back to article Curiosity Rover's OS has backdoor bug

Canadian security researcher Yannick Formaggio has detailed a significant flaw in VxWorks, the real-time operating system (RTOS) made by Intel subsidiary Wind River. Speaking at the 44CON event made famous last week, Formaggio detailed how an integer overflow mess allows remote code execution in the operating system. Formaggio …

  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Formaggio makes Fromaggio out of VxWorks

    Come on Reg

    1. petur
      Facepalm

      Re: Formaggio makes Fromaggio out of VxWorks

      Yeah, and I guess I'll not be the only one who misread his name as fromaggio too :)

      1. Dr Paul Taylor
        Headmaster

        Un gran formaggio?

        "Formaggio" vuol dire "cheese" in italiano. Non so la parola "fromaggio" - forse e' un errore francese?

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Un gran formaggio?

          Indeed. However, I once went to an "Italian" restaurant in Newcastle that had "Fromageo" on the menu.

  2. Velv Silver badge
    Joke

    D'you know what? If you can get to Curiosity to compromise it, your fucking welcome to take it away

    1. Ragarath Silver badge
      Joke

      But someone could send a signal out and hijack it remotely they could then aim the rovers instruments at Earth!

      War of the Worlds begins!

      It has a laser you know.

      P.S. please ignore any problems with sending the correct encrypted signal.

      1. VinceH Silver badge
        Coat

        Don't panic!

        It might have a laser, but it's not a frikkin laser, and it's not attached to a shark. We're okay.

  3. joed

    remote code exec bug

    now really remote

  4. jake Silver badge

    Edge conditions.

    Test them, or fail as a programmer.

    EOF

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Edge conditions.

      Err... jake?

      There are dedicated "testers" for that who don't actually program.

      Mashing these two activities up into single person is not good practice. At all.

      1. sqlrob

        Re: Edge conditions.

        Edge conditions need to be in unit tests. So yeah, the initial phase of that testing is on the same person. Incompleteness of those tests should be caught in code review.

        If it makes it past those two steps, then it's on the testers. But depending solely on QA is itself a bad practice.

      2. jake Silver badge

        @DAM (was: Re: Edge conditions.)

        "There are dedicated "testers" for that who don't actually program."

        Non-programmers trying to test code. Gee, I wonder why so many commercial products are bug-ridden.

        "Mashing these two activities up into single person is not good practice. At all."

        Who said anything about "single person", DAM? Peer review works. Always has, always will.

  5. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    "FTP server is susceptible to ring buffer overflow when accessed at a high speed"

    Well, that's one vulnerability they don't have to worry about, unless it's from the Martians .

    1. Wzrd1
      Holmes

      Re: "FTP server is susceptible to ring buffer overflow when accessed at a high speed"

      My thought precisely.

      The data link speed would require an excruciatingly slow buffer overflow.

      The only way to exploit it is if the Martians have compatible hardware to overflow it, with the specialized string.

      What is a race condition in a bounds checking routine?

  6. Efros

    Given it's a vehicle

    More a tailgate than a backdoor.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    I wonder if the real problem was it got accidentally upgraded to Windows 10?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Other operating systems are available

      Or El Capitan.

  8. launcap Silver badge
    Happy

    I have one of those at home..

    .. in miniture anyway. I worked/was employed/went there on a daily basis at Windriver when those rovers were made. Windriver USA made (without checking with NASA) a whole load of RC miniture rovers with NASA and Windriver logos.

    NASA pitched a bit of a fit about unauthorised use of their logo and so the minitures never got sold - instead we were allowed to take away a couple each on the strict understanding that we didn't *ever* try to sell them..

    I gave one to my nephew and kept one - both (as far as I know) still in their original boxes.

  9. Paul

    Quite a few domestic routers use VxWorks, the venerable WRT-54G for example was one where the switch from linux to VxWorks garned a fair bit of publicity, and the 54GL was created to keep hackers happy.

    I now wonder how many consumer devices there are on the internet potentially at risk to these vulnerabilities

    1. Wzrd1

      "I now wonder how many consumer devices there are on the internet potentially at risk to these vulnerabilities"

      How many of those WRT routers are running an externally accessible FTP server?

  10. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    All your laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy data are belong to us.

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