Can you harm 'hardware' remotely? - Page 2
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Thread: Can you harm 'hardware' remotely?

  1. #11
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    Originally posted here by S3cur|ty4ng31
    In one of my advanced security classes I had heard my professor say 'If you try to use any of the stuff were learing on me I will re-act back and fry your motherboard' he was joking I think but it got me thinking and I looked into if that was possible.

    It is possible but very difficult and you have to know alot about the hardware of the machine you are attacking but basically you configure the hardware to overclock the cpu by some rediculous amount and eventually it will get so hot chips start sputtering and hardware is damaged.

    This may work on AMD chipsets but most newer Intel chips are clock locked and cannot be overclocked. Also, like I said in my earlier post, most mobo's being produced today have thermal protection that will keep the chip from frying itself. I think anybody who says they will "fry your puter" if you mess with them is either joking, or they are l33t.

  2. #12
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    The CD tray and Overclock examples raise some insight. Many of todays computers and devices have some control over the physical environment indirectly. It definitely could be possible to figure out low level commands and issue them to hardware components, abusing their intended purpose in order to exploit a weekness that could lead to destruction or failure. Though not instantaneous, most people wouldn't figure it out.

  3. #13
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    hmm...if you have one of those mobos that dont prevent overheating and you find a way to up the fsb to like 2935732 ... that could probably fry some things

  4. #14
    Senior Member Wazz's Avatar
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    Theoretically, any piece of hardware with upgradeable firmware can be rendered useless including but not limited to video cards, sound cards, routers, etc. You would most likely need an update/flash utility for the specific device and perhaps an image of the firmware. All you would have to do is hex edit or recompile the image to corrupt it and spawn a shell on the remote box to flash the image. The only way to "repair" the hardware would be to re-flash it with an Eprom burner...if the end user even thinks of that (they may assume the hardware just **** the bed on them). Scary.
    "It is a shame that stupidity is not painful" - Anton LaVey

  5. #15
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    There are probably a few other ways, although they mostly still deal with firmware overwrites... one could, with some BIOSes, change voltage settings...

    This is a bit off-topic, but something I found very interesting was suggested in the .hack series of games - they called it "Deadly Flash" - a fictional computer virus that caused physical harm to the USER by flashing their screen with seizure-inducing colours... scary thought, since it's quite possible with today's technology.

    Here's another thought - wouldn't it be possible to change fan speeds with software, or to disable/mask input from the CPU temperature sensor, then proceed to burn it in? I don't know, just pure conjecture.

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  6. #16
    Senior Member cwk9's Avatar
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    There was an issue a while back with certain screen savers causing some nivida cards to over heat. http://megagames.com/news/html/hardw...ensavers.shtml

    At least having tons of possible hardware configurations offers some inherent protection against a wide spread hardware thrashing virus. It also helps that most of the big budget items in a computer (cpu, graphics card) have no problem running at %100 for long periods of time.
    Its not software piracy. Iím just making multiple off site backups.

  7. #17
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    Isnt the fan/heat moniters controled by the bios and its an auto thing to raise the fan speed
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  8. #18
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    Originally posted here by Wazz
    Theoretically, any piece of hardware with upgradeable firmware can be rendered useless including but not limited to video cards, sound cards, routers, etc. You would most likely need an update/flash utility for the specific device and perhaps an image of the firmware. All you would have to do is hex edit or recompile the image to corrupt it and spawn a shell on the remote box to flash the image. The only way to "repair" the hardware would be to re-flash it with an Eprom burner...if the end user even thinks of that (they may assume the hardware just **** the bed on them). Scary.
    If memory serves correctly there was a firmware problem on some brand of CDROM that would totally get ****ed and stop working when trying to install mandrake 9 or 9.1. I imagine that if you could find out what exactly was screwing the cd drives up you could use it to exploit on other machines. (with the same cd drives)
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  9. #19
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    This might be fun for lanparties..

    VoltageLabs has a comprehensive series of info on building all kinds of dangerous equipment..

    like this HERF gun that will damage a computer (see botom of the page)..

    http://www.voltsamps.com/pages/projects/herf005/
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  10. #20
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    If you rooted someone you could edit the XFree86 configuration file and set the refresh rates to sky rocketing settings and burn the monitor out, and possibly start a fire. Can't believe no one brought up settings. Getting Root/Admin privs on a box, and setting the monitor settings up high as hell would surely fry it.

    Also, I'm not sure if you meant this for remote access, but sending someone a floppy bomb would work well in killing off a machine. They work pretty well, and with as much heat as moct machines let off, it's just enough to ignite the floppy bomb if they read from it.
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