Ta-Lun Yen

Senior Vulnerability Researcher TXOne Networks


Ta-Lun is a Sr. Vulnerability Researcher at TXOne Networks, with focus on compromising everything that runs on 1 and 0’s: robot protocols (BHEU 21), proprietary bluetooth protocols (BHEU 19), QNAP NASes and factory HMIs (CODE BLUE), WinCE PE binary repair tool (hardwear.io USA).

Backdooring an entire country’s 4 million modems with 6 bugs in a week

Telecommunication industry is one of the crucial sectors, and we’ll demonstrate how we have found how we found 6-bugs in a week in a particular telecommunication company, while chained together, allows full takeover launched from the Internet, to network infrastructure, to all modems of the country, and an estimated of 4 million devices can be affected. 

The research stems from a study to reversing engineer of Passive Optical Network (PON) modems. Assuming a dedicated nation-actor’s perspective, we have put every attack surfaces including firmware, software and hardware under extensive study, and have found 6+ critical vulnerabilities, misconfigurations within telecom’s network infrastructure, to the modems provided to the end-users in the country. We’ll also demonstrate an attack scenario where modems could be backdoored while undetected, being able to participate in botnets to be further weaponized. We’ll not only present the findings, but also the way we have found it, including attacks from a hardware hacker’s perspective and demonstrating the feasibility of the attacks: how we started from board component analysis to flash dumping, firmware analysis, ISP compromise, and finally, compromise of all modems. 

We’ll also present a couple of viable defense options for vendors to further strengthen their defense in end-user devices, even in a hostile environment. We’ll also be elaborating on how disclosure process went with such kind of vulnerability, as it requires cooperation from multiple parties, in the situation when it’s not just vulnerabilities, but also a national security concern.

Are you the next cyber security superstar?

If you are passionate about an information security topic or you have strong technical skills developing researches on your own, you should definitely Apply at Call for Papers. By submitting you will have the chance to showcase your work to +2000 attendees.

Other speakers joining this year

Andrei Niculae

Student Faculty of Automatic Control and Computer Science from Politehnica University of Bucharest

Maksim Iavich

President of SCSA, Professor Caucasus University

Muhammad Mudassar Yamin

Associate Professor Norwegian University of Science and Technology

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Sponsors & Partners

They help us make this conference possible.


Orange Romania is part of the Orange Group, one of the largest global telecommunications operators that connects hundreds of millions of customers worldwide. With over 11 million local customers and an annual turnover exceeding 1.5 billion euros, Orange Romania connects 1 in 2 Romanians and offers an extensive range of communication solutions for both individual and corporate customers, from basic connectivity services to complete mobile, fixed internet, TV packages, and complex IT&C solutions through Orange Business

Orange Romania is the number 1 operator in terms of network performance, and also holds nine consecutive Top Employer certifications, which confirm that Orange Romania, in addition to the remarkable products and services it offers, pays special attention to its employees and working environment. In the past 3 years Orange has launched two 5G Labs in Bucharest and Iasi, that aim to support researchers, startups and companies to test their 5G solutions in advance. 

In addition, Orange is a long-term supporter of the startup ecosystem through the Orange Fab accelerator program designed to support entrepreneurs in the development of innovative products and their distribution locally and internationally.

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