Tagged: defcon

SDR Videos from DEFCON 29

Recently some videos from this years (mostly virtual) DEFCON 29 conference have been uploaded to YouTube. Defcon is a major yearly conference all about information security, and some of the talks deal with wireless and SDR topics. Some interesting talks that we've found from the main Defcon and Villages are posted below.

You can view all the talks directly as well as the many others via the main stage DEFCON YouTube channel, the ICS Village Channel, RF Village Channel and the Aerospace Village. There are also several talks from the Ham Radio Village recorded on Twitch. Did we miss any interesting talks? Please let us know in the comments.

Smart Meters: I'm Hacking Infrastructure and So Should You (Hash Salehi)

Why Smart Meters? This is a question Hash is often asked. There's no bitcoin or credit card numbers hiding inside, so he must want to steal power, right? Openly analyzing the technology running our critical infrastructure and publishing the findings is something Hash is passionate about. In the wake of the great Texas freeze of 2021, we can no longer "hope" those in power will make decisions that are in the people's best interest. This talk will present research on the Landis+Gyr GridStream series of smart meters used by Oncor, the largest energy provider in Texas.

Cyber attacks on Industrial Control Systems (ICS) differ in scope and impact based on a number of factors, including the adversary's intent, sophistication and capabilities, and familiarity with ICS and automated indutrial processes. In order to understand, identify and address the specific points that can prevent or stop an attack, a systematic model known as "Cyber Kill Chain" is detailed, a term that comes from the military environment and registered by the Lockheed Martin company. While most are familiar with terms and theoretical diagrams of how security should be implemented, in this talk we want to present live how an attack chain occurs from scratch to compromise industrial devices, the full kill chain, based in our experiences. The goal is to land these threats into the real world without the need to carry out these attacks with a nation-state budget.

Smart Meters: I'm Hacking Infrastructure and So Should You (Hash Salehi)

DEF CON 29 - Paz Hameiri - TEMPEST Radio Station

TEMPEST is a cyber security term that refers to the use of electromagnetic energy emissions generated by electronic devices to leak data out of a target device. The attacks may be passive (where the attacker receives the emissions and recovers the data) or active (where the attacker uses dedicated malware to target and emit specific data).

In this talk I present a new side channel attack that uses GPU memory transfers to emit electromagnetic waves which are then received and processed by the attacker. Software developed for this work encodes audio on one computer and transmits it to the reception equipment positioned fifty feet away. The signals are received and processed and the audio is decoded and played. The maximum bit rate achieved was 33kbit/s and more than 99% of the packets were received.

Frequency selection not only enables maximization of signal quality over distance, but also enables the attacker to receive signals from a specific computer when several computers in the area are active. The software developed demonstrates audio packets transfers, but other types of digital data may be transmitted using the same technique.

[Slides Link] [Whitepaper]

DEF CON 29 - Paz Hameiri - TEMPEST Radio Station

DEF CON 29 RF Village - cemaxecuter - RF Propagation and Visualization with DragonOS

"Today's presentation will start with a brief history of DragonOS, where it started and where it's at today. After a short introduction, I'll dive into the subject of visualizing RF propagation with DragonOS. I'll be showing a fresh OS install and the necessary steps to generate a rough estimate of a transmitter based on SRTM-3 elevation data, as well as a new feature enabling visualization/calculations of the path between transmitter and receiver .

Topics and hands on (pre-recorded) demonstrations will include the following,

  • SPLAT! is an RF Signal Propagation, Loss, And Terrain analysis tool for the electromagnetic spectrum between 20 MHz and 20 GHz.
  • Signal Server Multi-threaded RF coverage calculator
  • Dr. Bill Walker's role
  • Signal Server and DragonOS integration
  • DF-Aggregator Developer / Modifications for visualization

I’ll conclude talking about future improvements to RF propagation and visualization tools."

