Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering

Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering

By Andrew Huang
Book Description

"Hacking the Xbox" is a fascinating book about exactly what it says. If you have no interest in gory details of JTAG probe points, cryptography, so called "trusted computing" and "digital rights management" and the technical issues at stake in trying to implement and/or attack them... then this book will bore you to tears. If you *do* have such interests, then you are in for a treat.

The book opens with 5 chapters of fairly broad physical overview, walking through the hardware systems in Xbox consoles and some (relatively) simple projects to get your hands dirty with a soldering iron. Then on to some meaty chapters introducing you to the security model of the platform, and the attacks that the author and others developed to ultimately succeed at running arbitrary code on these systems. These chapters provide a fascinating blow-by-blow account of the process of developing the attacks. Then, we wrap up with some practical material regarding how to use these attacks to run, for instance, Xbox-Linux on a hacked machine, and some bigger picture information on the legal environment facing US hackers interested in these matters.

Table of Contents
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgements
    • The Video Game Console Market
    • About Hackers and Hacking
      • The Politics of Hacking
      • The People Behind the Hacks
  • CHAPTER 1- Voiding the Warranty
    • Tools of the Trade
      • Tools to Open Things Up
      • Tools to Attach and Remove Components
      • Tools to Test and Diagnose
      • Tools for Design
    • Deconstructing the Xbox
      • Step 1: Safety First
      • Step 2: Remove Case Screws
      • Step 3: Remove the Top Cover
      • Step 4: Move the Disk Drives
      • Step 5: Remove the Disk Drives (Optional)
      • Reassembling the Xbox
  • CHAPTER 2- Thinking Inside the Box
    • Reading a Circuit Board
      • Circuit Board Basics
      • Components
      • Test Points
    • Xbox Architecture
      • High-Level Organization
      • Functional Details
    • Pattern Matching
      • Comparison: Xbox Versus the PC
      • Contrast: Xbox Versus the Gamecube
  • CHAPTER 3- Installing a Blue LED
    • What You’ll Need
    • Removing the Xbox Front Panel
    • Removing the Front Panel CircuitBoard
    • Installing the Blue LED
    • Reassembling the Front Panel
    • Debugging
  • CHAPTER 4- Building a USB Adapter
    • Starting Materials
    • Strategy
    • Implementation
  • CHAPTER 5- Replacing a Broken Power Supply
    • Diagnosing a Broken Power Supply
    • Replacing the Power Supply
      • Strategy
    • Procedure
      • Building the Xbox Power Cable
      • Installing the Replacement Power Supply
      • Operating with the Replacement PowerSupply
      • Debugging Tips
  • CHAPTER 6- The Best Xbox Game: Security Hacking
    • First Encounters with a Paranoid Design
      • To Snarf a ROM
      • An Encounter with Microsoft
      • Analyzing the ROM Contents
  • CHAPTER 7- A Brief Primer on Security
    • Who Needs Security, Anyways?
    • A Brief Primer on Cryptography
      • Classes of Cryptographic Algorithms
      • The Rest of the Picture
  • CHAPTER 8- Reverse Engineering Xbox Security
    • Extracting Secrets from Hardware
      • Eavesdropping a High Speed Bus
    • Making Sense of the Captured Data
  • CHAPTER 9- Sneaking in the Back Door
    • Back Doors and Security Holes
      • Visor Jam Table Attacks
      • MIST Premature Unmap Attack1
    • Microsoft Retaliates
    • Reverse Engineering v1.1 Security
    • The Threat of Back Doors
  • CHAPTER 10- More Hardware Projects
    • The LPC Interface
      • LPC Interface on the Xbox
      • Using the LPC Interface
    • The Other 64 MB of SDRAM
    • Xbox VGA
    • Mass Storage Replacement
  • CHAPTER 11- Developing Software for the Xbox
    • Xbox-Linux
      • Installing Xbox-Linux
      • “Project B”
    • OpenXDK
  • CHAPTER 12- Caveat Hacker
    • Caveat Hacker: A Primer on IntellectualProperty, by Lee Tien
      • Classical Intellectual Property Law:An Overview
      • The Traditional View of ReverseEngineering
      • New Challenges for Reverse Engineers
      • The Responsible Hacker:Ignorance Is No Defense
      • Reverse Engineering as “The Freedom toTinker” and Other Legal Issues
  • CHAPTER 13- Onward!
    • The Hacking Community
      • Hacking Fora
      • Making a Contribution
    • Trusted Computing
      • Taking a Step Back
      • Palladium Versus TCPA
      • Hacking the Trusted PC
      • Looking Forward
    • Concluding Thoughts
  • APPENDIX A- Where to Get Your Hacking Gear
    • Vendors for Hobbyists
    • Prepared Equipment Order Forms
  • APPENDIX B- Soldering Techniques
    • Introduction to Soldering
      • Use Flux
      • Starter Tips
    • Surface Mount Soldering
      • Technique for Simple Components
      • Technique for Complex Components
      • Technique for Removing Components
  • APPENDIX C- Getting into PCB Layout
    • Philosophy and Design Flow
      • Refining Your Idea
      • Schematic Capture
      • Board Layout
      • General Placement and RoutingGuidelines
    • CAD Tools
    • Board Fabrication Companies
      • Sierra Proto Express
      • Data Circuit Systems
      • Advanced Circuits
      • Alberta Printed Circuits
    • Starter Projects
  • APPENDIX D- Getting Started with FPGAs
    • What Is an FPGA?
    • Designing for an FPGA
      • Project Ideas
      • Where to Buy
  • APPENDIX E- Debugging: Hints and Tips
    • Don’t Panic!
      • Understand the System
      • Observe Symptoms
    • Common Bugs
    • Recovering from a Lifted Trace or Pad
  • APPENDIX F- Xbox Hardware Reference
    • Power Supply Pinout
    • Video Connector Pinout
    • USB Connector Pinout
    • Ethernet Connector Pinout
    • ATA Connector Pinout
    • DVD-ROM Power Connector
    • LPC Connector
    • Fan Connector
    • Untitled
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