Aug 06

cachestructOn the European security conference OHM 2013 a security researcher has demonstrated an attack that would allow a hacker to access and modify the Flash Firmware on a hard drive and program it to protect his access.

Firmware is code stored on a special flash-able chip on the drive. The built in code tells the drive how to work, how to read and write data. It is flashable (it can be reprogrammed) so the manufacturer can release updates to the firmware. Most people never re-flash or update their hard drive firmware.

At the security conference, the presenter demonstrated how the attack works. He ran the program to modify the firmware on a drive. He pretended his access was detected and the administrator password was reset.

The firmware was programmed to look for a special trigger code, a special website address perhaps, that once the hard drive cache sees, it grabs the password file the next time it is accessed and changes the password back to what the hacker set it to.

And it worked!
For more information, including a step by step explanation and proof of concept code, check out

written by d45id \\ tags: , , , , ,