[Cryptography] Open Storage Controllers

R0b0t1 r030t1 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 24 16:33:02 EDT 2018

Is anyone aware of either HDDs or SSDs that have firmware which is
user modifiable? Even flash chips, "bare," as used in USB flash
drives, or eMMC, as used in phones, can have storage controllers.

In the case of eMMC especially signature enforcement is advertised as
a bonus so it may be wise to view all eMMC (at least that I know of)
as compromised.

Part of my interest is practical as well - most solid state storage
drives do not report SMART statistics properly even though the drive
controller *must* be collecting this information for proper operation.
It is not possible to ascertain the health of most drives, even
indirectly, e.g. through IO throughput. One day they just fail. I'd
like to change that.

HDDs may be of more immediate interest due to high capacity and ease
of use. I am aware of someone modifying firmware of a drive at
http://spritesmods.com/?art=hddhack but it is unclear if that will
work on modern storage.

On the other hand high integration devices must not be overlooked.

Thanks in advance,

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