silicon debug, security validation, and penetration testing of CPUS, SOCs, and microcontroller. He has spent the past 5 years developing and leading hardware security-related training, instructing hundreds of security researchers, pen-testers, hardware validators worldwide. When not teaching classes on applied physical attacks, Joe is busy developing new course content or working on contributions to the NSA Playset and other misdirected hardware projects, which he regularly presents at all sorts of fun conferences.

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