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Guri, M..  2020.  CD-LEAK: Leaking Secrets from Audioless Air-Gapped Computers Using Covert Acoustic Signals from CD/DVD Drives. 2020 IEEE 44th Annual Computers, Software, and Applications Conference (COMPSAC). :808—816.

Air-gapped networks are isolated from the Internet, since they store and process sensitive information. It has been shown that attackers can exfiltrate data from air-gapped networks by sending acoustic signals generated by computer speakers, however this type of covert channel relies on the existence of loudspeakers in the air-gapped environment. In this paper, we present CD-LEAK - a novel acoustic covert channel that works in constrained environments where loudspeakers are not available to the attacker. Malware installed on a compromised computer can maliciously generate acoustic signals via the optical CD/DVD drives. Binary information can then be modulated over the acoustic signals and be picked up by a nearby Internet connected receiver (e.g., a workstation, hidden microphone, smartphone, laptop, etc.). We examine CD/DVD drives and discuss their acoustical characteristics. We also present signal generation and detection, and data modulation and demodulation algorithms. Based on our proposed method, we developed a transmitter and receiver for PCs and smartphones, and provide the design and implementation details. We examine the channel and evaluate it on various optical drives. We also provide a set of countermeasures against this threat - which has been overlooked.

Guri, M., Zadov, B., Daidakulov, A., Elovici, Y..  2018.  xLED: Covert Data Exfiltration from Air-Gapped Networks via Switch and Router LEDs. 2018 16th Annual Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST). :1–12.

An air-gapped network is a type of IT network that is separated from the Internet - physically - due to the sensitive information it stores. Even if such a network is compromised with a malware, the hermetic isolation from the Internet prevents an attacker from leaking out any data - thanks to the lack of connectivity. In this paper we show how attackers can covertly leak sensitive data from air-gapped networks via the row of status LEDs on networking equipment such as LAN switches and routers. Although it is known that some network equipment emanates optical signals correlated with the information being processed by the device (‘side-channel'), malware controlling the status LEDs to carry any type of data (‘covert-channel') has never studied before. Sensitive data can be covertly encoded over the blinking of the LEDs and received by remote cameras and optical sensors. A malicious code is executed in a compromised LAN switch or router allowing the attacker direct, low-level control of the LEDs. We provide the technical background on the internal architecture of switches and routers at both the hardware and software level which enables these attacks. We present different modulation and encoding schemas, along with a transmission protocol. We implement prototypes of the malware and discuss its design and implementation. We tested various receivers including remote cameras, security cameras, smartphone cameras, and optical sensors, and discuss detection and prevention countermeasures. Our experiments show that sensitive data can be covertly leaked via the status LEDs of switches and routers at bit rates of 1 bit/sec to more than 2000 bit/sec per LED.

Guri, M., Mirsky, Y., Elovici, Y..  2017.  9-1-1 DDoS: Attacks, Analysis and Mitigation. 2017 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS P). :218–232.

The 911 emergency service belongs to one of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors in the United States. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks launched from a mobile phone botnet pose a significant threat to the availability of this vital service. In this paper we show how attackers can exploit the cellular network protocols in order to launch an anonymized DDoS attack on 911. The current FCC regulations require that all emergency calls be immediately routed regardless of the caller's identifiers (e.g., IMSI and IMEI). A rootkit placed within the baseband firmware of a mobile phone can mask and randomize all cellular identifiers, causing the device to have no genuine identification within the cellular network. Such anonymized phones can issue repeated emergency calls that cannot be blocked by the network or the emergency call centers, technically or legally. We explore the 911 infrastructure and discuss why it is susceptible to this kind of attack. We then implement different forms of the attack and test our implementation on a small cellular network. Finally, we simulate and analyze anonymous attacks on a model of current 911 infrastructure in order to measure the severity of their impact. We found that with less than 6K bots (or \$100K hardware), attackers can block emergency services in an entire state (e.g., North Carolina) for days. We believe that this paper will assist the respective organizations, lawmakers, and security professionals in understanding the scope of this issue in order to prevent possible 911-DDoS attacks in the future.