Alyssa Milburn & Niek Timmers, Riscure.
The standard approach for breaking into embedded systems: Understand target, Identify vulnerability, exploit vulnerability. Note - he also is referring to ECUs found in cars.
To understand the embedded system, need to understand the firmware. To do so - you need to get a hold of a car! Good source for cheep cars with common components - recalled Volkswagens :-)
Today's talk is targeting the instrument cluster - why? Because it has visual indicators you can see what is happening - it has blinking lights! :-)
Inside the instrument panel you will find the microcontroller, the EEPROM. display and the UART for debugging (but, it's been secured). So, we have just inputs and outputs we don't understand. After much analysis, discovered most instrument panels talk UDS over the CAN bus. (ISO14229). This covers diagnostics, data transmission (read/write), security access check and loads more!
The team identified the read/write memory functions, but also discovered they were well protected.
Discovered that there are voltage boundaries, and if they go out of bounds they can stop the MCU. But... what if we do it for a very short amount of time? Will the chip keep running?
Had to get fault injection tooling - ChipWhisperer or Inspector FI - all available to the masses.
Fault injectors are great for breaking things. Once a glitch is introduced, nothing can be trusted. You can even change the executed instructions - opens a lot more doors! If you can modify instructions, you can also skip instructions!
They investigated adding a glitch to the security access check. Part of the check has a challenge, and if the expected response is received - access is granted. The team tried adding a glitch here, but were not successful, due to 10 minute timeout after 3 failed timeouts. As they are looking for something easy... moved on!
So, they moved on to glitching the ReadMemoryByAddress - no timeout here! They were successful on several different ECUs, which are designed around different MCUs. Depending on the target, they could read N bytes from an arbitrary address. It took a few days, but were able to get the complete firmware in a few days.
There are parameters you can tweak for this glitch - delay, duration and voltage. Lots of pretty graphs followed.
It's hard to just do static analysis, as there is often generated code.
So, they wrote an emulator - allowed them to hook into a real CAN network, add debug stop points, and track execution more closely.
By using taint tracking, were able to find the CalculateKey function with the emulator.
There are new tools coming or electromagnetic fault injection - expensive right now, but getting cheaper.
ECU hardware still needs to be hardened - things like memory integrity and processing integrity. Unfortunately, these are currently being only designed for safety (not security).
There should be redundancy and the designers should be more paranoid. ECUs should not expose keys - need to leverage HSMs (hardened cryptographic engine). Highly recommend using asymmetric crypto - so the ECU only has a public key.
Do better :-)
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