Firmware analysis of industrial devices

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The main purpose of this guide is to define the steps to ethically identify vulnerabilities in different types of firmware, in order to eliminate or mitigate them, explaining to a greater extent everything about IoT device firmware, both at a theoretical-technical level as well as a practical explanation on how to analyze device firmware.

The vast majority of devices known today contain firmware. A clear example of this is IoT (Internet of Things) devices, which, when used in industrial companies, together with IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) devices, make up a very large group. Almost all the processes in the sector depend on a device of this type, so an analysis from the base, i.e. from the firmware, can help prevent these devices from being breached.

The security of a system lies in the security of its base devices and within these, security starts from the most basic concept of the device, so firmware analysis can help to uncover potential vulnerabilities that would otherwise never have been discovered. Although there are multiple types of attacks on IoT and IIoT devices, this study will focus on the firmware of these devices, to check for possible vulnerabilities, through security testing and reverse engineering that will allow for an in-depth analysis of the firmware.

Throughout this guide we will explain the steps of the firmware analysis methodology and how to perform an analysis from the recognition phase to the exploitation phase of the binary, using open source intelligence tools and techniques (OSINT). Each phase will be explained both theoretically and practically, referring to the most important aspects and configurations in order to obtain accurate results.

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