[Community] Wifi, Modem and GPS

Sven Dyroff S.Dyroff at phytec.de
Tue Jul 15 10:15:22 CEST 2014


Hello Christoph,

> The modem could try to attack the host side USB stack and use some
> buffer overflows to execute data on the main CPU. I think this is
> quite sophisticated and the probability that this will work is rather
> low. The Neo900 includes additional circuitry to detect such bad
> behavior by measuring the current consumption of the module.
> The GPS receiver could also try to attack the GPS client software
> (gpsd or similar) by sending bogus data. I think the probability to
> exploit this is even lower.

> The power for the GPS is entirely controlled by the host. If the
> regulator is off, there is nothing the module could do to prevent
> losing power.

But please don't forget the possibility that a non-free firmware would 
allow direct communication between UMTS and GPS (if supplied with power) 
without sending any noticeable signals to the outside of the modem.

> The Neo900 includes additional circuitry to detect such bad
> behavior by measuring the current consumption of the module.

Is this power observation also included within the power line of the 
modem's GPS receiver?

I really appreciate this idea of power observation in combination with 
programmable automatic alert! It allows to write intelligent open-source 
security software, that continuously pre-assesses the allowed power 
consumption and in case of violations of limits automatically turns off 
the regulators at once.

Best regards
   Sven
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