DEF CON 29 RF Village - cemaxecuter - RF Propagation and Visualization with DragonOS

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DEFCON 2020 Aerospace Village SDR Talks

A few weeks ago we posted about the recently uploaded talks listed on the Defcon YouTube channel. However, there is a second YouTube channel dedicated to talks presented as part of the Defcon Aerospace Village which was also held virtually. A number of these talks involve software defined radios and RTL-SDRs and so may be of interest to readers. We have listed a few interesting talks below, but the full list can be found on their YouTube channel.

 

Defcon 2020 Online Talks: Satellite Eavesdropping & Detecting Fake 4G Base Stations

DEFCON 2020 was held online this year in and the talks were released a few days ago on their website and on YouTube. If you weren't already aware Defcon is a major yearly conference all about information security, and some of the talks deal with wireless and SDR topics. We found two very interesting SDR and wireless related talks that we have highlighted below. The first talk investigates using commercial satellite TV receivers to eavesdrop on satellite internet communications. The second discusses using a bladeRF or USRP to detect fake 4G cellphone basestations. Slides for these talks are available on the Defcon Media server under the presentations folder.

DEF CON Safe Mode - James Pavur - Whispers Among the Stars

Space is changing. The number of satellites in orbit will increase from around 2,000 today to more than 15,000 by 2030. This briefing provides a practical look at the considerations an attacker may take when targeting satellite broadband communications networks. Using $300 of widely available home television equipment I show that it is possible to intercept deeply sensitive data transmitted on satellite links by some of the world's largest organizations.

The talk follows a series of case studies looking at satellite communications affecting three domains: air, land, and sea. From home satellite broadband customers, to wind farms, to oil tankers and aircraft, I show how satellite eavesdroppers can threaten privacy and communications security. Beyond eavesdropping, I also discuss how, under certain conditions, this inexpensive hardware can be used to hijack active sessions over the satellite link.

The talk concludes by presenting new open source tools we have developed to help researchers seeking to improve satellite communications security and individual satellite customers looking to encrypt their traffic.

The talk assumes no background in satellite communications or cryptography but will be most interesting to researchers interested in tackling further unsolved security challenges in outer space.

DEF CON Safe Mode - James Pavur - Whispers Among the Stars

DEF CON Safe Mode - Cooper Quintin - Detecting Fake 4G Base Stations in Real Time

4G based IMSI catchers such as the Hailstorm are becoming more popular with governments and law enforcement around the world, as well as spies, and even criminals. Until now IMSI catcher detection has focused on 2G IMSI catchers such as the Stingray which are quickly falling out of favor.

In this talk we will tell you how 4G IMSI Catchers might work to the best of our knowledge, and what they can and can't do. We demonstrate a brand new software project to detect fake 4G base stations, with open source software and relatively cheap hardware. And finally we will present a comprehensive plan to dramatically limit the capabilities of IMSI catchers (with the long term goal of making them useless once and for all).

GitHub: https://github.com/EFForg/crocodilehunter

DEF CON Safe Mode - Cooper Quintin - Detecting Fake 4G Base Stations in Real Time

DEF CON 27 SDR Talks: Antennas for Surveillance, Ford Keyfob Hack, Smart TV Wireless Side Channel Attack

Talks from this years DEF CON 27 conference which was held back in August are now available on YouTube. DEFCON is a yearly conference that a focuses on information security topics and often includes talks about SDRs and other wireless radio topics too. In particular we wanted to highlight the the DEF CON 27 Wireless Village playlist which contains numerous talks related to wireless, radio and SDRs.

Most talks from the wireless village relate to WiFi, but one talk with some very useful information that we really enjoyed was "Antennas for Surveillance" by Alex Zakhorov. 

We will cover the various kinds of antennas available to optimized your SDR radio for different types of spectrum monitoring. We will also explain why RF filters are necessary on most SDR's and when Low Noise Amplifiers help, and when Low Noise Amplifiers hurt reception.

