Blockchain-specialist «virus»: as cracked the crypto Ledger

TechCrunch published an article about a hacker who broke into the hardware from the crypto Ledger. The manufacturer has positioned as a safe wallet. Hacker name is Salim Rashid, he is 15 and he wrote in detail about his research. What this means for owners of the Ledger? Says the expert of «Kaspersky Lab» on the cryptocurrency and the blockchain Alexey Malanov, who will make a separate report on the Blockchain Conference Moscow April 17.

What is the vulnerability?

Salim Rashid has described three vector for attack on the owners of the hardware wallet.

  • You only ordered a purse from the manufacturer, but the postman «conjured» over your device and then handed it to you. Your money is compromised.

  • Your wallet was found by a maid, «conjured» over it while you were in the bathroom. After that at least once you sign the transaction, but all your money is flying in the wrong direction.

  • No one touched your wallet, but your computer was infected with malware. He convinced you that you need to update the firmware, and you agreed. Further you do let the Trojan horse in your hardware wallet.

  • All three risks can be assessed as critical.

    Technically implemented the attack?

    We omit some details. The purse is the firmware that decides how it will work, how is the initial generation of the secret key and what to display on a secure display device. Device Ledger verifies that this firmware is original and contains no bookmarks. However, Salem was able to find flaws in the architecture of such a test. Roughly speaking, the modified firmware is involved in the process of self-validation and helps Ledger’have to agree that everything is in order.

    What is important, Salim was not limited to theoretical research, and implemented a Proof-of-Concept is demonstrated in practice that an attack is possible.

    Than it threatens the owners of the wallets?

    All three vectors of attack can cause the user’s hardware of the purse will lose money. However, there is good news.

  • «Attack before delivery». It is unlikely that an attacker can intercept and pereproshit whole party wallets. More importantly, if your wallet has long you, then, most likely, he touched was not.

  • «The charge of the maid.» Hardly anyone leaves a hardware wallet unattended. Even if it is not (was) to crack, it can still be stolen. Let the attacker will not be able to steal money with a stolen wallet (at least, it will be very difficult), but to them, you too will lose access (if the safe Deposit box do not store the passphrase on a piece of paper). More likely the maid will stumble on your backup on your paper.

  • «Attack of the malware». This is perhaps the biggest potential nuisance, because it allows you to carry out an attack remotely. The most important element of this attack is to convince the user that he must update the firmware. «Kaspersky’s laboratory» recommends to use high quality security solution regardless of whether you’re the owner of a hardware wallet or not.

  • The sixth of March Ledger has released a firmware update for the Ledger Nano’s, which reduced the likelihood of recurrence of the attacks described Salim Rashid and Sergey Volokitin. However, firmware updates for Ledger Blue at the moment, was not released. «Kaspersky’s laboratory» recommends to update the firmware of your hardware wallet.

    17 APR Alex will speak at the conference, where he will talk about the vulnerabilities of the blockchain and smart contracts and about the importance of security software.

    Alexey Malanov – specialist of «Kaspersky Lab». Went from a virus analyst, head of antivirus research. In 2012 he started to work with protective technologies, and then became interested bloccano. In March Alex had ended the competition picked up the part of the private key from a wallet, which lay a 0.05 bitcoin.

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