Flashing Booby-Trapped Cisco AP With OpenWRT, The Onerous Manner | Tech Bea

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Sure producers significantly dislike open supply firmware for his or her gadgets, and this explicit hack offers with some fairly excessive anti-hobbyist measures. The Cisco-made Meraki MR33 is an efficient entry level hardware-wise, and operating OpenWRT on it’s fantastic, have been it not for Cisco’s malicious choice to completely lock the CPU as quickly as you enter Uboot via the Serial port. This AP seems to be a part of a “{hardware} as a service” providing, and the booby-trapped Uboot was applied through an OTA replace a while after the OpenWRT port was launched.

There may be an older model of Uboot obtainable, however you’ll be able to’t return to it, and to some extent there was just one JTAG downgrade path famous on the wiki, with its full description consisting of a “FIXME: describe the method tag Our hacker, an nameless consumer of the [SagaciousSuricata] weblog, determined to take a special path: elevate, dump and modify the onboard flash to downgrade the bootloader and walks us via the entire course of. There are a number of notable issues about this hack, like utilizing the Nix package deal supervisor to get Python 2.7 on an OS that has lengthy since deserted it, and a tip a few viable, light-weight TFTP server for such a job, however the a part of the flash chip caught our consideration.

The flash chip is within the TSOP48 package deal and makes use of a parallel interface, and an iMX6.LL improvement board was used to learn, modify and roll again the picture, scorching swapping the chip, like we used to do with the outdated parallel interface BIOS chips . We significantly appreciated using FFC cables and connectors to attach the flash chip to the event board in a method that enables scorching swapping; Now that we will see it, the 0.5mm pitch TSOP and 0.5mm FFC {hardware} are an ideal match. This hack will, in fact, swimsuit many TSOP48-equipped gadgets, and it is good to have a set of instruments in case you do not have a programmer useful.

In the long run, AP obtained a brand new lease on life, now dominated by its proprietor somewhat than the whims of Cisco. It is a helpful tutorial for anybody confronted with a parallel flash geared up gadget the place the one method appears to be the toughest, and we’re glad to see hackers really feel snug dealing with such challenges, be it parallel flash, JTAG or energy failures. In any case, it is nice when your gadgets can run an working system utterly underneath your management; It is traditionally been that you just get much more options that method, but it surely’s additionally that the producer cannot pull the rug out from underneath you want Amazon did with its Fireplace TV Packing containers.

We admire [WifiCable] for sharing this with us!

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Flashing Booby-Trapped Cisco AP With OpenWRT, The Hard Way