Kent Britain/WA5VJB - Antennas for Surveillance - DEF CON 27 Wireless Village

Another interest talk was called "The Ford Hack Raptor Captor video" by Dale Wooden (Woody) where he shows how he used an RTL-SDR and HackRF to hack a Ford car key fob. If you're interested we wrote about the Hak5 videos on this hack in a previous post.

This talk will show flaws with development of security protocols in New Ford key fobs. This will exploit several areas. The ability for a denial of service to the keyfob WITHOUT jamming. How to trick the vehicle into resetting its rolling code count. How to lock, unlock, start, stop, and open the trunk of ford vehicles using a replay attacked after resetting rolling code count. How to find the master access code for Fords keypad to bypass security. This talk will also demonstrate how to reset your key fobs if they are attacked by a deauth attack. We will also demonstrate gnu-radio script to automate RF collection of Ford key fobs. As seen on HAK5 episodes 2523-2525

Woody - The Ford Hack Raptor Captor video - DEF CON 27 Wireless Village

Outside of the Wireless village there were also some interesting SDR topics including this talk titled "SDR Against Smart TVs URL Channel Injection Attacks" by Pedro Cabrera Camara. If you're interested we also wrote about Pedro's work in a previous post.

Software-defined-radio has revolutionized the state of the art in IoT security and especially one of the most widespread devices: Smart TV. This presentation will show in detail the HbbTV platform of Smart TV, to understand and demonstrate two attacks on these televisions using low cost SDR devices: TV channel and HbbTV server impersonation (channel and URL injection). This last attack will allow more sophisticated remote attacks: social engineering, keylogging, crypto-mining, and browser vulnerability assessment.

Pedro Cabrera Camara - SDR Against Smart TVs URL Channel Injection Attacks - DEF CON 27 Conference

Upcoming DEFCON Cyberspectrum Wireless Village SDR Talks

At this years DEFCON conference SDR evangelist Balint Seeber will be hosting Cyberspectrum #23. DEFCON is a yearly conference with a focus on hacker topics, which often include SDRs and other radio topics too. This years conference will be help on August 9 - 12 a Caesars Palace & Flamingo in Las Vegas. Cyberspectrum is an almost monthly meetup of SDR enthusiasts and researchers that is normally held in the San Francisco Bay Area, but often hosts remote speakers via teleconference. This months meetup will be held at DEFCON on August 9, hosted by the Wireless Village.

The planned talk overviews are listed below, and Balint would like to note that any physical attendees are welcome to get in contact with him and submit more talks. Previous Cyberspectrum talks can be viewed on this YouTube playlist.

Michelle Thompson (@abraxas3d): "ORI and Phase 4 Ground" (https://phase4ground.github.io/)

Open Research Institute (ORI) is a new non-profit research and development organization which provides all of its work to the general public under the principles of Open Source and Open Access to Research.

One of our projects is called Phase 4 Ground. Our mission is to provide an open source implementation of DVB-S2 and DVB-S2X for both satellite and terrestrial amateur radio use. Phase 4 Ground radio system has a 5GHz uplink and a 10GHz downlink. We are developing SDR software that heavily leverages IP multicast and RTP protocols to set up and tear down distributed remote radio functions.

The reference designs are in GNU Radio and we will provide recipes for as many SDRs as possible.

Phase 4 Ground radios are intended to be reusable and reconfigurable, supporting payloads at GEO (AMSAT Phase 4B), HEO (AMSAT Phase 3E), and beyond (such as NASA's Cube Quest Challenge). Additionally, our radios will work as terrestrial microwave stations. These 'Groundsats' on mountaintops or towers establish a fun and flexible digital microwave experience. If you want to build up your radio from SDRs, you can. If you want to build it entirely from scratch, then you can. Our manufacturing partner for an off-the-shelf design is Flex Radio.

