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'Self destruct schemes that thwart reverse engineer'
1999\04\30@150618 by Craig Lee

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I agree, it is in-fact the nature of Hackers to hack!

Would it not be an interesting challenge to develop a self
destruct mechanism, so when hacking is attempted, the chip
destroys itself?

As far as hardware destruction goes.  I've tried this with
a 16F84, and can't manage to destroy it.....  Reversed
currents, gave it high voltage spikes, etc., and all I
managed to do was blow a couple of I/O pins(they still work
as pull downs!)

I don't think there is an application note on this. (;-`>

I believe the 16F877 has the ability to self modify code.
So, the real challenge would be the sensor mechanism.

Of course there will be 'researchers' that will see through
the protection attempt, like all protection schemes, and
take on the challenge to disable it.

However, if capable of this, protection is useless anyway as
the 'researcher' has technical skill and probably knows
enough to write the whole thing from scratch.

The point is:  Protection schemes only keep the thieves and
PDP11ers out; hackers are more interested in the challenge of
opening a locked door.


Craig

> {Original Message removed}

1999\04\30@161058 by Mark Willis

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Craig Lee wrote:
>
> I agree, it is in-fact the nature of Hackers to hack!
>
> Would it not be an interesting challenge to develop a self
> destruct mechanism, so when hacking is attempted, the chip
> destroys itself?
>
> As far as hardware destruction goes.  I've tried this with
> a 16F84, and can't manage to destroy it.....  Reversed
> currents, gave it high voltage spikes, etc., and all I
> managed to do was blow a couple of I/O pins(they still work
> as pull downs!)
> <snipped>
> Craig

 Detection is one thing;  destruction is the EASY part.

 Put a nice powerful spring in there holding a pin punch, center punch,
or cold chisel;  On trying to open the access door, the punch is driven
through the PIC die and PC board, with power still on, causing "some"
silicon damage.  (An old bolt would do nicely.)

 An old truck leaf spring set to mash the PIC chip when released should
do, for the cheap solution.  Watch your fingers...

 Adapt one of those .22 "blank" powered concrete nail drivers to do the
same damage.

 See also short shotguns, short rifles, etc;  Be sure the person
opening the box is authorized to have access to firearms <G>  Or you
could use a crossbow, slur bow, stone bow, etc. type setup.

 Attach a small Squib atop the PIC chip, set off upon detection of
unauthorized access, with a nice NiMH backup power pack.  For bonus
points, use a small blob of C3, a nice 4-foot coil of Det. Cord, or
better yet one op the above fashioned into a shaped charge.  Only 2
bonus points if you use a commercially made shaped charge (the people
who demolish buildings use these, it'll cut a steel beam, so it'll cut a
PIC.)  Also bonus points if you make your own Squib, etc. <G>  You lose
MANY points for each conviction for breaking laws here, of course...

 Brute force method:  Fit the PIC in a module atop a small mortar
charge, on firing the mortar charge the entire PIC module's smashed
against an anvil.  NO bonus points for this, but people into this
approach tend to get great satisfaction without the bonus points <G>

 Set off a pound of Thermite upon intrusion into the box.  (MESSY, yet
pretty darn certain!)

 Vent a couple pounds of molten metal into the project box <G>
(messier than thermite, debatably.)

 Attach the left and right sides of the PIC to opposing sides of
rectified 117VAC through small metal blades snapped against the PIC
pins, and energized upon detection of intrusion.  (Use a nice big cap, I
figure this should do nicely.)  Better: Alternate so even and odd pins
are attached to opposing sides of this voltage.  A nice DIL test clamp
could be used here, potentially, just don't leave it always connected as
it'll affect your clock oscillator.

 Minimalist solution:  Use the above but only "Zap" the Osc1/ClkIn
pin;  This should probably make it QUITE hard to use the PIC chip <G>

 Anarchists' (non-)solution:  Pot the entire PIC chip in Nitrogen
Tri-Iodide solution, let dry as you retreat to a safe distance, expect
the first vibration to come along to vaporize your PIC <G>  Powering up
may do it here, as well.

