Research and Development


In this post I describe how my cheap magstripe reader wouldn’t read all magstripes, only credit/debit cards. This did nothing to help me understand what data was on my hotel key card – which is what I really wanted to know. Rather than take the obvious next step or buying a better reader, I opted to open up the cheap magstripe reader, probed around a bit and found a way to read the raw data off the hotel magstripes. What that data means remains a mystery so there may be a part 2 at some stage. Continue reading

This is the first in a proposed series of blog posts that plan to give an insight into the ways we devised to train up our team in hardware hacking tools and techniques. This first post acts as an introduction to the regime to show off each of the challenges we set up to train our team in the basics of hardware hacking. Subsequent posts will focus on how to solve some of the actual challenges used to train our consultants. Continue reading

Presentation on “interesting” features of the Intel x86[_64] platform (as given at 44CON 2017).

A lot of recent work has gone into the discovery, analysis, and (on occasion) marketing of hardware weaknesses in the Intel x86[_64] platform particularly with respect to how it is often implemented as part of specific motherboard designs. Some, such as the recent speculative execution borne attacks, are issues in the architecture itself. Other issues, however, affect individual implementations. This talk will take a wide-coverage “state of play” look at x86[_64] platform security covering:

  • Architectural failings in hardware design
  • Identifying security issues with modern computer hardware (treat it just like IoT devices!)
  • Attempts at restoring privacy, ownership, and security
  • Code and data persistence
  • How secure hardware can be re-used
February 16, 2018
5.7 MiB
MD5 hash: 912badf9570eef6597578674e52bbb9d

Modern autonomous vehicles use a number of sensors to analyse their surroundings and act upon changes in their environment. A brilliant idea in theory, but how much of this sensory information can we actually trust? Cisco’s Security Advisory R&D team, a.k.a. Portcullis Labs, decided to investigate further. Continue reading

The Bash Bunny is the most recent attack tool released by Hak5 for use by penetration testers. Although the primary focus of the tool is red/black/purple team engagements, it is a dynamic device allowing reconfiguration to suit the scope of work. Continue reading

Too frequently security professionals only consider software vulnerabilities when considering the risks of connecting devices to their networks and systems. When it comes to considering potential risks of connected devices and the Internet of Things, not only must security professionals consider potential vulnerabilities in the software and firmware of these systems, but also physical vulnerabilities in hardware.  This document considers the potential risk posed by hardware modification of seemingly innocuous hardware devices attached to critical systems, by showing how a simple KVM switch can be modified for use as a key logger. Continue reading