Inside Sea Serpent Safety Labs: Problem Established In Keepkey Crypto Equipment Pocketbook (Component 2)


Although much of the initial KeepKey codebase is based upon the Trezor One, their codebases have actually split. The KeepKey group included a number of reduction systems to make the KeepKey firmware durable to the glitching strikes showed throughout the Wallet.Fail talk at 35th Chaos Communications Congress; nonetheless, these were verified to be inadequate. The certain problem utilized versus the KeepKey was based upon the Wallet.Fail as well as Chip.Fail talk at Blackhat UNITED STATES 2019. Most notably, this research study shows that the safety and security of a budget like the KeepKey ought to not only be based upon the safety and security of the STM32F205 microcontroller.

STM32 Boot procedure as well as Problem Specifications

Much of the habits of a microcontroller is specified by worths it checks out at power up. These consist of strapped pins that read at boot (BOOT pins in the STM32 paperwork) as well as the safety and security setup little bits (Alternative Bytes in the STM32 paperwork). Keep in mind, a lot of the adhering to information have actually been identified with empirical reverse-engineering of the boot habits of the STM32F2. A lot of Cortex-M microcontrollers consist of ROMs that are performed at boot, frequently described as BootROMs. BootROMs are the very first items of software application performed by a chip as well as are in charge of filling crucial specifications, such as the safety and security setup of the chip. Ultimately, the individual application or application code is performed. When it comes to the equipment budget, this is the real firmware of the supplier. Keep in mind, since the glitching assault defined in this job targets the BootROM code, it cannot be dependably alleviated by any type of countermeasures executed in the supplier’s firmware. A susceptability in the BootROM results in an integral equipment susceptability that cannot be covered as well as needs the underlying equipment to be changed totally with a brand-new equipment alteration.

Probably due to the family member intricacy of the STM32F2, the STM32 takes long too, about 1.2ms – 1.8ms after power biking the power supply to the chip. The boot time can be dependably gauged in 2 means: either determining the power intake of the gadget as well as determining the quantity of time that it considers a preliminary surge in power intake ( as an example, with a [Low Side Power Measurement]), or by observing the habits of the reset (NRST/JTAG RST) line of the microcontroller. Within the very first 100us – 200us, the BootROM of the chip is performed.

Flash as well as SRAM Read Defense on the STM32

The STM32 household carries out a protection system referred to as Read Defense or RDP. Due to the fact that the only non-volatile storage space on ARM Cortex-M tools is flash memory, the RDP worth is saved in an unique web page of flash memory that is or else hard to reach for composing from the application code. The RDP worth is specified by the microcontroller setup little bits referred to as Alternative Bytes. There are 3 Alternative Byte worths representing the 3 RDP degrees on STM32 tools.

RDP Degree Alternative Byte Worth Habits
0 0xAA Complete accessibility to SRAM as well as Flash
1 Any type of worth other than 0xAA as well as 0xCC Review accessibility to SRAM, no accessibility to Blink
2 0xCC No accessibility to SRAM or Flash

Table 1: RDP Degrees as well as the matching Alternative Byte Worths on STM32-Household Tools

Considering that the only non-volatile memory on STM32 microcontrollers is flash, this is additionally the only non-volatile storage space for the cryptographic seeds as well as exclusive tricks. Therefore, the flash should be shielded from reviewed out. The good news is, the Trezor One as well as all of its by-products appropriately make use of the RDP function as well as are delivered with and/or established RDP to RDP Degree 2 on very first boot (see Table 1). Therefore, in method, non-development firmwares on individual tools are constantly at RDP2 (RDP Degree 2), which stops an assaulter from accessing SRAM or Flash. Nonetheless, as shown by the Wallet.Fail as well as Chip.Fail research study, degradation RDP2 to RDP1 can dependably be carried out at boot with voltage glitching. As soon as a tool goes to RDP1, its SRAM can be reviewed out over the ARM SWD debugging procedure.

