Many electronic devices contain design flaws that could lead to exploitable vulnerabilities. In order to discover such flaws, hackers and engineers use a variety of tools. This presentation describes the tools commonly used during the hardware hacking and reverse engineering processes, including those that monitor/decode communications, extract firmware, inject/spoof data, and identify/connect to debug interfaces.
On-chip debug (OCD) interfaces can provide chip-level control of a target device and are a primary vector used by engineers, researchers, and hackers to extract program code or data, modify memory contents, or affect device operation on-the-fly. Depending on the complexity of the target device, manually locating available OCD connections can be a difficult and time consuming task, sometimes requiring physical destruction or modification of the device.