Hacking Embedded Devices

edited November 2011 in Tech & Games
How does someone go about hacking embedded devices, for example... the firmware running on a Jukebox in the local pub, the firmware on your cable TV, your router, etc? Does it involve flashing your own version of the firmware onto the device, or is there another way?

I haven't actually Googled this yet, although I will be doing so in about 20 seconds. I was just wondering what experience Totse had in this area :D


  • SlartibartfastSlartibartfast Global Moderator -__-
    edited November 2011
    Through a physical connection. My TV runs busybox and can be extended by using the USB port. I can telnet into it. It's only meant for diagnostics but Samsung is lenient.

    My router has a telnet daemon running (or so nmap tells me), to login i have to short some pins to make it clear the password. My ISP won't tell me.

    Another way is through a buffer exploit that lets you run unsigned code. Similar to how modchips work and phone rooting.

    Sometimes it takes some rewiring to enable the 'test' circuit the technician uses.
  • edited November 2011
    Interesting. I was thinking about telnet but I wasn't sure if it would work or not - I guess it depends on what device you're trying to hack. I know routers often run a telnet daemon (I ran an nmap scan against my friend's router and found telnet running. No passwords set up either, which was interesting) but I wasn't sure about other devices.

    Can you find buffer exploits online for particular embedded devices, just like you can when attacking a regular computer system? Is it just a case of Googling for it?
  • RaggedOldManRaggedOldMan Regular
    edited November 2011
    So, what other devices can be hacked? Anyone got any good suggestions? What kind of things have these "embedded devices " in them?
  • Chris HansenChris Hansen Regular
    edited November 2011
    You mean "Embedded software"? Basically any electronic that you cant use an optical drive or usb drive or anything to install from. Anything that comes as is and you cant upgrade it yourself is my understanding.
  • SpinsterSpinster Regular
    edited November 2011
    Some cable/sky/foxtel installers will sell you cards with all of the channels on it for cheap
  • DfgDfg Admin
    edited November 2011
    My router uses busybox and yes I can access it, in the end most of the devices use stripped out versions of busybox and they're pretty secure to a certain extend but you can bypass them if you know how the device works. When it comes to embedded devices, having a decent knowledge of circuits and chips is a good thing.
  • white88enochianwhite88enochian Regular
    edited November 2011
    my cable box has a usb port but no usb options or even a upgrade firmware option i wonder t what thats for
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