If you are in San Francisco later this month, the Fastly Security Speaker Series has a new event, with two firmware security-related presentations!
We’re excited to announce the third installment of the Fastly Security Speaker Series. Fastly will bring some of the most innovative and thoughtful security researchers to San Francisco to share their work. Speakers include Alex Bazhaniuk, of Eclypsium, Inc. and Stephen Checkoway, whose most recent papers include: A Systematic Analysis of the Juniper Dual EC Incident, Run-DMA and On the Security of Mobile Cockpit Information Systems.
Talk 1: Exploring Your System Deeper
Alex Bazhaniuk of Eclypsium, Inc.
Ever wanted to explore deep corners of your system but didn’t know how? This could include system boot firmware, ROMs on expansion cards, I/O devices and their firmware, microprocessors, embedded controllers, memory devices, low-level hardware interfaces, virtualization and hypervisors — you could discover if any of these have known vulnerabilities, configured insecurely, or even discover new vulnerabilities and develop proof-of-concept exploits to test these vulnerabilities. Ultimately, you can verify security state of platform components of your system and how effective the platform security defenses are: hardware or virtualization based TEE, secure or trusted boot, firmware anti-tampering mechanisms, hypervisor based isolation… Or maybe you just want to explore hardware and firmware components your system has. CHIPSEC framework can help you with all of that. Since its release at CanSecWest 2014, significant improvements have been made in the framework — from making it easy to install and use to adding lots of new security capabilities. We’ll go over certain representative examples of what you can do with it such as finding vulnerabilities in SMM firmware, analyzing UEFI firmware vulnerabilities, testing hardware security mechanisms of the hypervisors, finding backdoors in UEFI images, and more.
Talk 2: The Juniper Dual EC incident
Stephen Checkoway, Assistant Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago
In December 2015, Juniper Networks announced that unknown attackers had added unauthorized code to ScreenOS, the operating system for their NetScreen VPN routers. This code created two vulnerabilities: an authentication bypass that enabled remote administrative access, and a second vulnerability that allowed passive decryption of VPN traffic. Reverse engineering of ScreenOS binaries revealed that the first of these vulnerabilities was a conventional back door in the SSH password checker. The second is far more intriguing: a change to the Q parameter used by the Dual EC pseudorandom number generator. It is widely known that Dual EC has the unfortunate property that an attacker with the ability to choose Q can, from a small sample of the generator’s output, predict all future outputs. In a 2013 public statement, Juniper noted the use of Dual EC but claimed that ScreenOS included countermeasures that neutralized this form of attack. In this talk, Stephen Checkoway presents the results of a thorough independent analysis of the ScreenOS randomness subsystem, as well as its interaction with the IKE VPN key establishment protocol. This work sits at the intersection of cryptography, protocol design, and forensics, and is a fascinating look at a problem that received a great deal of attention at the time but whose details are less well known.
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