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Cracking an Encrypted Exterior Laborious Drive

So far as hobbies go, auditing excessive safety exterior exhausting drives isn’t terribly in style. Nevertheless it’s what [Raphaël Rigo] is into, and fact be advised, we’re glad it’s how he will get his kicks. Not solely does it make for fascinating content material for us to salivate over, nevertheless it’s good to know there’s anyone together with his specific talent set on the market preserving an eye fixed out for dodgy {hardware}.

No phrase on how the “Secret Wang” performs

The newest machine to catch his watchful eye is the Aigo “Patriot” SK8671. In a sequence of posts on his weblog, [Raphaël] tears down the drive and proceeds to launch a number of assaults in opposition to it till he lastly stumbles upon the trick to dump the consumer’s encryption PIN. It’s not precisely straightforward, it did take him a few week of labor to type all of it out, nevertheless it’s dangerous sufficient that it’s best to most likely take this specific merchandise off the wishlist in your favourite abroad importer.

[Raphaël] treats us to a correct teardown, together with gratuitous photographs of chips underneath the microscope. He’s capable of establish plenty of parts on the board, together with a PM25LD010 SPI flash chip, Jmicron JMS539 USB-SATA controller, and Cypress CY8C21434 microcontroller. By hooking his logic analyzer as much as the SPI chip he was capable of dump its contents, however didn’t discover something that appeared significantly helpful.

The second publish within the sequence has all of the gory particulars on how he ultimately gained entry to the CY8C21434 microcontroller, together with an outline of the strategies which didn’t work (one thing we all the time like to see). [Raphaël] goes into nice element concerning the assault that ultimately busted the machine open: “chilly boot stepping”. This technique allowed him to painstakingly copy the contents of the chip’s flash; pulling 8192 bytes from the microcontroller took roughly 48 hours. By evaluating flash dumps he was capable of ultimately uncover the place the PIN was being saved, and as an added bonus, discovered it was in plaintext. A little bit of Python later, and he had a instrument to tug the PIN from the drive’s chip.

This isn’t the primary time we’ve seen a “safe” exhausting drive that ended up being something however. We’ve even been witness to a secure being opened over Bluetooth. Looks like this entire “Safety by Obscurity” factor may not be such a scorching thought in any case…

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