Andrei Costin

Co-Founder at Firmware.RE

Andrei is a Computer Science graduate of the Politehnica University of Bucharest where he did his thesis work in Biometrics and Image Processing. While starting out his IT-career in the Computer Games industry, he has worked in the Telecom field and also was a senior developer at a specialized firm programming various GSM/UMTS/GPS sub-systems.
He is the author of the MiFare Classic Universal toolKit (MFCUK), the first publicly available (FOSS) card-only key cracking tool for the MiFare Classic RFID card family and is known as the “printer guy” for his “Hacking MFPs” and “Hacking PostScript” series of hacks & talks at various international conferences. Lately he was spotted security-harassing airplanes with ADS-B hacks, though no planes were harmed during the experiments. He is passionate about security in a holistic fashion. Currently Andrei is a PhD candidate with EURECOM in the field of “Software security in embedded systems”.

Presentation: A Pyrotechnic Composition: Fireworks, Embedded Wireless and Insecurity-by-Design

Fireworks are used around the world to salute popular events such as festivals, weddings, and public or private celebrations. Besides their entertaining effects fireworks are essentially colored explosives which are sometimes directly used as weapons. Modern fireworks systems heavily rely on `wireless pyrotechnic firing systems’. Those `embedded cyber-physical systems’ (ECPS) are able to remotely control pyrotechnic composition ignition. The failure to properly secure these computer sub-systems may have disastrous, if not deadly, consequences. They rely on standardized wireless communications, off the shelf embedded hardware and custom firmware.

In this short paper, we describe our experience in discovering and exploiting a wireless firing system in a short amount of time without any prior knowledge of such systems. In summary, we demonstrate our methodology starting from analysis of firmware, the discovery of vulnerabilities and finally by demonstrating a real world attack.

Finally, we stress that the security of pyrotechnic firing systems should be considered seriously, which could be achieved through improved safety compliance requirements and control.

We acquired the actual device, we have developed the actual attack and successfully tested it on the real device. The particular device/vendor we analysed has more than 1000 customers in over 60 countries worldwide.
This talk will cover a mix of overlapping areas like:
– embedded/wireless/critical devices security
– unconventional malware
– reverse engineering

Presentation @DefCamp 2014