Opinions

YouTube’s Policy on Hacking Tutorials is Problematic

Recently YouTube changed its policy on “hacking” tutorials to an essential blanket ban. In the past, such content was occasionally removed under YouTube’s broad “Harmful and Dangerous Content” clause, which prohibited videos “encouraging illegal activity”. An updated policy now specifically targets instructional hacking videos. One major problem here is that …

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When Scriptkiddies Attack

Usually I don’t blog about the hundreds of ridiculous or down right crazy emails I receive each year, but this exchange makes all the others seem completely reasonable in comparison. Normally my unwanted emails range from people asking obviously blackhat questions presented as whitehat questions to offers of under the …

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MalwareTech SBK – A Bootkit Capable of Surviving Reformat

Since i got into firmware hacking, I’ve been working on a little project behind the scenes: A hard disk firmware based rootkit which allows malware to survive an operating system re-install or full disk format. Unfortunately I can’t post a proof of concept for many reasons (people have even contacted …

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Hard Disk Firmware Hacking (Final)

Core 2, I choose you. Less than 5 minutes after posting the last article, i discovered the final piece of my puzzle: a second CPU core. I was looking through my OpenOCD configuration when I realized it had a single tap definition hardcoded, so i decided to comment it out …

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Hard Disk Firmware Hacking (Part 5)

“Discovery requires experimentation” This weekend I made a pretty big breakthrough which lead to me making a few smaller breakthroughs and ultimately negating most of my previous research. I’ve also learned that “not reinventing the wheel” isn’t always the best option, especially when it comes to trusting other people’s research. …

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Hard Disk Firmware Hacking (Part 4)

It seems that the bootstrap code is just scattered around various memory addresses and there’s no simple way to dump all of it, so i decided to just dump a chunk of memory from 0x00000000 and look for any reference to addresses outside of that chunk (allowing me to build …

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Hard Disk Firmware Hacking (Part 3)

Before we get started with part 3, I have a few updates regarding part 1 & 2. I’ve found that the reset pad on the JTAG header is not actually a system reset (SRST) but a TAP reset (TRST), which isn’t very useful for debugging. Here is the updated layout …

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Hard Disk Firmware Hacking (Part 2)

Now that everything is ready to be connected, power up the hard drive an run openocd with the following command: openocd -f interface/<your interface here>.cfg -f target/test.cfg test.cfg should be the configuration for the CPU used by your hard disk controller, for most marvell CPUs this config should work. I’m …

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Hard Disk Firmware Hacking (Part 1)

I’ve not been doing much in the windows malware world for a while now, because quite frankly I’ve run out of ideas and I’m totally bored. Recently I decided to take the jump into electronics / hardware hacking and people have suggested I post some of that here. A couple …

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Darkode – Ode to Lizard Squad (The Rise and Fall of a Private Community)

For the 10 of you who don’t know, darkode was on of the most active English-speaking “underground” cybercrime boards. The forum was started around 2009 by a coder named “Iserdo” and gained popularity off the back of Iserdo’s bot, “Buterfly bot” (AKA Mariposa), which was sold there. In The Beginning …