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ChipJabber-Unplugged Overview

ChipJabber™-Unplugged is a voltage fault injection tool by NewAE Technology Inc. It's the voltage glitch tool that you can build yourself, and features not a single piece of programmable logic anywhere in sight.

This device was discussed in detail in the July 2020 issue of Circuit Cellar.

See the pages on menu at left for more details of how it works, and see the GITHub Repository for relevant design documents.

The objective of this project is to teach you about voltage fault injection & how easily it can be performed. When you go to do real work you probably want some programmable logic to make it easier to sweep glitch parameters and settings, without spending all your time tweaking knobs. You can check out the ChipWhisperer project & the ChipSHOUTER tools for more advanced fault injection tools, and the ChipWhisperer.io Online Training might be of interest to you to understand how this all works.

Warning

This repo is still a work in progress. The uploaded material currently supports the Circuit Cellar article. More details of the full kits is coming shortly, check back soon. Annoucements will come via NewAE Technology's low-volume newsletter.

Variants

There are three versions of ChipJabber-Unplugged, which use almost the same architectures (only some 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 perfboard as well if you wish using the provided schematic.
  • ChipJabber-Unplugged Mini: This is a pre-built unit, using surface-mount electronics to make a much smaller version. Not available as a kit due to the hassle of making SMD kits (sorry).
  • ChipJabber-Unplugged Old-School PCB: This board is designed to be built with home-etch boards (minimal number of vias), or a PCB mill such as the Bantam PCB Mill. It's a slightly simplified version of the normal ChipJabber-Unplugged. The board exactly fits the Bantam PCB Mill 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 slightly larger than the 3x AA batteries powering it, and features excessively large "slider" style potentiometers. Here's an early photo of it:

ChipJabber-Unplugged Home-Etch PCB

Firing up the tank of ferrochloric acid, or spinning up your PCB mill? A special edition of the board is done with double-sided logic, but minimizing the number of vias

Tools

Any of the glitchers can be used in combination with some other cool tools as part of the project:

NOTDuino Secure Boot

Now that you've got a glitcher, what do you do? While we include the NOTDuino "Secure Boot" demo board, which uses a very simple EEPROM as a "key" to validate the boot process. This board is 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 3.3V serial to your device? No worry, the all-through-hole DIPUSB adapter will work for you:

Real-Life Usage

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


ChipJabber is a trademark of NewAE Technology Inc.

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