Lucas Teske (@lucasteske): SegDSP SpyServer Segment Digital Signal Processor

SegDSP is a WIP "Segment Digital Signal Processor" that is tuned for connecting into a SPY Server and do automatically demodulation/recording/parsing of RF data. This talk will be about what it does today, how was the development, how it works, how it will work and what are the uses for it. Tired of losing the pass of a LEO satellite? Want to hear the recording from last week? SegDSP is a Open Source tool made in Go for both learning and monitoring Satcom and Terrestrial Com.

Luigi Freitas (@luigifcruz): "Reverse Engineering X-Band Satellites Datalink And The Worst Software Defined Radio Ever"

This talk will be about the reverse engineering process of the next generation X-Band datalink signal on-board of Sun Synchronous Satellites like Suomi (NPP) and NOAA-20 (NPOESS/JPSS-1). From the RAW I/Q recording to the decompressed high-resolution Earth pictures. This is the latest addition to the Open Satellite Project, a non-profit organization that is committed to develop and publish software tools and hardware projects that enable the Open-Source Community to access spacecraft non-sensitive data.

The other half (or so) of this talk will be about the “Worst SDR Ever” that is made entirely of dirty cheap parts readily available from China. This project is intended to demonstrate how a Software Defined Radio works utilizing real hardware and comprehensive modular software.

Gavin Rozzi (@gavroz): "OC Radio Live" (https://ocradio.live)

An online trunking scanner website with time shifting capabilities covering New Jersey powered by the RTLSDR and open source software.

Defcon 25 SDR and Radio Related Talks

Defcon is a huge yearly conference based on the topics of information security and hacking. Some of the talks relate to wireless and SDR concepts. Recently videos from the last Defcon 25 conference held in July 2017 have been uploaded to YouTube. Below is a selection of some interesting SDR and radio related talks that we have found. If you're interested in exploring the rest of the talks then you can find them on their YouTube page. Most of the radio related talks are in the 'WiFi Village' category.

DEF CON 25 Wifi Village - Balint Seeber - Hacking Some More of the Wireless World

The hacking continues on from last year! Three interesting applications will be demonstrated, and their underlying theory and design explained. The audience will be exposed to some novel GNU Radio tips and DSP tricks. INMARSAT Aero will be revisited to show (in Google Earth) spatial information, such as waypoints and flight plans, that are transmitted from airline ground operations to airborne flights. A good chunk of the VHF band is used for airline communications; plane spotters enjoy listening to tower and cockpit communications.

Modern SDRs can now sample the entire band, and as AM modulation is used, it's possible to use a counterintuitive, but simple, demodulator chain (first shown by Kevin Reid's wideband 'un-selective AM' receiver) to listen to the most powerful transmission. This will be demonstrated with a GNU Radio-based implementation. It is also possible to 'spatialise' the audio for the listener using stereo separation, which can convey a transmission's relative position on the spectrum. FMCW RADAR experiments are enhanced to include Doppler processing.

Plotting this new velocity information, due to the Doppler effect, shows whether a target is heading toward or away from you, and often reveals targets not normally seen in range-only information - this demonstrates the true power of full RADAR signal processing. This technique will be applied to the live audio demo, a new live SDR demo, CODAR ocean current tracking, and passive RADAR exploiting powerful ATSC digital television signals (this was used to track aircraft on approach across the Bay Area).

DEF CON 25 Wifi Village - Balint Seeber - Hacking Some More of the Wireless World

DEF CON 25 - Matt Knight - Radio Exploitation 101

What do the Dallas tornado siren attack, hacked electric skateboards, and insecure smart door locks have in common? Vulnerable wireless protocols. Exploitation of wireless devices is growing increasingly common, thanks to the proliferation of radio frequency protocols driven by mobile and IoT. While non-Wi-Fi and non-Bluetooth RF protocols remain a mystery to many security practitioners, exploiting them is easier than one might think.

Join us as we walk through the fundamentals of radio exploitation. After introducing essential RF concepts and characteristics, we will develop a wireless threat taxonomy by analyzing and classifying different methods of attack. As we introduce each new attack, we will draw parallels to similar wired network exploits, and highlight attack primitives that are unique to RF. To illustrate these concepts, we will show each attack in practice with a series of live demos built on software-defined and hardware radios.