Due to the facility Power-On-Reset (POR) reasoning of the STM32, a regular assertion of reset, (i.e. soft reset where the NRST line is held reduced for a brief quantity of time) does not cause a complete power-on-reset as well as re-execution of the BootROM. This is additionally rather validated by the truth that an adjustment in the safety and security setup (i.e. altering the Alternative Bytes to transform the RDP Degree) normally needs power biking the chip. Alternatively, this additionally implies that as soon as a chip is efficiently glitched as well as a resulting downgrade of the safety and security setup has actually occurred, this safety and security downgrade will certainly continue to be essentially till the chip is power-cycled. This implies that an assaulter can repetitively try to problem the gadget, inspect whether the problem achieved success, while still implementing Bootrom or extremely early right into the application code without the application code loading. Therefore, there are no countermeasures that work versus this course of assault since the enemy can guarantee the problem prospered prior to implementing the application code. As soon as an assaulter efficiently problems a tool, the enemy merely executes a soft reset of the target, the system remains to go for RDP1, enabling the enemy to randomly review the components of SRAM memory at any type of offered point. This is specifically troublesome as a lot of the collections applying the cryptography essential for authorizing cryptocurrency purchases count on filling delicate details right into SRAM for calculation. Furthermore, the cryptographic seed might be packed right into SRAM throughout budget derivation as well as the PIN of the individual might be packed for confirmation versus individual input. If the underlying firmware is validated or if a checksum is calculated to inspect the stability of the firmware, components or every one of this information might additionally be revealed to strikes.

Beating KeepKey Countermeasures

The KeepKey executed a number of countermeasures versus glitching strikes adhering to the Wallet.Fail talk at 35c3. These consist of magic byte patterns in the flash along with securing the seed in memory. Neither of these countermeasures were identified to be efficient. Due to the fact that an assaulter can make certain that a problem prospered prior to implementing the individual application, it is insignificant to stop any type of magic bytes of flash from being damaged. In addition, given that the file encryption trick is straight originated from the individual’s PIN, the keyspace is little, particularly for 4 figure PINs. Thus, the file encryption trick can be brute-forced in a split second on any type of modern-day COMPUTER, enabling an assaulter to recuperate the unencrypted PIN as well as cryptographic seed.

Problem arrangement

An in-situ glitching arrangement for the KeepKey

Boot times for a particular chip, i.e. a particular microcontroller of a particular KeepKey, depend upon a number of specifications as well as special qualities of the microcontroller. These consist of producing variations of the silicon in the microcontroller along with variations in the capacitances of the PCB, the temperature level, along with the voltages provided to the gadget. To eliminate a few of the exterior variations it is essential to change the PCB to eliminate any type of exterior parts that might negatively influence the problem waveform provided to the target. Additionally, a personalized PCB can be utilized that does not have these exterior parts.

The previous as well as research study discussions showed that an effective problem versus the STM32 can be carried out by providing a problem to the Vcore voltage of the microcontroller. To efficiently do the problem the target is power-cycled, as well as a problem waveform is provided after system boot (when the NRST line goes high) to the Vcore pins of the microcontroller. Due to the fact that the countered in time at which the Alternative Bytes are packed is unidentified as well as depends upon the special production qualities of the silicon along with exterior specifications such as temperature level, it is much easier to develop a search area of differing hold-ups as well as iteratively do the adhering to actions:

  1. Power-cycle the target
  2. Hold-up for a provided quantity of time
  3. Do the problem
  4. Effort to mention the faucets of the JTAG user interface
  5. If no faucets can be identified, raise the hold-up as well as repeat from Action 1

A Python manuscript was utilized for automation as well as a FPGA was utilized to precisely regulate power-cycling the target, postponing as well as providing the problem pick signal to the multiplexer (i.e. glitching the target). After every problem effort, the JTAG user interface was identified. If JTAG can be identified, the problem had actually prospered.

Details : JTAG faucet: auto0.tap tap/device located: 0x4ba00477 (mfg: 0x23b (ARM Ltd.), component: 0xba00, ver: 0x4)
Details : JTAG faucet: auto1.tap tap/device located: 0x06411041 (mfg: 0x020 (STMicroelectronics), component: 0x6411, ver: 0x0)

Effective JTAG faucet list by OpenOCD.

For interfacing to the target’s debugging user interfaces, OpenOCD was utilized. Due to the fact that debugging the chip over the ARM SWD user interface leads to a Non-Maskable Interrupt (NMI), stopping the gadget, JTAG was utilized rather to check if debugging had actually been allowed. Effective list of the faucet tools suggested that debugging had actually without a doubt been allowed which a picture of SRAM memory can consequently be recorded over ARM SWD. Keep In Mind: ARM SWD still produces an NMI stopping the gadget. Therefore, JTAG list was utilized together with ARM SWD, given that JTAG did not cause an NMI.

On the numerous tools checked as component of this research study, effective glitching as well as degradation of RDP took place about 160us – 200us after the NRST line had actually gone high. For glitching, a 200ns pulse was provided to the pick line of a Max4619 analog multiplexer. Limit4619 toggled in between about 1.38v, which was provided to make certain that the Low-Dropout Regulatory Authority (LDO) in the STM32 turned off, as well as 0v (i.e. GND).

