Current thoughts on hardware hacking / 2022-11-18

2022-11-18 Current thoughts on hardware hacking
Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH uart connected
Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH uart connected
Picture by Koos van den Hout, license CC-BY-SA
I closed the case of a vulnerability in the Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH with a confirmation from the vendor that this is a device completely out of support. Which confirms the public information I found when I started looking into this device. This was all related to the course in hardware hacking I took and applying the new knowledge.

So now I can look back on this experience and think about my future here. Hardware hacking has serious links to my current job as technical security specialist. In my work I regularly have to look at vulnerabilities and assess the chance and impact of misuse of the vulnerability. With hardware hacking I find vulnerabilities by researching hardware. This helps me understand the chance and impact factor of other vulnerabilities.

There is also a link to my education: part of that was MTS electronics. I learned how to solder, before SMD components were a thing and I think I got some explanation about switching mode power supplies at the end. As I got into computers I didn't do much with this education but the last years in amateur radio have made me get out the soldering iron again.

There is a clear link to my hobby of amateur radio. My interest in amateur radio is linked to wanting to know how things actually work. Hardware hacking is also done with RF signals so I may get into more RF related hardware hacking.

My current thought is that I want to continue in this subject. It's given me joy: getting into a device in new and unexpected ways gives joy! I have learned new things. I noticed I need to feed the brain regularly with new information and actually learning something new is much better brainfood than browsing social media. At the same time social media is the way to learn more about this subject and interact with other people interested in this subject. I ended up on /r/hardwarehacking on reddit and already learned from others and shared some of my own insights!

There is the thing about RFID/NFC security. I have looked into this in the past, mostly by getting the tools to peek into the MiFare classic cards. I am considering going further with this area of hardware hacking. Prices of hacking tools for this area like the proxmark3 or the flipper zero are above the 'nice to try a few things' level. On the other hand I think I could have loads of fun there, and the overlap with amateur radio is very clear.

At the end of this bit of writing: thanks to people who share their hardware hacking experiences on-line! Thanks to Jilles Groenendijk, Router Archeology: Sitecom WL-330 - Habbie's journal, @Flashback Team on youtube, Make Me Hack on youtube, and Boschko Security for sharing their stories and knowledge.

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