or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › 'BadUSB' malware lives in USB firmware to remain undetected, unfixable
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

'BadUSB' malware lives in USB firmware to remain undetected, unfixable - Page 2

post #41 of 69
I would like to see an investigation of USB devices (or even computers) from various manufactures to see if this technique is already being used.
post #42 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Nobody uses a 'UBS' connector. 1wink.gif

 

Well, they seem to be connected to Apple... raising the price target to $115 just last week. 1wink.gif

na na na na na...
Reply
na na na na na...
Reply
post #43 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

These are always proof of concept, until someone takes advantage of it. The problem is that there is no way to know if they are the first ones to discover this.

And yes, a cable can't do it, only a device plugged in.

But it's also why iPads and iPhones are preferred in organizations. The lack of a standard USB interface minimizes data theft, as infected USB sticks are one of the most common way of stealing computer data.

But can a cable stop it? Say Apple develops a lightning to thunderbolt cable. Even though both the iPhone and the cables lightning connector support USB 2.0 the iPhone wouldn't be vulnerable anymore because it's connected via Thunderbolt? Is that a correct assessment?
Edited by Chipsy - 8/1/14 at 8:12am
post #44 of 69

Any device (chip) with (unsecured) firmware can be (maliciously) reprogramed by anybody with that capability. Any hard drive you plug in could (theoretically) have some bad voodoo programed into the hardware.

I can see thumb drives being of greatest concern due to their ubiquity, passed around frequently, etc. but… Meh.

post #45 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Almost any computer's firmware can be overwritten. Apple updates firmware whenever there' sales problem with it.

Many small embedded devices do allow firmware to be overwritten, since almost all devices uses flash for firmware storage. However many of these require access to a couple of dedicated pins, usually implemented as a zero cost couple of pads accessible before its put in its enclosure.

post #46 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Funny that; I have almost the same setup as you: oMP with wired keyboard, trackpad, sometimes USB card reader. MacMini with HDMI to TV.

Sorry OT a bit 1smile.gif

Of course, smart people are bound to come to similar conclusions as to the best set ups 1biggrin.gif

I'd use HDMI if I could on the Mac mini but my old VGA monitors I am using are all analog. So stuck with a TB-VGA converters (same on nMac pro extra 2 screens). By the way, I was surprised to see they sell HDMI to VGA adapters ... isn't VGA analog always and HDMI only digital? Or am I missing something? If so eh?

I do have a pretty nice X-Plane 10 set up now on my nMac Pro running three monitors. Weird thing is I get a better frame rate of 40 fps (with X-Plane almost maxed out) when using one GPU for all three than when sharing GPUs where I get about 30 fps. Perhaps there is a logical reason for this as the windows is simply stretched across all three screens. Any thoughts on that?
Edited by digitalclips - 8/1/14 at 8:36am
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #47 of 69
Conspiracy theorists would say that the EU knew about the vulnerability and that's why they mandated that all mobile devices provide a USB port for "charging" so that they could use that port to spy on their citizens. /s
post #48 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post

But can a cable stop it? Say Apple develops a lightning to thunderbolt cable. Even though both the iPhone and the cables lightning connector support USB 2.0 the iPhone wouldn't be vulnerable anymore because it's connected via Thunderbolt? Is that a correct assessment?

The iPhone and iPad aren't connected with Thunderbolt. Apple uses the Lightning connector for that. Apple doesn t support the full USB proto call through iOS devices. You can't plug a standard USB stick in and send software down the pipe. It's designed to not allow that. That's why it's a pain to move data into, and out of an iOS device. Apple only allows certain types of data to move, and then, everything is sandboxed. As far as I know, there would be no way for this to alter firmware easily, and as Apple isn't using the entire USB firmware stack, this couldn't affect it.
post #49 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

Many small embedded devices do allow firmware to be overwritten, since almost all devices uses flash for firmware storage. However many of these require access to a couple of dedicated pins, usually implemented as a zero cost couple of pads accessible before its put in its enclosure.

Sure they do. The intention if to allow that. But iOS devices are different. They aren't open source, and don't have the vulnerability that open source has there. Apple doesn't publish their course code either, and everything, including firmware is sandboxed.
post #50 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The iPhone and iPad aren't connected with Thunderbolt. Apple uses the Lightning connector for that. Apple doesn t support the full USB proto call through iOS devices. You can't plug a standard USB stick in and send software down the pipe. It's designed to not allow that. That's why it's a pain to move data into, and out of an iOS device. Apple only allows certain types of data to move, and then, everything is sandboxed. As far as I know, there would be no way for this to alter firmware easily, and as Apple isn't using the entire USB firmware stack, this couldn't affect it.