In-Situ Problem

Developing a personalized PCB to problem a tool needs added effort and time, although it leads to even more reproducible outcomes, with much less prep work per gadget, when carried out versus several tools en mass. Thus, as an evidence of idea, it makes good sense to very first change a supply target PCB as well as adjust it to deal with the problem arrangement. Most significantly, any type of parts that can filter or influence the problem pulse from getting to the target microcontroller. Essential amongst these are the bypass capacitors that are contributed to support the voltage provided to the microcontroller.

Inside Sea Serpent Safety Labs: Problem Established In Keepkey Crypto Equipment Pocketbook (Component 2) 1

Required alterations to the KeepKey PCB for in-situ glitching

On the KeepKey PCB, R42 as well as R43 are the bypass capacitors for the core voltage of the microcontroller as well as should be gotten rid of. Furthermore, there is a sequencer IC U4 that makes sure a secure voltage as well as hold-ups the microcontroller from starting. This added start-up hold-up makes the procedure of iteratively glitching the target extra slow-moving, therefore it must additionally be gotten rid of. Furthermore, the sequencer circuit has 2 collection resistors linked to it as well as NRST, R50 as well as R63, specifically. R50 ought to be gotten rid of, while R63 requires to be connected and/or gotten rid of as well as connected for reputable glitching.

Inside Sea Serpent Safety Labs: Problem Established In Keepkey Crypto Equipment Pocketbook (Component 2) 2

A changed KeepKey PCB

Socketed Problem Arrangement

The Discussion at 35c3 showed a socketed STM32 glitcher. This consisted of a personalized PCB with a mechanical outlet suitable with the LQFP64 plan of the STM32F205 utilized in the Trezor One as well as the KeepKey. The STM32F205 can be placed right into the outlet without soldering. Therefore, in-situ alterations end up being completely unneeded. The MCU can merely be gotten rid of from the KeepKey board and afterwards literally placed right into the outlet adapter in under one min. There is no rewiring to be carried out for succeeding tools as the underlying PCB of the socketed arrangement gives all the essential links.

The adhering to assault was efficiently performed utilizing the socketed arrangement. Initially, we updated the KeepKey to the most recent firmware as well as a BIP39 seed expression was produced as well as videotaped. Ultimately, a budget was produced to later on confirm that the assault was without a doubt effective as well as a percentage of cryptocurrency was moved to the budget. As soon as the KeepKey budget was produced, we after that got rid of the MCU from the KeepKey as well as positioned it right into the outlet. Due to the fact that the bootloader of the KeepKey boots up body clocks utilizing the inner PLL, it needs an outside 8MHz oscillator to run. The system fell short too without an outside clock resource. Nonetheless, a signal generator was utilized to provide the essential clock waveform based on the STM32F205 datasheet. As soon as the exterior clock was provided, the bootloader had the ability to boot up body clocks as well as proceed starting in the outlet. If a signal generator was not readily available, the PCB supplied the impacts for installing a quartz oscillator as well as the matching capacitors.

With the system appropriately clocked, the MCU in the outlet boots are to the very same state as the in-situ arrangement. For that reason, the problem can currently be used, RDP devalued from RDP Degree 2 to RDP Degree 1 as well as the individual application can be performed. As soon as the individual application is performed, the encrypted BIP39 seed expression as well as the PIN are packed right into memory. At this phase, it is feasible to confirm that RDP Degree 1 is still energetic by identifying the JTAG faucet tools as well as consequently catching a picture of SRAM by composing the SRAM components to a documents.

The socketed arrangement is a different seed removal technique with the same outcomes to that of the in-situ problem. It is intrusive yet not completely damaging as the MCU can be remodelled as well as changed on the initial board as well as the situation rebuilded. Keep in mind, the KeepKey room is specifically hard to open up in method, yet after some method, it can be swiftly carried out with marginal damages to the outdoors as there are mechanical breaks holding the top as well as reduced room with each other. Nonetheless, once the seed has actually been removed, an assaulter can bring back the BIP39 seed expression on any type of various other budget that sustains BIP39. If the intent of the enemy was to acquire a customer’s seed to swipe the individual’s funds at a later point, an assaulter can bring back the seed onto a brand-new KeepKey gadget as well as return the brand-new KeepKey unbeknownstto the target.

Drawing Out the Keys

The downgrade assault from RDP2 to RDP1 by itself is insufficient to endanger the seed of the budget: RDP1 just enables read-out of the RAM, while the seed is typically saved in flash. To endanger the seed, it was essential to locate a code-path that lots the seed right into RAM without needing to confirm, utilizing the PIN initially, to after that review it out utilizing the debugging user interface.

