Reverse Engineering the FFS Flash File System Format

As part of de-bricking a Talkswitch TS-450i IP Phone I needed to see and extract the files within the flash image so that I could replace corrupt ones with known good versions. That required reverse engineering the in-flash format of the file system as there was no way to get files off the device, only onto it.
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Getting root on a TELUS VGS1432 cable modem and router

ZyXEL VSG1432A friend of mine recently issued me with a challenge to try to break into his router. I would have LAN access (via WiFi), but that would be it, no touchy touchy. I’d wanted the chance to try and get a copy of the firmware on these routers, as it isn’t available for download, in order to poke around. This router came with a package from Telus so it was likely running firmware that differed in some way to the stock ZyXEL image.

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Triton 9610 ATM Teardown

A few years ago I got a Triton 9610 single cassette ATM of craigslist as something to play with. While I did take a look at it and started to reverse engineer it, over time I lost interest and it became a potplant stand. I finally decided to get rid of it and I thought I’d rip it to bits and take a bunch of photos during the process.
A nice potplant standIMG_9643_small
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Finding JTAG on a Canon ELPH100HS (IXUS115)

I’m currently working on a project involving a Canon ELPH100HS point and shoot camera and my first task was to tear it apart and find any low level hardware access that I could. I chose the IXUS115 mainly for it’s full 1080p video recording capabilities and there is a CHDK port for it, which, it was hoped, would make the reversing and hacking process easier. I was hoping to find a serial console port and JTAG access to the processor, to aid programming and debugging.
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Dragonfly Ordainment

For my girlfriend’s birthday the other week I made her a dragonfly ordainment.
Here’s how I built it.
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Steampunk Inspired Goggles

I had been meaning to make a set of goggles for a while and when a pair of broken 58mm lenses came into my¬†possession¬†I couldn’t resist. Here is how I went from raw materials to the finished goggles, which took the best part of a day to accomplish.

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GPS Logger VIII – What happened?

So over two years ago I set out to build a GPS Logger to take hiking and traveling. Everything was assembled and it was good to go (almost) and hasn’t moved from that state. Driving around Australia for 2 years and then taking off around the world has a way of putting a cramp in finishing projects.
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File format reverse engineering – Redux

I was contacted by a visitor of this site asking for the following:

‘I read your nice article on file format reverse engineering and was wondering if you could give me a small tip / hint about compression / encryption. I am trying to understand a constant size file format and need to know if by any chance the file is compressed or encrypted in a simpler way, which leaves hope in cracking it.

In the case you would like to have a look at the files, I generated 2 pairs. The first file pair differs only in that one variable. The second file’s name and caption are set to “;1”;, the file 2b to “;1111111…”; (31 chars)’

As the reader seeked advice on how to proceed further and provided enough information to investigate the problem, I took a look. Read the rest of this entry »

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GPS Logger VII – Componets and Assembly

Finally the components arrived. The next step was to check them against a printout of the PCB to ensure that all the footprints matched up. I had already checked that the printout was a 1:1 scale of the PCB artwork.

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Copper Tree

For Mothers Day this year I made an ornamental tree from copper wire. This post documents the steps that I took to build it.

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