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Blogs | RESEARCH | February 6, 2024

Exploring AMD Platform Secure Boot | IOActive Labs Blog | Krzysztof Okupski

Krzysztof Okupski, IOActive Associate Principal Security Consultant, has posted a blog in the continuing research into platform security. In a previous IOActive Research post on platform security (see ‘Back to the Future with Platform Security’), we provided a brief introduction into platform security protections on AMD-based platforms and touched upon the topic of AMD Platform Secure Boot (PSB). In this installment of the platform security blog series, we will dig deeper into the details of PSB, including a first glimpse of how it works under the hood,…

Krzysztof Okupski
Blogs | RESEARCH | January 18, 2024

Owning a Bitcoin ATM | IOActive Labs Blog | Gabriel Gonzalez, Antonio Requena, Sergio Ruiz

In this IOActive Labs blog, Gabriel Gonzalez, Antonio Requena and Sergio Ruiz, of IOActive Research, explains the steps they followed to identify a series of vulnerabilities (CVE-2024-0175, CVE-2024-0176 and CVE-2024-0177) that allows full control over Bitcoin ATMs. Nowadays, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies might look less popular than they did just a few years ago. However, it is still quite common to find Bitcoin ATMs in numerous locations. IOActive had access to few of these machines, specifically to Lamassu’s Douro ATM. This provided the team with the opportunity…

Gabriel Gonzalez Antonio Requena & Sergio Ruiz
Blogs | EDITORIAL | December 19, 2023

Navigating the Cybersecurity Threatscape of Today’s Airports

Everything is ‘Connected’ in Today’s Modern Airports Cybersecurity in global aviation is increasingly dependent on vulnerabilities in Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) systems. The definition of OT systems in this context is defined as hardware and software dedicated to detecting or causing changes in physical processes through direct monitoring and/or control of physical devices such as valves or pumps. OT systems are much less organized and are rarely monitored as closely as conventional IT networks. Airports use several critical OT systems, including baggage handling, airport refueling systems, runway lights,…

Kevin Harnett
Blogs | EDITORIAL | October 19, 2023

A SAFE Journey to Selling Devices to Cloud and Datacenter Providers

Observations from the OCP Global Summit | San Jose, CA | October, 18, 2023 If you missed it, there was a significant launch of the Open Compute Project (OCP) Foundation’s new community-led security program for improving device security underpins a fundamental change in the way device vendors and manufacturers engage and sell their products to the worlds leading cloud and datacenter providers. Beyond standing up a framework for driving continuous security conformance assurance, the Security Appraisal Framework and…

Gunter Ollmann
Blogs | RESEARCH | July 6, 2023

Back to the Future with Platform Security | Enrique Nissim, Krzysztof Okupski, Joseph Tartaro

During our recent talk at HardwearIO (see here, slides here) we described a variety of AMD platform misconfigurations that could lead to critical vulnerabilities, such as: TSEG misconfigurations breaking SMRAM protections SPI controller misconfigurations allowing SPI access from the OS Platform Secure Boot misconfigurations breaking the hardware root-of-trust Here we are providing a brief overview of essential registers settings and explain how our internally developed tool Platbox (see here) can be used to verify them and ultimately exploit them. In a previous…

Enrique Nissim Krzysztof Okupski & Joseph Tartaro
Blogs | RESEARCH | June 13, 2023

Drone Security and Fault Injection Attacks | Gabriel Gonzalez | IOActive Labs Blog

I recently published the full technical details to the research in this IOActive whitepaper. The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly referred to as drones, continues to grow. Drones implement varying levels of security, with more advanced modules being resistant to typical embedded device attacks. IOActive’s interest is in developing one or more viable Fault Injection attacks against hardened UAVs. IOActive has been researching the possibility of achieving code execution on a commercially available drone with significant security features using non-invasive techniques, such as electromagnetic (EM)…

Gabriel Gonzalez
Blogs | RESEARCH | February 16, 2023

Adventures in the Platform Security Coordinated Disclosure Circus

IOActive research members continue the work on UEFI security and coordinated disclosure challenges. Platform security is one of the specialized service lines IOActive offers and we have worked with many vendors across the industry. In a previous blog, IOActive research conducted research on various targets while developing tooling that we believe will help the industry make platform security improvements focused on AMD systems. In that blog we disclosed a number of security issues to ASUS and AMI in an SMM module called SecSMIFlash. This module garnered…

IOActive Research
Blogs | GUEST BLOG | December 13, 2022

Interdependencies – Handshakes Between Critical Infrastructures | Ernie Hayden

As of this writing, the United States was recently threatened by a major railroad union strike. The railroads are a major element of the country’s critical infrastructure. Their shutdown could lead to multiple, cascading impacts on the delivery of goods and services, not only in the US but also in Canada and Mexico. Shipping lines could also be impacted by a railroad strike, since they will not be able to receive or offload containers and cargo to and from rail cars. Per a CNN article, a…

Blogs | RESEARCH | November 2, 2022

Exploring the security configuration of AMD platforms

TLDR: We present a new tool for evaluating the security of AMD-based platforms and rediscover a long-forgotten vulnerability class that allowed us to fully compromise SMM in the Acer Swift 3 laptop (see Acer’s advisory). Introduction In the last decade, a lot of interesting research has been published around UEFI and System Management Mode (SMM) security. To provide a bit of background, SMM is the most privileged CPU mode on x86-based systems; it is sometimes referred to as ring -2 as it is more privileged than the…

IOActive Research
Blogs | GUEST BLOG | October 26, 2022

Remote Writing Trailer Air Brakes with RF | Ben Gardiner, NMFTA

Over the course of a few years and a pandemic, we (AIS and NMFTA) tested several tractor-trailers for the security properties of the trailer databus, J2497 aka PLC4TRUCKS. What we discovered was that 1) this traffic could be read remotely with SDRs and active antennas but, more importantly, 2) that valid J2497 traffic could be induced on the trailer databus using SDRs, power amplifiers and simple antennas. In this blog post we will introduce you to some concepts and the discoveries overall – for the full technical details please get…

Commonalities in Vehicle Vulnerabilities

2022 Decade Examination Update | With the connected car now commonplace in the market, automotive cybersecurity has become the vanguard of importance as it relates to road user safety. IOActive has amassed over a decade of real-world vulnerability data illustrating the issues and potential solutions to cybersecurity threats today’s vehicles face.

This analysis is a major update and follow-up to the vehicle vulnerabilities report originally published in 2016 and updated in 2018. The goal of this 2022 update is to deliver current data and discuss how the state of automotive cybersecurity has progressed over the course of 10 years, making note of overall trends and their causes.