[Community] Protecting USB data pins

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Wed Aug 20 09:24:37 CEST 2014


Am 20.08.2014 um 08:38 schrieb Ryan de Laplante (personal):

> There is a product called LockedUSB (http://www.lockedusb.com) that
> protects your devices from attack when using untrusted charger devices
> while traveling. It disables the data pins in a way that still allows
> for rapid charging.
> 
> I think it would be neat if the Neo900 (or a future version of it) had
> this type of functionality built in. It could be always on by default,
> and temporarily toggled off with software when you need to use the data
> lines.

Nice idea.

But my first thought: I always take along my own charger while travelling.
And just in case, I could buy and use a LockedUSB if I really think I need it.
If I am travelling I already have some adapters with me.

Next: since it is open hard&software, you can disable the OTG port drivers
by not initializing the TPS65950 in u-boot and/or the kernel. Or add more
protection to the software. Or add a driver that checks which data is coming
in from a charger...

IMHO the main problem that is solved with the LockedUSB is with mobile
devices where you have no control over the bugs of the USB stack and
therefore have to expect that some untrusted charger can do harmful
things to your device and data. And you have no chance to protect your
device otherwise.

So why should additional hardware be integrated in every unit?

BR,
Nikolaus


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