Attendees will come away from this session with an understanding of the mechanics of wireless network exploitation, and an awareness of how they can bridge their IP network exploitation skills to the wireless domain.

DEF CON 25 - Matt Knight - Radio Exploitation 101

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More talks from Defcon 23

Some more SDR and RF related talks from Defcon 23. See our previous posts [1][2] for other talks that we posted previously.

Colby Moore – Spread Spectrum Satcom Hacking

Recently there have been several highly publicized talks about satellite hacking. However, most only touch on the theoretical rather than demonstrate actual vulnerabilities and real world attack scenarios. This talk will demystify some of the technologies behind satellite communications and do what no one has done before – take the audience step-by-step from reverse engineering to exploitation of the GlobalStar simplex satcom protocol and demonstrate a full blown signals intelligence collection and spoofing capability. I will also demonstrate how an attacker might simulate critical conditions in satellite connected SCADA systems.

In recent years, Globalstar has gained popularity with the introduction of its consumer focused SPOT asset-tracking solutions. During the session, I’ll deconstruct the transmitters used in these (and commercial) solutions and reveal design and implementation flaws that result in the ability to intercept, spoof, falsify, and intelligently jam communications. Due to design tradeoffs these vulnerabilities are realistically unpatchable and put millions of devices, critical infrastructure, emergency services, and high value assets at risk.

DEF CON 23 - Colby Moore - Spread Spectrum Satcom Hacking

DaKahuna and satanklawz – Introduction to SDR and the Wireless Village

In many circumstances, we all have to wear different hats when pursuing hobbies, jobs and research. This session will discuss the exploration and use of software defined radio from two perspectives; that of a security researcher and Ham Radio operator. We will cover common uses and abuses of hardware to make them work like transceivers that the Ham crowed is use too, as well as extending the same hardware for other research applications. Additionally we will highlight some of the application of this knowledge for use at The Wireless Village! Come and join this interactive session; audience participation is encouraged.

DEF CON 23 - DaKahuna and satanklawz - Introduction to SDR and the Wireless Village

Lin Huang and Qing Yang – Low cost GPS simulator: GPS spoofing by SDR

It is known that GPS L1 signal is unencrypted so that someone can produce or replay the fake GPS signal to make GPS receivers get wrong positioning results. There are many companies provide commercial GPS emulators, which can be used for the GPS spoofing, but the commercial emulators are quite expensive, or at least not free. Now we found by integrating some open source projects related to GPS we can produce GPS signal through SDR tools, e.g. USRP / bladeRF. This makes the attack cost very low. It may influence all the civilian use GPS chipset. In this presentation, the basic GPS system principle, signal structure, mathematical models of pseudo-range and Doppler effect will be introduced. The useful open source projects on Internet will be shared with attendees.

DEF CON 23 - Lin Huang and Qing Yang - Low cost GPS simulator: GPS spoofing by SDR

DEFCON 23 – LTE Recon and Tracking with RTLSDR

Back on Dec 5 we posted about some Defcon 23 talks that were released from the Wireless Village set of talks. Recently some more talks from other tracks have been released and one of interest to our blog is the talk by Ian Kline titled “LTE Recon and Tracking with RTLSDR”. The talk’s blurb reads:

Since RTLSDR became a consumer grade RX device, numerous talks and open source tools enabled the community to monitor airplanes, ships, and cars… but come on, what we really want to track are cell phones. If you know how to run cmake and have $50 to pick up an RTLSDR-E4000, I’ll make sure you walk out of here with the power to monitor LTE devices around you on a slick Kibana4 dashboard. You’ll also get a primer on geolocating the devices if you’ve got a second E4000 and some basic soldering skills.

DEF CON 23 - Ian Kline - LTE Recon and Tracking with RTLSDR