So very smart of Apple I'd say!
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #51 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenly View Post

Conspiracy theorists would say that the EU knew about the vulnerability and that's why they mandated that all mobile devices provide a USB port for "charging" so that they could use that port to spy on their citizens. /s

I just think that the EU is stupid about a lot of things. They have some major idea, and don't consider all the consequences. That is one. They don't want new devices to include a charger. That's their major consideration, they think it's wasteful. So, instead, you'll have to use your old one, or buy a new one seperately. Dumb.

So if you have a new, bigger, phone with a bigger battery, you old charger will take a lot longer to charge. So you'll grumble about needing to buy a new, bigger, charger anyway.
post #52 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Sure they do. The intention if to allow that. But iOS devices are different. They aren't open source, and don't have the vulnerability that open source has there. Apple doesn't publish their course code either, and everything, including firmware is sandboxed.

I think I may have confused the issue - my point is many embedded devices are not open sourced either, but in any case in order to reprogram firmware on a lot of embedded devices you must remove the board from its enclosure. Not all embedded devices are equipped with boot-loaders.

I didn't think the article was just about iOS, but rather, that usb devices can be re-flashed to carry some kind of computer threat.

 

slightly off topic - Most of Windows XP was also no open source, but it was always much more vulnerable than some open source OS.

post #53 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The iPhone and iPad aren't connected with Thunderbolt. Apple uses the Lightning connector for that. Apple doesn t support the full USB proto call through iOS devices. You can't plug a standard USB stick in and send software down the pipe. It's designed to not allow that. That's why it's a pain to move data into, and out of an iOS device. Apple only allows certain types of data to move, and then, everything is sandboxed. As far as I know, there would be no way for this to alter firmware easily, and as Apple isn't using the entire USB firmware stack, this couldn't affect it.

I know it isn't connected with Thunderbolt right now, I suggested it as an alternative to the USB based Lightning connector they use now. So I suggested the possibility of a Lightning connector that supports Thunderbolt.
Edited by Chipsy - 8/1/14 at 9:58am
post #54 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


LOL, yes along with Flash and USB those Android and Microsoft devices are gong to have oodles of fun!

 

You realize Flash hasn't been supported on Android for 2 years now and that Adobe quit supporting mobile versions of Flash almost 3 years ago? The last version of Android to officially support Flash was Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Which, according to Google, is just 11% of active devices with an additional 14% of older (Android 2.2 and 2.3) devices.

post #55 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post

[
Although Lightning uses another connector which includes additions on top of usb it still uses USB 2.0 internally so I don't think it is exempt from this vulnerability.

 

Lightning is adaptive. It uses whatever it needs to use internally. It is incorrect to imply that it is simply USB:

 

http://brockerhoff.net/blog/2012/09/23/boom-pins/

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/05/09/apples-lightning-connector-finally-detailed-in-patent-filing

post #56 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by DewMe View Post

Fi
FireWire is no less vulnerable than USB. Attack vectors for FireWire have been known for nearly a decade.

Thunderbolt is believed to be vulnerable as well due to its design roots in PCI and its ability to interoperable with Ethernet adapters, which opens up another attack vector.

 

Citations, please.

 

Your mere claims are insufficient.

post #57 of 69
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post
…Lightning uses… …USB 2.0 internally…

 

Since when do we know anything whatsoever about the internals of Lightning?

 

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
…impossible to patch.

 

YAY. USB is dead now.

 

Originally Posted by tenly View Post
Conspiracy theorists would say that the EU knew about the vulnerability and that's why they mandated that all mobile devices provide a USB port for "charging" so that they could use that port to spy on their citizens.

 

I don’t claim they knew, but this proves my statement that government has absolutely no business telling humanity what technology to use. There is no possible way to support the EU’s decision.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #58 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryn Lowe View Post

My reading of this is that it is writing to the firmware of the USB controller which would be standard across the board no matter what the device. So in theory at least ALL devices would be vulnerable.
No way. I've made some USB firmware myself. I couldn't update the firmware over USB if my life depended on it. The "ALL" is nonsense. The capability to update the firmware has to be built and included, a lot of device makers don't need it and are just not going to bother. Also there are going to be a lot different architectures the firmware runs on, LPC1700 code is just not going to run on an LPC1200 or PIC.
Edited by draugminaion - 8/1/14 at 10:49am
post #59 of 69
Hmmmm wonder how that got in there? NSA spy who was put on the USB design crew? Just as their own files say they do.
post #60 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I just think that the EU is stupid about a lot of things. They have some major idea, and don't consider all the consequences. That is one. They don't want new devices to include a charger. That's their major consideration, they think it's wasteful. So, instead, you'll have to use your old one, or buy a new one seperately. Dumb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post

I know it isn't connected with Thunderbolt right now, I suggested it as an alternative to the USB based Lightning connector they use now. So I suggested the possibility of a Lightning connector that supports Thunderbolt.

