When hackers from penetration testing firm Netragard were hired to pierce the firewall of a customer, they knew they had their work cut out. The client specifically ruled out the use of social networks, telephones, and other social-engineering vectors, and gaining unauthorized physical access to computers was also off limits.
Deprived of the low-hanging fruit attackers typically rely on to get a toe-hold onto their target, Netragard CTO Adriel Desautels borrowed a technique straight out of a plot from Mission Impossible: He modified a popular, off-the-shelf computer mouse to include a flash drive and a powerful microcontroller that ran custom attack code that compromised whatever computer connected to it.
For the attack to work, the booby-trapped USB Logitech mouse had to look and behave precisely the same as a normal device. But it also needed to include secret capabilities that allowed the mouse to do things no user would ever dream possible.
The Teensy microcontroller programmed by the Netragard hackers was programmed to wait 60 seconds after being plugged in to a computer and then enter commands into its keyboard that executed malware stored on the custom-built flash drive snuck into the guts of the Logitech mouse. To squelch warnings from McAfee antivirus, which was protecting the customer’s PCs, the microcontroller contained undocumented exploit code that subverted the program’s dialogue boxes to evade detection.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Maker Business — Savannah tells the story of the supply chain crisis in the U.S.
Wearables — Feathers from leather
Electronics — Get Oriented!
Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Events, Projects, and much more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF
Adafruit IoT Monthly — No-Code IoT with WipperSnapper, Beaming Internet across the Congo, and more!
Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!
EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey
New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 10/20/21 feat. DIN Rail 10×10 to Terminal Block Adapter!
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.