A hands-on code-review exposed that the KeepKey firmware lots all setup information (consisting of an encrypted variation of the seed) right into memory on a normal boot as well as prior to getting in the PIN.

The complete code-path that results in this is:

  • lib/firmware/keepkey_main.c: major
  • lib/firmware/storage.c: storage_init
  • lib/firmware/storage.c storage_fromFlash

The framework that is packed right into RAM is called Storage space:

typedef struct _Storage {
    uint32_t version;
    struct Public {
        uint8_t wrapped_storage_key[64];
        uint8_t storage_key_fingerprint[32];
        bool has_pin;
        uint32_t pin_failed_attempts;
        bool has_language;
        char language[16];
        bool has_label;
        char label[48];
        bool imported;
        uint32_t policies_count;
        PolicyType policies[POLICY_COUNT];
        bool has_auto_lock_delay_ms;
        uint32_t auto_lock_delay_ms;
        bool passphrase_protection;
        bool initialized;
        bool has_node;
        bool has_mnemonic;
        bool has_u2froot;
        HDNodeType u2froot;
        uint32_t u2f_counter;
        bool no_backup;
    } pub;

    bool has_sec;
    struct Secret {
        HDNodeType node;
        char mnemonic[241];
        char pin[10];
        Cache cache;
    } sec;

    bool has_sec_fingerprint;
    uint8_t sec_fingerprint[32];

    uint32_t encrypted_sec_version;
    uint8_t encrypted_sec[512];
} Storage space;

The storage structure consists of:

  • Storage variation number
  • Public structure containing the tag, language and other information about the device
  • Secret structure, which contains the unencrypted seed etc. after the device has been unlocked
  • sec_fingerprint containing the fingerprint of the encrypted storage
  • encrypted_sec, a 512 byte long encrypted container that gets decrypted into the Secret structure after a successful pin unlock.

A simple Synalize It! grammar was written for introspecting RAM dumps of the device. It can be used to quickly navigate through the Storage Space structure:

Inside Sea Serpent Safety Labs: Problem Established In Keepkey Crypto Equipment Pocketbook (Component 2) 3

Synalize It! Pro with a custom grammar to highlight the Storage structure contents

It was found that the Public structure also contains a wrapped_storage_key as well as a storage_key_fingerprint: When a user enters the PIN into the device, the wrapped_storage_key is AES decrypted using the SHA512 hash of the entered PIN. The hash of that decrypted storage space key is then compared to the storage_key_fingerprint:

  • User enters PIN
  • PIN is stored as C-string ($PIN)
  • $PIN_SHA_512 = SHA512($PIN)
  • $KEY = $PIN_SHA_512[0..32]
  • $IV = $PIN_SHA_512[32..48]
  • $DECRYPTED_KEY = AES256-CBC($KEY, $IV, $wrapped_storage_key)
  • If SHA256($DECRYPTED_KEY) == $storage_key_fingerprint
  • Correct PIN entered

In Python, this can be expressed as:

import hashlib
from Crypto.Cipher import AES

pin_hash = hashlib.sha512(PIN).digest()
key = pin_hash[:32]
iv = pin_hash[32:48]
cipher =, AES.MODE_CBC, iv)
decrypted_wrapped_storage_key = cipher.decrypt(wrapped_storage_key)
fingerprint = hashlib.sha256(decrypted_wrapped_storage_key).digest()
if(fingerprint == storage_key_fingerprint):
# Successful PIN entry

The decrypted wrapped_storage_key (referred to as storage_key in the following description) can then be used to decrypt the encrypted_sec array of the Storage framework. For this, the first 32 bytes of the storage_key are used as the decryption key, while the next 16 bytes are used as IV. The encrypted_sec array can then be decrypted using AES-256 in CBC mode.

Based on this, a Python tool was written that brute-forces the PIN of a memory dump and then extracts the (decrypted) encrypted_sec data into an output file. To improve the performance of the brute-force attack, the tool can utilize multiple processes to take advantage of multiple cores. A KeepKey can have a maximum PIN length of 9 digits. On a modern laptop, attempting all 9-digit PIN combinations takes no longer than 10 minutes. A GPU accelerated variation can potentially be significantly faster.

Inside Sea Serpent Safety Labs: Problem Established In Keepkey Crypto Equipment Pocketbook (Component 2) 4

The Python device for fracturing the KeepKey PIN & removing its seed

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