Most communications media can be monitored and debugged at various levels of the stack, but we believe that it is most important to examine them at the physical layer. From there, the security of every level can be investigated and tested. The task of monitoring physical layer communications has become increasingly difficult as we try to squeeze more and more bandwidth out of our links. A passive tapping circuit can be used to monitor a 100BASE-TX connections, but no such circuit exists for 1000BASE-T networks. Our solution to this problem is Project Daisho; an open source hardware and software project to build a device that can monitor high speed communication links and pass all of the data back to a host system for analysis. Daisho will include a modular, high bandwidth design that can be extended to monitor future technologies. The project will also produce the first open source USB 3.0 FPGA core, bringing high speed data transfer to any projects that build on the open platform. As a proof of concept at this early stage, we will demonstrate monitoring of a low bandwidth RS-232 connection using our first round of hardware and discuss the challenges involved with the high speed targets such as 1000BASE-T and USB 3.0 that we will take on later this year.
Michael Ossmann is a wireless security researcher who makes hardware for hackers. He founded Great Scott Gadgets in an effort to put exciting, new tools into the hands of innovative people.
Dominic Spill is senior security researcher for Great Scott Gadgets. The US government recently labelled him as "extraordinary". This has gone to his head.