Let’s shock our IoT’s heart: ARMv7-M under (fault) attacks


A fault attack is a well-known technique where the behaviour of a chip is voluntarily disturbed by hardware means in order to undermine the security of the information handled by the target. In this paper, we explore how Electromagnetic fault injection (EMFI) can be used to create vulnerabilities in sound software, targeting a Cortex-M3 microcontroller. Several use-cases are shown experimentally: control flow hijacking, buffer overflow (even with the presence of a canary), covert backdoor insertion and Return Oriented Programming can be achieved even if programs are not vulnerable in a software point of view. These results suggest that the protection of any software against vulnerabilities must take hardware into account as well.

In The 13th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security