Tuesday, November 4, 2008

MicaZ Code Injection

by Travis Goodspeed <travis at utk.edu>

Aurélien Francillon and Claude Castelluccia of France's INRIA recently demonstrated at CCS2008 a code-injection attack that reflashes Mica wireless sensors. This is more difficult than my TelosB attack because the MicaZ uses a Harvard-architecture CPU, one that is incapable of directly executing RAM. The authors use meta-gadgets, collections of executable code found already within the device, to copy the payload into executable flash memory. It's about damned time that someone authored a practical implementation for those things, and the paper is well worth reading.

If you quickly glance over the paper, you might miss the best part, which is not that the authors used meta-gadgets but exactly how they found the meta-gadgets. See the seventh page of their paper, the section entitled `Automating the meta-gadget implementation', for details of a modified CPU simulator that constructs meta-gadgets automatically from a given firmware image.


ExSp00k said...

Chances are good the signal shown to me was confusing your device. Instead of removing the cap try another with less capacity. On sharp rising the wave will sum and not be seen by the chip the same as shown on your scope.


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