lists  /  announce  owl-users  owl-dev  john-users  john-dev  passwdqc-users  yescrypt  popa3d-users  /  oss-security  kernel-hardening  musl  sabotage  tlsify  passwords  /  crypt-dev  xvendor  /  Bugtraq  Full-Disclosure  linux-kernel  linux-netdev  linux-ext4  linux-hardening  linux-cve-announce  PHC 
Open Source and information security mailing list archives
Hash Suite: Windows password security audit tool. GUI, reports in PDF.
[<prev] [next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date: Thu, 4 May 2017 06:15:21 +0000
From: Roee Hay <>
To: "" <>,
 "" <>
Subject: [FD] Aleph Research: Google Nexus 9 Cypress SAR Firmware Injection
 via I2C (CVE-2017-0563)

Google Nexus 9 Cypress SAR Firmware Injection via I2C


Google Nexus 9

Vulnerable Version:
Nexus 9 Android Builds before N4F27B - May 2017, i.e. before bootloader

Install N4F27B or later (bootloader version

Technical Details:
The Nexus 9 device contains a sensor SoC manufactured by Cypress. The sensor is managed by a driver available under drivers/input/touchscreen/cy8c_sar.c. The driver uses the sensor's data in order to regulate the radiation level emitted by the device.

The sensor communicates with the application processor via I2C bus #1, which also provides a firmware update interface. During the platform boot, the driver samples the SoC's firmware's version via chip address 0x5{c,d}, register 0x6. If it is different than the one available under /vendor/firmware/sar{0,1}.img, it initiates with a firmware flashing process (via I2C chip address 0x6{0,1}). It seems though that the firmware is not signed by Cypress, thus anyone having access to the I2C bus, can reflash the firmware of the SoC.

On Nexus 9 before build N4F27B, the I2C buses could be accessed by an unauthorized bootloader attacker:

1. Via the USB fastboot interface, accessible by the fastboot oem {i2cr, i2cw, i2crNoAddr, i2cwNoAddr} commands.
2. Via the HBOOT interface, available through UART (exposed by the headphones jack). 

These vectors are especially significant because theoretically they can be used by either a physical attacker (rebooting the device into fastboot) or by malicious chargers / headphones. For example, a malicious charger connected to an ADB-enabled device may reboot the device into fastboot if the user authorizes the charger. As for headphones, on builds before N4F26T they could reboot the device into HBOOT by issuing 'reboot oem-42' on the FIQ debugger prompt [3]. 

Full details can be found on our vulnerability report [1].

Google patched the vulnerability on build N4F27B / bootloader by restricting access to the I2C buses - The I2C related bootloader commands are no longer available.
Please note that although Google published the advisory on the April 2017 Security Bulletin [4], the patch has been included only since the April 5 2017 Security Patch Level, where the April Nexus 9 image (N4F26X) has the April 1 2017 Security Patch Level, hence it does not contain the patched bootloader.

[1] Aleph Research Vulnerability Report.
[2] PoC.
[3] Attacking Nexus 9 with Malicious Headphones.
[4] Google's Security Bulletin (April 2017).


The contents of this e-mail and any attachment(s) are confidential and intended for the named recipient(s) only.
E-mail transmission is not guaranteed to be secure or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted,
lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or may contain viruses in transmission. The e mail and its contents
(with or without referred errors) shall therefore not attach any liability on the originator or HCL or its affiliates.
Views or opinions, if any, presented in this email are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the
views or opinions of HCL or its affiliates. Any form of reproduction, dissemination, copying, disclosure, modification,
distribution and / or publication of this message without the prior written consent of authorized representative of
HCL is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error please delete it and notify the sender immediately.
Before opening any email and/or attachments, please check them for viruses and other defects.


Sent through the Full Disclosure mailing list
Web Archives & RSS:

Powered by blists - more mailing lists