I suppose that's possible. But Thunderbold at present is a power hungry device. I don't think we'll see it in small mobile devices for some time.
post #61 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post

You realize Flash hasn't been supported on Android for 2 years now and that Adobe quit supporting mobile versions of Flash almost 3 years ago? The last version of Android to officially support Flash was Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Which, according to Google, is just 11% of active devices with an additional 14% of older (Android 2.2 and 2.3) devices.

First time I think I've heard low Android adoption numbers spun positively! 1wink.gif

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #62 of 69
post #63 of 69

Does this work only with data ports or can it be used in "charging stations" seen everywhere?  I've seen charging stations at the zoo and airports. It would be easy for someone to infect thousands of people silently using those stations.

post #64 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post

You realize Flash hasn't been supported on Android for 2 years now and that Adobe quit supporting mobile versions of Flash almost 3 years ago? The last version of Android to officially support Flash was Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Which, according to Google, is just 11% of active devices with an additional 14% of older (Android 2.2 and 2.3) devices.

Nope i didn't, I don't read of take any notice of anything to do with Android .. but I do remember here on AI all the Android and Microsoft fanboys screaming away that it was essential to have Flash. So with your information, I have to assume I missed all the apologies and groveling in penance by these folks. Darn it! Have they all pretty much (and remember i said Microsoft and Samsung products) migrated to Thunderbolt, Firewire and Lighting cables too then?
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #65 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

First time I think I've heard low Android adoption numbers spun positively! 1wink.gif

There seems to be a well trodden, Apple hater path, from PC Nerd to Android Fanboy, so I expect they'll all become Tizan Turds as soon as there latest love affair seems to be going south.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #66 of 69
Ok. I get it... But what's the next step?
Anybody with a solution...
I'd say we're all in deep trouble!!!!
post #67 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

[ isn't VGA analog always and HDMI only digital?

Correct on both.
Quote:
I do have a pretty nice X-Plane 10 set up now on my nMac Pro running three monitors. Weird thing is I get a better frame rate of 40 fps (with X-Plane almost maxed out) when using one GPU for all three than when sharing GPUs where I get about 30 fps. Perhaps there is a logical reason for this as the windows is simply stretched across all three screens. Any thoughts on that?

I believe it defaults back to 30Hz when mixing digital and analogue displays/connectors, but can't find a definitive answer.

Related info:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6008
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5918
http://support.apple.com/kb/PH13814

Also check the OSD settings on the monitors themselves: Lloyd Chambers does this for his 4K screens:
http://diglloyd.com/articles/Recommended/DellUP2414Q-fullRes60Hz.html
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
post #68 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I do have a pretty nice X-Plane 10 set up now on my nMac Pro running three monitors. Weird thing is I get a better frame rate of 40 fps (with X-Plane almost maxed out) when using one GPU for all three than when sharing GPUs where I get about 30 fps. Perhaps there is a logical reason for this as the windows is simply stretched across all three screens. Any thoughts on that?

The developers mention that here:

http://wiki.x-plane.com/SLI/Crossfire_and_X-Plane
http://developer.x-plane.com/2011/10/x-plane-sli-and-crossfire/

It's not developed to take advantage of multiple GPUs. The iMac actually runs it faster:

http://www.barefeats.com/tube13.html

Crossfire and SLI refer to it being used under Windows with 2 GPUs but they say there's no performance advantage gained. It varies from one game to another. Some games can double the FPS.

Ideally, you'd have the GPUs drawing alternate frames. Maybe they'll add support in a later version but if it maxes out above 30FPS on one current GPU, there's not much incentive for them because future GPUs will just get even faster. It helps the machine stay cooler for long periods too if just one GPU is being used.

If you're into flight games, there are more options if you install Bootcamp:

http://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/genre/metascore/flight/pc?view=condensed

The following has more action in it:



That also has an unofficial wrapper to allow it to run under the Mac side but Bootcamp is easier:

http://portingteam.com/files/file/7710-ace-combat-assault-horizon/

There are wired controllers you can get too so you get sticks to control the plane with:

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Xbox-360-Controller-Windows/dp/B004QRKWLA
post #69 of 69
Why did I even try to answer when we know Marvin already has solid info
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › 'BadUSB' malware lives in USB firmware to remain undetected, unfixable