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Trojans Find Their Way into the Hardware

Posted March 09, 2015 12:00 AM by Chelsey H

When people speak of Trojans and other malicious logic, they are usually talking about software. They rarely admit existence of malicious circuitry on a chip. The possible presence of such circuitry represents one powerful incentive to continue the fight to keep counterfeit components out of the mainstream. But counterfeits are not the only culprits. The complexity of today's chips means that designing them and verifying their quality requires the services of many people, some of whose agendas are - at best - suspect. This article from IEEE Spectrum examines both the problem and the difficulty of getting anyone to acknowledge that such "defects" even exist, let alone to avoid them or eliminate them.


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#1

Re: Trojans Find Their Way into the Hardware

03/09/2015 1:11 AM

Most Trojans are software but are often used to cover the hardware to prevent replication and subsequent mutations of the code.

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#2
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Re: Trojans Find Their Way into the Hardware

03/09/2015 2:51 AM

Check this http://www.wired.com/2014/10/code-published-for-unfixable-usb-attack/

The trick is the firmware not software. But then how much do you want to bet that there isn't chips with Trojans hard coded on them?

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Re: Trojans Find Their Way into the Hardware

03/09/2015 5:58 PM

You certainly can program in silicon, but that tends to be very expensive every time you want to roll the revision. With NV RAM so easy to do, it almost makes no sense to code it in hardware. But I think we are in violent agreement here, 'cause firmware, is software at least to this engineer.

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Re: Trojans Find Their Way into the Hardware

03/09/2015 8:15 PM

If it is hard ware you can not change it. There is no upgrade needed for trojans other than the ones that they download additionally. Its about compromising a system not so much about upgrading it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firmware

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software

Distinct difference. Yes Firmware is software but a special one - Firmware so to speak.

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#6
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Re: Trojans Find Their Way into the Hardware

03/10/2015 8:13 AM

You forgot the most important one between the two, especially for Porn websites:-

"Flacidware!

See here:-

Testing of Flacidware!!

Further tests

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Re: Trojans Find Their Way into the Hardware

03/12/2015 3:38 AM

Those links dont work!

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#9
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Re: Trojans Find Their Way into the Hardware

03/12/2015 5:42 AM

Sorry, they still work for me, but turned out to be almost identical anyway, but try this instead:-

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=389&topic_id=546981&mesg_id=547000

I cannot help further if this one does not work, sorry.....

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Re: Trojans Find Their Way into the Hardware

03/11/2015 8:53 AM

"But then how much do you want to bet that there isn't chips with Trojans hard coded on them?"

And that has been going on for a long, long time. It's been one of the big concerns about counterfeit chips from China and how they might find their way into military, medical, and infrastructure systems in the US.

There is a huge trove of data on the subject,but just like viruses that plague PCs, hardware trojans are always one step ahead of the security industry, which is primarily a reactive industry by its nature.

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#3

Re: Trojans Find Their Way into the Hardware

03/09/2015 8:47 AM

None of this is new and has been going on for over a decade.

However, it is good to see it getting some public attention as governments have been doing this for a long time. That hasn't been a significant threat to the public, but as the reach of non-government organizations and crime expand, the problem will take on a completely different perspective.

This is just a small part of a much larger entity called cyber warfare.

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