Tuesday, December 20, 2016

In Flight Hacking System

By Ruben Santamarta

In my five years with IOActive, I’ve had the opportunity to visit some awesome places, often thousands of kilometers from home. So flying has obviously been an integral part of my routine. You might not think that’s such a big deal, unless like me, you’re afraid of flying. I don't think I can completely get rid of that anxiety; after dozens of flights my hands still sweat during takeoff, but I've learned to live with it, even enjoying it sometimes…and spending some flights hacking stuff. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Let's Terminate XML Schema Vulnerabilities

By Fernando Arnaboldi

XML eXternal Entity (XXE) attacks are a common threat to applications using XML schemas, either actively or unknowingly. That is because we continue to use XML schemas that can be abused in multiple ways. Programming languages and libraries use XML schemas to define the expected contents of XML documents, SAML authentications or SOAP messages. XML schemas were intended to constrain document definitions, yet they have introduced multiple attack avenues.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Five Attributes of an Effective Corporate Red Team

By Daniel Miessler and Ryan O'Horo

After talking recently with colleagues at IOActive as well as some heads of industry-leading red teams, we wanted to share a list of attributes that we believe are key to any effective Red Team.

[ NOTE: For debate about the relevant terminology, we suggest Daniel's post titled The Difference Between Red, Blue, and Purple Teams. ]

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Multiple Vulnerabilities in BHU WiFi “uRouter”

By Tao Sauvage

A Wonderful (and !Secure) Router from China

The BHU WiFi uRouter, manufactured and sold in China, looks great – and it contains multiple critical vulnerabilities. An unauthenticated attacker could bypass authentication, access sensitive information stored in its system logs, and in the worst case, execute OS commands on the router with root privileges. In addition, the uRouter ships with hidden users, SSH enabled by default and a hardcoded root password…and injects a third-party JavaScript file into all users’ HTTP traffic.

In this blog post, we cover the main security issues found on the router, and describe how to exploit the UART debug pins to extract the firmware and find security vulnerabilities.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Inside the IOActive Silicon Lab: Interpreting Images

By Andrew Zonenberg @azonenberg

In the post “Reading CMOS layout,” we discussed understanding CMOS layout in order to reverse-engineer photographs of a circuit to a transistor-level schematic. This was all well and good, but I glossed over an important (and often overlooked) part of the process: using the photos to observe and understand the circuit’s actual geometry.

Optical Microscopy

Let’s start with brightfield optical microscope imagery. (Darkfield microscopy is rarely used for semiconductor work.) Although reading lower metal layers on modern deep-submicron processes does usually require electron microscopy, optical microscopes still have their place in the reverse engineer’s toolbox. They are much easier to set up and run quickly, have a wider field of view at low magnifications, need less sophisticated sample preparation, and provide real-time full-color imagery. An optical microscope can also see through glass insulators, allowing inspection of some underlying structures without needing to deprocess the device.

This can be both a blessing and a curse. If you can see underlying structures in upper-layer images, it can be much easier to align views of different layers. But it can also be much harder to tell what you’re actually looking at! Luckily, another effect comes to the rescue – depth of field.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Got 15 minutes to kill? Why not root your Christmas gift?

By Tao Sauvage

TP-LINK NC200 and NC220 Cloud IP Cameras, which promise to let consumers “see there, when you can’t be there,” are vulnerable to an OS command injection in the PPPoE username and password settings. An attacker can leverage this weakness to get a remote shell with root privileges.

The cameras are being marketed for surveillance, baby monitoring, pet monitoring, and monitoring of seniors.

This blog post provides a 101 introduction to embedded hacking and covers how to extract and analyze firmware to look for common low-hanging fruit in security. This post also uses binary diffing to analyze how TP-LINK recently fixed the vulnerability with a patch.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Inside the IOActive Silicon Lab: Reading CMOS layout

By Andrew Zonenberg @azonenberg

Ever wondered what happens inside the IOActive silicon lab? For the next few weeks we’ll be posting a series of blogs that highlight some of the equipment, tools, attacks, and all around interesting stuff that we do there. We’ll start off with Andrew Zonenberg explaining the basics of CMOS layout.

Basics of CMOS Layout

When describing layout, this series will use a simplified variant of Mead & Conway’s color scheme, which hides some of the complexity required for manufacturing.

P doping

N doping



Metal 1

Metal 2

Metal 3

Metal 4

The basic building block of a modern integrated circuit (IC) is the metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor, or MOSFET. As the name implies, it is a field-effect transistor (an electronic switch which is turned on or off by an electric field, rather than by current flow) made out of a metal-oxide-semiconductor “sandwich”.

 (Terminology note: In modern processes, the gate is often made of polycrystalline silicon, aka polysilicon, rather than a metal. As is the tradition in the IC fab literature, we typically use the term “poly” to refer to the gate material, regardless of whether it is actually metal or poly.)