Inception is a FireWire physical memory manipulation and hacking tool exploiting IEEE 1394 SBP-2 DMA. The tool can unlock (any password accepted) and escalate privileges to Administrator/root on almost any machine you have physical access to.
Inception aims to provide a stable and easy way of performing intrusive and non-intrusive memory hacks in order to unlock live computers using FireWire SBP-2 DMA. It it primarily attended to do its magic against computers that utilize full disk encryption such as BitLocker, FileVault, TrueCrypt or Pointsec. There are plenty of other (and better) ways to hack a machine that doesn’t pack encryption.
The tool works over any interface that expands and can master the PCIe bus. This includes FireWire, Thunderbolt, ExpressCard and PCMCIA (PC-Card).
More importantly, this works on Windows 8/7/Vista/XP, Mac OSX 10.5 -> 10.8, Ubuntu 11.04+, and Linux Mint 12+.
How it works
Inception’s main mode works as follows: By presenting a Serial Bus Protocol 2 (SBP-2) unit directory to the victim machine over the IEEE1394 FireWire interface, the victim operating system thinks that a SBP-2 device has connected to the FireWire port. Since SBP-2 devices utilize Direct Memory Access (DMA) for fast, large bulk data transfers (e.g., FireWire hard drives and digital camcorders), the victim lowers its shields and enables DMA for the device. The tool now has full read/write access to the lower 4GB of RAM on the victim. Once DMA is granted, the tool proceeds to search through available memory pages for signatures at certain offsets in the operating system’s password authentication modules. Once found, the tool short circuits the code that is triggered if an incorrect password is entered.
An analogy for this operation is planting an idea into the memory of the machine; the idea that every password is correct. In other words, the nerdy equivalent of a memory inception.
This will certainly add a new dimension to penetration tests that I perform…