Friday, November 14, 2008

Speaking at 25C3

BSLCracker 3.0

At the 25th Chaos Communications Congress in Berlin this December, I'll be presenting some new research in the security of the MSP430's serial bootstrap loader (BSL) as well as a nice little lecture/workshop combo on reverse-engineering the TI EZ430 development tool.

I intend to travel through France and England, returning in late January for S4, Miami. Please email me if you'd like to meet.

Cracking the MSP430 BSL
Day 1 (2008-12-27), 20h30 (8:30 pm) in Saal 3.

The Texas Instruments MSP430 low-power microcontroller is used in many medical, industrial, and consumer devices. When its JTAG fuse is blown, the device's firmware is kept private only a serial bootstrap loader (BSL), certain revisions of which are vulnerable to a side-channel timing analysis attack. This talk continues that from Black Hat USA by describing the speaker's adventures in creating a hardware device for exploiting this vulnerability.

While the previous part focused on the discovery of the timing vulnerability and its origin, this lecture will focus on the exploitation. Topics include a brief review of the vulnerability itself, PCB design and fabrication, the malicious stretching of timing in a bit-banged serial port, observation of timing differences on the order of a microsecond, and the hell of debugging such a device.

Repurposing the TI EZ430U
Lecture: Day 3 (2008-12-29), 12h45 (pm) in Saal 3
Workshop: Not yet scheduled.

USB devices are sometimes composed of little more than a microcontroller and a USB device controller. This lecture describes how to reprogram one such device, greatly expanding its potential.

At only twenty dollars, the Texas Instruments EZ430U is a bargain of an in-circuit debugger for the MSP430 microcontroller. The board itself is composed of little more than an MSP430 and a USB to Serial controller. The board's JTAG fuse is unblown, and full schematics are included in public documentation. This lecture will discuss the use of the EZ430U, not as a debugging tool, but as a development platform in and of itself. Topics will include the writing of replacement firmware, analysis of the default firmware, reprogramming the USB to Serial controller, and potential target applications.

Travis Goodspeed
<travis at>


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