If there’s something weird in your Network Neighborhood, who you gonna call? If you want your WiFi troubles diagnosed in style, try calling [Travis Kaun] — he might just show up wearing the amazing Pwnton Pack. Built from a replica Proton Pack similar to those used in the 1984 classic Ghostbusters, it’s a portable wireless security diagnostics kit that should be able to pinpoint any weaknesses in your wireless network.
Inside, it’s got a Mark VII WiFi Pineapple, which is a portable device designed for security testing purposes, as well as a Raspberry Pi running Pwnagotchi: a deep learning-based WiFi sniffer that aims to capture those network packets that help maximize your chances of brute-forcing the WPA key. These two devices are connected to an array of antennas, including a cool rotating 5 GHz panel antenna to scan the surrounding area.
Naturally, the Pwnton Pack also includes a Neutrona Wand, which in this case contains a 2.4 GHz Yagi antenna hooked up to an ESP32 programmed to perform deauthentication attacks. An Arduino Nano drives an LED matrix that shows scrolling Pac-Man ghosts, while a dedicated sound board provides movie sound effects. The whole system is powered by three LiPo battery packs, and can even be remotely operated if desired.
There was a time, not quite so long ago, when a computer was a beige box that sat on your desk. Before that, computers were big enough to double as desks, and even farther back, they took up a whole room. Today? Well today it’s complicated. Single-board computers (SBCs) like the Raspberry Pi put a full desktop experience in the palm of your hand, for a price that would have been unfathomable before the smartphone revolution increased demand for high-performance ARM chips.
But compared to the tiny open hardware Linux SBC that lives inside the WiFiWart, even the Raspberry Pi looks massive. Developed by [Walker] as a penetration testing tool, the custom computer is housed in an enclosure designed to make it look like a traditional (if a bit large) USB phone charger. In fact, it doesn’t just look like a USB charger, it actually is one. The internal power supply is not only capable of converting AC into the various DC voltages required to run the miniature Linux box, but also features a USB port where you can plug in your phone to charge it.
For the infosec folks in the audience, the applications for the WiFiWart are obvious. Just plug this thing in somewhere inconspicuous, and you’ve got a foot in the door. The dual WiFi interfaces mean you can connect to a target network on one card and use the second to spin up a fake access point or exfiltrate data. Plus with a quad-core Cortex-A7 ARM processor running at 1.2 GHz and a healthy 1 GB of DDR3, you’ll have enough power to run many security tools locally.
But of course, nothing keeps you from using the WiFiWart for non-security purposes. That’s what has us particularly excited, as you can never have enough open hardware Linux boards. Especially ones this tiny. Removed from its wall charger disguise, the brains of the WiFiWart could be used for all kinds of projects. Plus, not only is the final design open source, but [Walker] made sure to only use free and open source tools to create it. Keeping his entire workflow open means it will be easier for the community to utilize and improve upon his initial design, which in the end, is the whole idea behind the open hardware movement and efforts such as the Hackaday Prize.
At this point, we’ve all heard how the chip shortage is impacting the big players out there. It makes sense that automakers are feeling the pressure, since they are buying literally millions of components at a clip. But stories like this are a reminder that even an individual’s hobby project can be sidelined by parts that are suddenly 40 times as expensive as they were when you first put them in your bill of materials.
In this particular case, [Walker] explains that a power management chip you could get on DigiKey for $1.20 USD a few months ago is now in such short supply that the best offer he’s found so far is $49.70 a pop from an electronics broker in Shenzhen. It sounds like he’s going to bite the bullet and buy the four of them (ouch) that he needs to build a working prototype, but obviously it’s a no go for production.
Luckily, it’s not all bad news. [Walker] has made some good progress on the power supply board, which will eventually join the diminutive computer inside the USB charger enclosure. Part of the trick is that the device is still supposed to be a functional USB charger, so in addition to 5 VDC for the output port, the power supply also needs to produce 1.1 V, 1.35 V, 2.5 V, 3.0 V, and 3.3 V for the computer. We’re glad to see he’s taking the high road with his mains circuitry, making sure to use UL listed components and maintaining proper isolation.
When we last checked in on the WiFiWart back in July, [Walker] had already managed to boot Linux on his over-sized prototype board. Now he’s got PCBs in hand that look far closer to the final size and shape necessary to tuck them into a phone charger. It’s a shame that the parts shortage is slowing down progress, but we’re confident we’ll at least get to see a one-off version of the WiFiWart powered up before the year is out.
Unless you’re reading this from the middle of the ocean or deep in the forest, it’s a pretty safe bet there’s WiFi packets zipping all around you right now. Capturing them is just a matter of having the right hardware and software, and from there, you can get to work on cracking the key used to encrypt them. While such things can obviously have nefarious connotations, there are certainly legitimate reasons for auditing the strength of the wireless networks in the area.
It might not have the computational horsepower to crack any encryption itself, but the ESP32 M5Stack is more than up to the task of capturing WiFi packets if you install the Hash Monster firmware developed by [G4lile0]. Even if you don’t intend on taking things farther, this project makes finding WiFi access points and grabbing their packets a fascinating diversion with the addition of a few graphs and an animated character (the eponymous monster itself) that feeds on all those invisible 1s and 0s in the air.
