- Unciphered, a cybersecurity company, claims to have used a hardware flaw to successfully hack into a Trezor T hardware cryptocurrency wallet.
- The team published a video showing them obtaining the private key or mnemonic seed phrase for the wallet.
Unciphered, a cybersecurity startup, has recently asserted its success in hacking into the widely used Trezor T hardware crypto wallet developed by Satoshi Labs. Through a YouTube demonstration, Unciphered exhibited their ability to extract the wallet’s private key, known as the mnemonic seed phrase, by exploiting a hardware vulnerability that necessitates physical access to the device.
This isn’t the first instance where Unciphered has achieved the retrieval of seed phrases from hardware wallets, as they previously demonstrated a comparable hack on a wallet produced by OneKey, a Hong Kong-based company, back in February.
According to Unciphered, the only method to cure the vulnerability used in the hack is to recall all Trezor T wallets. The hack, on the other hand, necessitates physical possession of the hardware wallet as well as a set of specialised tools.
The demonstration spurred concern that Unciphered had simply rediscovered a long-known vulnerability, but the business rejected this, noting that the issue had been addressed in 2019. The vulnerability, as well as the means for exploiting it, were created “in-house” by the company.
Trezor, in response to the experiment conducted by Unciphered, expressed that their team lacked sufficient information regarding the specific hack. They mentioned that it seemed to be an “RDP downgrade attack,” which had been previously identified as a potential risk in early 2020.
Trezor explained that the RDP downgrade attack targets the hardware vulnerability of STM32 microchips utilized in their Trezor One and Trezor Model T hardware wallets. They made this statement to address the potential implications of the demonstrated vulnerability.
Trezor also stated that it has made substantial steps to address the issue in the future by working with its sister company, Tropic Square, to develop a new secure element for hardware wallets.
Prior to their successful hack of the Trezor T hardware wallet, Unciphered had previously demonstrated their ability to retrieve seed phrases from another well-known hardware wallet, OneKey.
In the video showcasing the hack on OneKey, Unciphered exploited the absence of encryption between the CPU and the secure element of the hardware wallet using a field programmable gate array. This allowed them to intercept and access all communications occurring between the secure element and the processor.