ChipJabber Unplugged

Voltage glitching like it's 1999

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Not a Single Piece of Programmable Logic Anywhere in Sight

ChipJabber™ Unplugged is a voltage fault injection tool, by NewAE Technology, Inc, that you can build yourself. It was covered in detail in the July 2020 issue of Circuit Cellar, and you can find all relevant design documents in our GitHub Repository.

The objective of this project is to teach you about voltage fault injection and to give you a sense of just how easily it can be performed. When you go to do real work, you’ll probably want some programmable logic, which makes it easier to sweep glitch parameters and settings without spending all your time tweaking knobs. You can check out ChipWhisperer and ChipSHOUTER for more advanced fault-injection tools. You might also be interested in ChipWhisperer.io Online Training, which will help you understand how this all works.

Variants

There are three versions of ChipJabber Unplugged, all of which use pretty much the same architecture, with only a few minor differences:

  • ChipJabber Unplugged Kit: This kit is a classic electronics kit, using almost all through-hole electronics parts. You can build this design on a breadboard or a perfboard, as well, using the provided schematic.
  • ChipJabber Unplugged Mini: This is a pre-built unit, using surface-mount electronics to make a much smaller version. It's not available as a kit due to the hassle of making SMD kits. (Sorry.)
  • ChipJabber Unplugged Old-School PCB: This is a slightly simplified version of the normal ChipJabber Unplugged. It is designed to be built with home-etch boards (minimal number of vias), or with a PCB mill like the Bantam PCB Mill (in fact, it exactly fits the Bantam PCB Mill's working area).

ChipJabber Unplugged Kit

ChipJabber Unplugged Mini

Need to glitch on the go, but still want to twiddle those settings physically? No worries, ChipJabber Unplugged Mini is only slightly larger than the three AA batteries that power it, and it features excessively large "slider" style potentiometers.

ChipJabber Unplugged Home-Etch PCB

Itching to fire up that tank of ferrochloric acid or spin up that PCB mill? This is a special edition of the ChipJabber board, done with double-sided logic while minimizing the number of vias.

Tools

Any of these glitchers can be used in combination with some other cool tools:

NOTDuino Secure Boot

Now that you’ve got a glitcher, what do you do? We’ve include the NOTDuino "Secure Boot" demo board, which uses a very simple EEPROM as a "key" to validate the boot process. This board can be programmed via the Arduino IDE by plugging in a serial-to-USB adapter, such as the DIPUSB tool below.

DIPUSB

How are you going to talk 3.3 V serial to your device? No worries, the all-through-hole DIPUSB adapter will help you get the job done:

Real-Life Usage

ChipJabber Unplugged is designed more for fun than for "real-life" usage. But you can do real stuff with it! For example, why not recreate Chris Gerlinsky‘s LPC Code Read Protection attack?

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