How Hardware Can Be Hacked

Almost 99% of the time, hackers are targeting hardware that is in use or used for money. That means that it is very important for the user to be aware of this fact. In addition, it is vital to keep in mind that some of the most common types of attacks on hardware are the ones that do not involve any hacking at all. For instance, the Rakshasa malware has been found on a large number of PCs, but this is not a hack that would normally be considered.

99% of hacking is for money

99% of hacking is for money, and most of it is done for profit. Hacking is a lucrative part of the global economy. A recent report suggests that the economic impact of hacking will reach $6 trillion annually by 2021.

Some hackers offer personalized services and discounts to bring in customers. A few gangs have made close to $100 million in a single year. Some hackers charge up to $3,000 for custom software. They can also sell turnkey hacking tools to novices.

Hackers often use obfuscation techniques to make malware more effective. In some cases, they intercept everything that is entered, including typed data and physical recon. They also scan networks for credentials and check to see if they have the same information.

Lowest-hanging fruit

Using automated tools to discover and exploit weaknesses in your network can be a good idea, but there are some “low hanging fruit” that hackers like to get their hands on. These small vulnerabilities can add up to big time gains for cybercriminals. These exploits can be used to move laterally and pivot into larger attacks.

The low-hanging-fruit-of-the-day is an unauthenticated network share that can be used to upload malware and lateral movement into the organisation. The same can be said for a domain account, which can be used for lateral movement but still allow for some access.

Hex recompilation

Using hex recompilation can be an interesting way to hack your hardware. However, the use of hex isn’t the only way to reverse engineer a product. There are a number of laws and ethical implications involved in reverse engineering a product.

Hex recompilation is a more advanced form of hardware hacking. It requires a serious tool, but it can be used to unlock the secrets of a product.

In the past, the easiest way to do it was by simply patching the control mechanisms in a device. These connections are usually easy to make and are available on most consumer products. Luckily, today’s devices have features that can be locked so a hacker can’t simply open up the machine.

Firmware exploitation

Despite the growing number of connected devices, firmware attacks remain a major IT risk. They can be leveraged by attackers to gain access to your device and its data. Besides stealing personally identifiable information, malicious actors can also intercept online activity.

The most obvious use for firmware hacking is to render a machine unbootable. Firmware is not designed for security, and if hackers can insert malware, it’s virtually impossible to detect.

Firmware is often not updated, exposing it to a range of vulnerabilities. One piece of malware can affect tens of millions of systems. Some device manufacturers have been slow to address these threats, but as a result of research by Cylance, they are now taking steps to combat them.

Glitching attacks

Using voltage glitching to perform fault injection attacks on embedded systems is a low-cost, non-invasive approach. However, it is not without its risks.

For instance, voltage glitching can lead to incorrect data being injected into the system, allowing the attacker to tamper with the control flow. In addition, physical security measures may be circumvented. This is especially true if the system is a headless computer.

Other notable glitching techniques include electromagnetic interference. These techniques are more likely to be employed in special-purpose systems such as industrial controls and IoT computers.

Aside from modifying the clock signal, the most common glitch injection technique involves varying the voltage. The Heisenberg effect can also be invoked.

Rakshasa malware

Developed by an open source community, Rakshasa malware is a backdoor that infects hardware. This malware uses persistence, evade detection, and a custom bootkit to compromise a computer’s BIOS.

The Rakshasa backdoor is able to infect hardware through two methods: through a BIOS vulnerability or through a third party firmware. A BIOS vulnerability allows an attacker to modify the memory of a computer to disable the operating system and install BIOS-level implants.

The other method is to modify the hardware behavior by controlling the dopant polarity of an electronic component. This is possible through the implementation of a JTAG debugging interface.

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