Home > Articles > Cisco Network Technology > General Networking > Getting Owned: The USB Keystroke Injection Attack

Getting Owned: The USB Keystroke Injection Attack


  1. World Views
  2. The Technology
  3. A Weaponized Key
  4. Summary

Article Description

What do you call a USB-based device that can bypass all AV and autorun policies? Although most would consider it a perfect mischievous attack vector, Hyundai has used it as a tool to build customer loyalty. This leaves Seth Fogie wondering: Are people planning to use this technology maliciously?
A Weaponized Key

A Weaponized Key

If all this sounds like another one of those paranoid security theories, this type of technology has already been proven to be of interest to security researchers. In fact, the concept has been put into a point-click application that allows a person to package any number of payloads into a similar device from http://www.prjc.com.

As can be seen from this post(http://www.secmaniac.com/august-2010/social-engineer-toolkit-v0-6-1-teensy-usb-hid-attack-vector/), security researchers have integrated the infamous Metaspoit penetration testing suite with a social-engineering toolkit designed to create a package that can be installed onto a USB microcontroller in a couple of minutes.

Once inserted into the target device, the controller uses the same technology as the Hyundai key to emulate a keyboard, launch Powershell, and dynamically build a program that phones home to a waiting server—all by sending keystrokes to the host OS. The end result is a backdoor on the target device.