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A new tool has been unveiled that can supposedly reverse engineer IoT devices. A tool for analyzing firmware, the foundational software that underpins any computer and coordinates between hardware and software. The tool was specifically designed to elucidate internet-of-things (IoT) device firmware and the compiled “binaries” running on anything from a home printer to an industrial door controller.
Under the name of Ofrak, the reverse analysis device aims to lower the workload of security researchers and automate the tedious work of reverse engineering. WIRED reports that much like other reverse engineering platforms, Ofrak is a neural investigative framework. The new version of this system has even been designed to integrate with other platforms for easier collaboration among multiple people.
“What makes it unique is it’s designed to provide a common interface for other tools, so the benefit is that you can use all different tools depending on what you have at your disposal or what works best for a certain project,” said Jacob Strieb, a software engineer at Red Balloon.
The platform is also unusual for offering advanced, automated repacking mechanisms for firmware binaries. Most reverse engineering tools aid in unpacking but lack extensive repacking capabilities, because even small modifications you make to firmware can incidentally break functionality or change how the program behaves.
The tool is not only useful for independent researchers who want to penetrate the black box of embedded devices. It can also help manufacturers assess their own products and play a role in patch development and distribution.
Strieb says the company hopes Ofrak will be widely adopted and that people will develop add-on modules for community use. The company plans to maintain the tool long-term, and says it is fully committed to keeping licenses for personal use and research free in perpetuity.
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