Is Your Firmware Real or Re-Hosted? A case study in re-hosting VxWorks control system firmware

Abraham A. Clements, Logan Carpenter, William A. Moeglein (Sandia National Laboratories), Christopher Wright (Purdue University)

Emulating firmware is increasingly popular for systems research, particularly vulnerability research. In this paper we describe how we extend HALucinator to work with real-world systems that use the popular VxWorks RTOS. We describe the Re-hosting Support Layer (its definition and implementation) with the functions necessary to get a Schneider Electric SCADAPack 350 remote terminal unit, a Schneider Electric Modicon 340 programmable logic controller, and Hughes 9201 BGAN inmarsat terminal up and re-hosted (at least partially). We share the process and our path of performing this work over the last year, and give a retrospective approach for re-hosting other RTOSes. We provide a case study with 3 real devices, and show that we can re-host portions of the firmware and perform analyses to show the success of our approach.