Hacking a X-RAY Machine with WHIDelite & EvilCrowRF

Hacking a X-RAY Machine with WHIDelite & EvilCrowRF

The popular cyber security expert Luca Bongiorni demonstrated how to hack an X-Ray Machine using his WHIDelite tool.

Recently I bought a X-RAY machine from China to have some ghetto-style desktop setup in order to inspect/reverse engineer some PCBs and hardware implants.

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The first thing striked my curiosity, even before purchasing it, was its remote. Which were the odds that the little teeny-tiny remote was just using an ASK/OOK modulation with no replay-attack protection whatsoever?! Very high of course.
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Nonetheless, I ordered it anyway and used it as an excuse to try again my WHIDelite and the new toy that Joel sent me over (EvilCrowRF).

But first let’s follow a more-systematic approach with HackRF and URH:

  • Frequency is confirmed being set around 315MHz
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After recording a packet we can confirm that it is using an ASK/OOK modulation.

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After creating a simple substitution decoding, we get exactly the same values that both EvilCrowRF & WHIDelite showed during the initial tests.

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Just for the sake of confirmation, I did replay the packet with both HackRF, WHIDelite & EvilCrowRF. In all cases, the forged packet was successfully received and decoded by the unit, which fired X-RAYs like it was a Marie Curie’s party 🎉

Here a quick video review of the whole replay attack:
https://youtu.be/RIdf2yIPB84

Some resources related to the tools and devices used:

https://github.com/whid-injector/whid-31337

https://github.com/joelsernamoreno/EvilCrow-RF

https://github.com/eried/portapack-mayhem

https://github.com/jopohl/urh/

In case of more cool hacking stuff, do follow @whid_ninja on Twitter! 😎image.png

P.S. Disclaimer, if you are planning to buy this model of Dental X-ray Machine… keep in mind that is NOT considered safe in Europe. The Health Protection Agency from UK, even released a report regarding these devices coming from China. Be prepared to use sheets of lead, dosimeters and protective vests.

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The expert published a video PoC of the attack:

Author Biography:Luca Bongiorni is working as Head of Offensive Security. He is also actively involved in InfoSec where his main fields of research are: Radio Networks, Reverse Engineering, Hardware Hacking, Internet of Things, and Physical Security. He also loves to share his knowledge and present some cool projects at security conferences around the globe.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, X-Ray Machine)




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