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Blogs | INSIGHTS | September 7, 2017

The Other Side of Cloud Data Risk

What I’m writing here isn’t about whether you should be in the cloud or not. That’s a complex question, it’s highly dependent on your business, and experts could still disagree even after seeing all of the inputs What I want to talk about is two distinct considerations when looking at the risk of moving your entire company to the cloud. There are many companies doing this, especially in the Bay Area. CRM, HR, Email—it’s all cloud, and the number of cloud vendors totals in the hundreds, perhaps even thousands. We’re…

Daniel Miessler
Blogs | RESEARCH | January 25, 2017

Harmful prefetch on Intel

We’ve seen a lot of articles and presentations that show how the prefetch instruction can be used to bypass modern OS kernel implementations of ASLR. Most of the public work however only focuses on getting base addresses of modules with the idea of building a ROP chain or maybe patching some pointer/value of the data section. This post represents an extension of previous work, as it documents the usage of prefetch to discover PTEs on Windows 10. You can find the code I used and perform the tests in…

Enrique Nissim
Blogs | INSIGHTS | September 1, 2016

Five Attributes of an Effective Corporate Red Team

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. ] To be clear, we think there can be significant variance in how Red Teams are built and…

Daniel Miessler & Ryan O'Horo
Blogs | INSIGHTS | March 22, 2016

Inside the IOActive Silicon Lab: Interpreting Images

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…

Andrew Zonenberg
Blogs | RESEARCH | February 24, 2016

Inside the IOActive Silicon Lab: Reading CMOS layout

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.   Material Color P doping   N doping  …

Andrew Zonenberg
Blogs | EDITORIAL | March 24, 2015

Lawsuit counterproductive for automotive industry

It came to my attention that there is a lawsuit attempting to seek damages against automakers revolving around their cars being hackable ( The lawsuit cites Dr. Charlie Miller’s and my work several times, along with several other researchers who have been involved in automotive security research. I’d like to be the first to say that I think this lawsuit is unfortunate and subverts the spirit of our research. Charlie and I approached our work with the end goals of determining if technologically advanced…

Chris Valasek
Blogs | EDITORIAL | January 27, 2015

Life in the Fast Lane

Hi Internet Friends, Chris Valasek here. You may remember me from educational films such as “Two Minus Three Equals Negative Fun”. If you have not heard, IOActive officially launched our Vehicle Security Service offering. I’ve received several questions about the service and plan to answer them and many more during a webinar I am hosting on February 5, 2015 at 11 AM EST. Some of the main talking points include:  Why dedicate an entire service offering to vehicles and transportation? A brief history of vehicle security research and why…

Chris Valasek
Blogs | RESEARCH | September 18, 2014

A Dirty Distillation of Proposed V2V Readiness

Good Afternoon Internet,  Chris Valasek here. You may remember me from such automated information kiosks as “Welcome to Springfield Airport”, and “Where’s Nordstrom?” Ever since Dr. Charlie Miller and I began our car hacking adventures, we’ve been asked about the upcoming Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) initiative and haven’t had much to say because we only knew about the technology in the abstract.    I finally decided to read the proposed documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) titled: “Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications: Readiness of V2V Technology for Application” ( This is…

Chris Valasek
Blogs | RESEARCH | August 14, 2014

Remote survey paper (car hacking)

Good Afternoon Interwebs, Chris Valasek here. You may remember me from such nature films as “Earwigs: Eww”. Charlie and I are finally getting around to publicly releasing our remote survey paper. I thought this went without saying but, to reiterate, we did NOT physically look at the cars that we discussed. The survey was designed as a high level overview of the information that we acquired from the mechanic’s sites for each manufacturer. The ‘Hackability’ is based upon our previous experience with automobiles, attack surface, and network structure. Enjoy!

Chris Valasek
Blogs | RESEARCH | July 31, 2014

Hacking Washington DC traffic control systems

This is a short blog post, because I’ve talked about this topic in the past. I want to let people know that I have the honor of presenting at DEF CON on Friday, August 8, 2014, at 1:00 PM. My presentation is entitled “Hacking US (and UK, Australia, France, Etc.) Traffic Control Systems”. I hope to see you all there. I’m sure you will like the presentation. I am frustrated with Sensys Networks (vulnerable devices vendor) lack of cooperation, but I realize that I should be thankful. This…

Cesar Cerrudo

Thoughts on Supply Chain Integrity

In this video presentation, John Sheehy, VP, Sales and Strategy at IOActive, shares his comprehensive view on the myriad considerations facing business as they undertake supply chain integrity assessments, focused on securing operations.

Access the presentation