Session
Programm CCCamp 2019
Security

Tales from Hardware Security Research

From Research over Vulnerability Discovery to Public Disclosure
Almost every microcontroller features firmware readout protection. It aims at securing the code, algorithms, and cryptographic keys against unauthorized access. Despite datasheets are promising strong security, our research shows that this is often far from being true. In this talk we want to shed light onto the "why?" and especially "how?" we approach the security testing of such protection mechanisms. Furthermore, we will talk about our attempts, discussions, and hassles from the vulnerability disclosure process - from successful ones to dead ends.

Since several years, we, Johannes and Marc, do practical research in the field of embedded system security at a research institute. In this talk, we want to give an insight into the daily work as hardware security researchers. This ranges from giving recommendations on how to secure systems up to verifying microcontroller security in real environments. However, no practical experience and information on the resilience of common microcontrollers is publicly available - a gap we want to close. Especially when trying to make use of the integrated security features, their effectiveness often collapses quickly due to design weaknesses.

Our focus lies on firmware protection mechanisms since they often are the root of security in embedded systems. During our research we were able to circumvent several mechanisms implemented from different manufacturers. In most cases, each attack requires only low-priced equipment, thereby increasing the impact of each weakness and resulting in a severe threat altogether. We will present one of those attacks, which can be performed within minutes, on stage.

Due to the severe impact of these results, we immediately informed the manufacturers in a coordinated disclosure process. However, this is often not as simple as expected and maybe even risky. In this talk we will shortly state the chosen approach and will then compare our expectations on coordinated disclosure with the real reactions of the addressed manufacturers - ranging from a friendly discussion, over tricking-into-NDA, up to ghosting.

Finally we will give some ideas on how to read between the lines in datasheets. Additionally, we will outline the legal gray area of applied security research in academia.

Additional information

Type lecture
Language English

More sessions

8/21/19
Security
Thomas Fricke
Curie
The talks shows the security model of Kubernetes and how to detect and fight security weaknesses with a few lines of scripting.
8/21/19
Security
Carsten Strotmann
Meitner
Seldom have DNS protocol changes sparked such fierce debate as happen in the case of DNS-over-HTTPs (Doh) and it's little cousin, DNS-over-TLS (DoT). While for many people it is a matter of black and white, the reality out there is various shades of grey ;) This talk will discuss the technical and political aspects of these DNS privacy protocols, where they come from, who is implementing DoH/DoT (both in the browser space and otherwise) and why it is a [good|bad] idea to support these protocol ...
8/21/19
Security
Egor
Meitner
Typical home networks use a closed-source Internet Service Provider supplied router/firewall and contain no restrictions on communications between clients within the network. The widespread deployment of network-connected appliances, control systems, lighting, etc, means that this design is insecure. This talk will cover the basics of networking, including why and how segregation of different types of network clients and traffic can be achieved to increase privacy and security.
8/21/19
Security
Meitner
We have learned that Math might be our last defence line against a real existing all-encompassing surveillance. One central challenge in this conflict is to combine authentication and anonymity. Number theory provides us many tools to create really surprising technologies for social communication. A lot of these technologies have not yet been brought to the world of concrete implementations. This has the implication that some ideas which have been presented years ago are not covered by patents ...
8/21/19
Security
Dennis Giese
Meitner
Remember the good old fun sport, where people bought random hard drives from ebay and did forensics on them? Did you know you can do the same thing with used IoT devices too? Most end-users have no idea what kind of information their devices are storing and how to securely clean their devices (if that even is possible). Lets explore together what the risks are and how we can extract that data.
8/22/19
Security
Eileen Wagner
Curie
This case study of NoScript’s UX redesign showcases tried and true design principles that make security tools usable to a wider range of audiences.
8/22/19
Security
cy
Curie
i'll show how the average developer (like me) can secure their software and systems by automatically checking for known vulnerabilities and security issues as part of their CI-Toolchain. The Talk will introduce basic security knowhow, then show how you can use Open Source Frameworks to check for vulnerable dependencies, containers and (web-)APIs in a live demo