One of the fun things about vulnerability research is that there are so many places for bugs to hide. Modern devices have multiple processors, bits of radio hardware, and millions of lines of code. When [Veronica Kovah] of Dark Mentor LLC decided to start vulnerability research on the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol, she opted to target the link layer itself, rather than the code stack running as part of the main OS. What’s interesting is that the link layer has to process data before any authentication is performed, so if a vulnerability is found here, it’s guaranteed to be pre-authentication. Also of interest, many different devices are likely to share the same BLE chipset, meaning these vulnerabilities will show up on many different devices. [Veronica] shares some great info on how to get started, as well as the details on the vulnerabilities she found, in the PDF whitepaper. (Just a quick note, this link isn’t to the raw PDF, but pulls up a GitHub PDF viewer.) There is also a video presentation of the findings, if that’s more your speed.
The first vuln we’ll look at is CVE-2019-15948, which affects a handful of Texas Instruments BT/BLE chips. The problem is in how BLE advertisement packets are handled. An advertisement packet should always contain a data length of at least six bytes, which is reserved for the sending device address. Part of the packet parsing process is to subtract six from the packet length and do a memcpy using that value as the length. A malicious packet can have a length of less than six, and the result is that the copy length integer underflows, becoming a large value, and overwriting the current stack. To actually turn this into an exploit, a pair of data packets are sent repeatedly, to put malicious code in the place where program execution will jump to.
The second vulnerability of note, CVE-2020-15531 targets a Silicon Labs BLE chip, and uses malformed extended advertisement packets to trigger a buffer overflow. Specifically, the sent message is longer than the specification says it should be. Rather than drop this malformed message, the chip’s firmware processes it, which triggers a buffer overflow. Going a step further, this chip has non-volatile firmware, and it’s possible to modify that firmware permanently. [Veronica] points out that even embedded chips like these should have some sort of secure boot implementation, to prevent these sort of persistent attacks. Continue reading “This Week In Security: Bluetooth Hacking, NEC Phones, And Malicious Tor Nodes”→
You can throw as many resources as possible into securing your systems — patch every vulnerability religiously, train all your users, monitor their traffic, eliminate every conceivable side-channel attack, or even totally air-gap your system — but it all amounts to exactly zero if somebody leaves a door propped open. Or if you’ve put a $5 padlock on a critical gate. Or if your RFID access control system is easily hacked. Ignore details like that and you’re just inviting trouble in.
Once the black-hats are on the inside, their job becomes orders of magnitude easier. Nothing beats hands-on access to a system when it comes to compromising it, and even if the attacker isn’t directly interfacing with your system, having him or her on the inside makes social engineering attacks that much simpler. System security starts with physical security, and physical security starts with understanding how to keep the doors locked.
To help us dig into that, Deviant Ollam will stop by the Hack Chat. Deviant works as a physical security consultant and he’s a fixture on the security con circuit and denizen of many lockpicking villages. He’s well-versed in what it takes to keep hardware safe from unauthorized visits or to keep it from disappearing entirely. From CCTV systems to elevator hacks to just about every possible way to defeat a locked door, Deviant has quite a bag of physical security tricks, and he’ll share his insights on keeping stuff safe in a dangerous world.
Click that speech bubble to the right, and you’ll be taken directly to the Hack Chat group on Hackaday.io. You don’t have to wait until Wednesday; join whenever you want and you can see what the community is talking about.
Ask anyone in this community to name their dream jobs and chances are pretty good that penetration tester will be somewhere on the shortlist. Pentesters are allowed — nay, encouraged — to break into secure systems, to test the limits and find weak points that malicious hackers can use to gain access. The challenge of hacking and the thrill of potentially getting caught combined with no chance of prosecution? And you get paid for it? Sounds good to us!
Professional pentesting is not all cops-and-robbers fun, of course. Pentesters have to stay abreast of the latest vulnerabilities and know what weaknesses are likely to exist at a given facility so they know what to target. There are endless hours of research, often laborious social engineering, and weeks of preparation before actually attempting to penetrate a client site. The attack could be as complex as deploying wireless pentesting assets via FedEx, or as simple as sprinkling thumb drives in the parking lot. But when it comes, a pentest often reveals just how little return companies are getting on their security investment.
As a consultant for a security firm, Eric Escobar gets to challenge companies on a daily basis. He’s also a regular on the con circuit, participating in challenges like Wireless CTF at DEF CON… until he won too many times. Now he helps design and execute the challenges, helping to share his knowledge with other aspiring pentesters. And he’ll stop by the Hack Chat to do the same with us, and tell us all about the business of keeping other businesses in business.
Click that speech bubble to the right, and you’ll be taken directly to the Hack Chat group on Hackaday.io. You don’t have to wait until Wednesday; join whenever you want and you can see what the community is talking about. Continue reading “Pentesting Hack Chat This Wednesday”→