 Cryogenics overkill solution:  Pour a pint of liquid N2 on the PIC
chip, wait 5 seconds, then drop a hammer on it <G>

 WAY Overkill solution:  Get a small Neutron bomb, glue the PIC project
atop it's case, set bomb off upon intrusion <G>

 Mark


'Self destruct schemes that thwart reverse engineer'
1999\05\03@010325 by Graeme Smith
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Hmmm....

How about setting up a "Chip Protecter" linked to a pic pin that is only
used to "Read" the chip. this "Chip Protecter" blows when they try to read
the chip, thus turning off the oscillator, and shutting down the pic.

They can read the chip, but they can't use the same circuit to test it....

(Unless they replace the chip protecter).

another possible approach, is to set up a circuit so that no matter how
the chip is reprogrammed, unless it gets a certain voltage on one of the
pins, it will automagically shut down... can be set up so that it checks
the chip-id to make sure it is on the same chip, or to a timer so that it
will run for about 20 minutes, and then shut down permanently. (blow a
chip protect fuse?)

Of course mis-using this to do planned obsolescence is considered bad
design... isn't it?

                               Grey

GRAEME SMITH                         email: spam_OUTgrysmithTakeThisOuTspamfreenet.edmonton.ab.ca
YMCA Edmonton

Address has changed with little warning!
(I moved across the hall! :) )

Email will remain constant... at least for now.

1999\05\03@042739 by Benjamin Petersen

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 WAY Overkill solution:  Get a small Neutron bomb, glue the
> PIC project
> atop it's case, set bomb off upon intrusion <G>
>
>   Mark

You are a very very sick person...<GRIN>

Regards
Benjamin Petersen

1999\05\03@104624 by Lawrence Lile

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Seriously, the US Military developed an epoxy potting compound for
encapsulating electronics that, when exposed to air, reacts and forms some
kind of acid, detroying the silicon inside.  I heard about this maybe 20
years ago, so it's not new technology.

As far as the PIC hobbyist is concerned, there are no sure ways of
protection.  Simply potting your project will discourage the casual hacker,
but there is no defense against the determined thief.  I keep hearing about
these companies that will reverse engineer even copy protected PICS (which I
do NOT condone or do)

Often I see proprietary parts with MCHIP logos on them, probably a masked
ROM PIC.






{Original Message removed}

1999\05\03@120632 by Mark Willis

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Benjamin Petersen wrote:
>
>   WAY Overkill solution:  Get a small Neutron bomb, glue the
> > PIC project
> > atop it's case, set bomb off upon intrusion <G>
> >
> >   Mark
>
> You are a very very sick person...<GRIN>
>
> Regards
> Benjamin Petersen

 I'm a very frustrated engineer <G>  Spend my time doing Robin help &
feeding & transfers, not staring glazed-eyed into space designing entire
systems in my head; all that creativity has to go SOME place - so I use
it to make sick, weird humor <G>

 Mark

1999\05\03@133212 by Dmitry Kiryashov

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Hi guys. ;-)

Up to me the better way to protect some device is good marketing tactics
and low prices with good support. ;-) Otherwise somebody who not so lazy
will offer something better and all those protections will be hopeless.
Two steps ahead anyone, I guess it's good protection ;-)

WBR Dmitry.

Graeme Smith wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\05\04@024045 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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Thanks for the tips Mark!  After carefull consideration I have decided on
the last method using the nuclear weapon.  This solution would appear to
satisfy the anti-theft requirements with the added benefit of instantly
notifying the owner of possible tampering with his code.  I do however seem
to have problems tracking down the weapons grade plutonium.

Nobody, but nobody is going to steal *MY* LED flasher....

Regards

Mike Rigby-Jones

> {Original Message removed}

1999\05\04@101323 by Mark Willis

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The only problem is, you're going to need one HECK of an advertising
budget, Michael.  I am fairly certain it's going to take some REAL
convincing that people NEED your, far more expensive, LED flasher, as
opposed to a $1 flasher from the local thrift store.  (Unless this is a
hobby project, in which case that cost & the cost of the fissionables
are moot <G>  Or unless they WANT a nuke, in which case maybe you'd
better be careful which you sell em to <G>)

 I'm partial to the spring loaded methods, myself.

 Mark

Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> > {Original Message removed}

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