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Keep your tentacles off my bus, introducing Die Datenkrake

hardware hacking
Dmitry Nedospasov
REcon 2013
Indexed on
Sep 17, 2014
File name
File size
31.8 MB

In hardware security analysis, success and failure are predetermined by one's tools. Coping with overwhelming streams of data can be near impossible in software alone. Implementing accurate timing can also prove to be challenging without a custom logic implementation. The solution to many of these issues is offloading much of the work to purpose-built dedicated logic. In this talk we introduce Die Datenkrake (DDK) a low-cost open source hardware project for hardware reverse engineering that implements the best of both worlds. The DDK utilizes two ICs: an Actel Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and a common NXP ARM Cortex-M3 Microcontroller (MCU). The FPGA is used to implement custom logic and provides several common embedded buses to the target device. The ARM MCU provides a user interface with a straight-forward configuration of the FPGA as well as a data interface to the PC. We use the capabilities of both ICs to implement efficient hardware designs with minimal overhead and software data processing. The talk will cover the features and design decisions made during the DDK?s development and design. We will cover the limitations of current embedded hardware analysis tools, from low-end to state-of-the art professional equipment. One of the main goals of the project is to highlight the advantage of offloading certain hardware functions to custom logic. For this reason, several common hardware attack vectors will be covered and we will present how they can be implemented by utilizing the DDK. Most importantly, we will be presenting practical examples where hardware analysis would have been hindered significantly absent the DDK.

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