Didier Stevens

Monday 28 September 2020

Quickpost: USB Passive Load

Filed under: Hardware,Quickpost — Didier Stevens @ 0:00

I just received a USB passive load. It’s basically 2 resistors connected to the USB power wires in parallel, each with a switch in series:

It can draw approximately 1, 2 or 3 amps (depending on switch positions) from a 5 volt USB source.

The resistors can dissipate 10 Watts, and will become very hot.

The resistor for 1 amp (4,7 ohms, tolerance 5%) maxed-out my FLIR One thermal camera (> 150 °C), but I could measure around 220°C (that’s close to 451°F) with another thermal imaging camera.

The second resistor (2 amps: 2,2 ohms, tolerance 5%) maxed-out that other thermal camera too: this one got hotter than 280°C.

I’m referring to 451°F, because presumably, that’s the temperature to ignite paper. Something I’ll have to test out in safe conditions.

I also measured the resistors, and they are well within tolerance:

Here is a short thermal imaging video of the first resistor heating up:

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Sunday 27 September 2020

Quickpost: Ext2explore

Filed under: Quickpost — Didier Stevens @ 17:17

I was looking for a solution to read my Wifi Pineapple’s recon.db file from the SD card (ext2 formatted) on my Windows 10 machine.

The solution I went with is Ext2explore, a tool that can access ext2 volumes.


You have to run it as administrator, otherwise the tool will not be able to get raw access to the ext2 volume:


When you run the tool as administrator, you see your volumes. Mine is an SD card:

I can then explore the content and save file recon.db to a folder on my Windows 10 machine:

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Thursday 10 September 2020

Quickpost: dig On Windows

Filed under: Quickpost — Didier Stevens @ 12:40

I found out there’s a dig command for Windows.

I group small tools like this inside a bin folder. But dig relies on a set of DLLs, that should also be in the PATH, so I put them in the same bin folder.

These are the DLLs dig.exe needs:

  • libbind9.dll
  • libcrypto-1_1-x64.dll
  • libdns.dll
  • libirs.dll
  • libisc.dll
  • libisccfg.dll
  • libuv.dll
  • libxml2.dll

I used procmon on my Win10 machine to figure out which DLLs are needed, as you get no error message (there’s probably a registry setting for that).

I do have a Windows 7 VM, that I can also use to figure out which DLLs are missing because it displays an error message:

And you might also need to install the Visual C redistribuable that is included with the downloaded ZIP:

And now I can run dig from my bin folder:

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Wednesday 9 September 2020

Quickpost: Downloading Files With Windows Defender & User Agent String

Filed under: Quickpost — Didier Stevens @ 7:29

@mohammadaskar2 found out you can use Windows Defender to download arbitrary files. Like this:

"c:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Platform\4.18.2008.9-0\mpcmdrun.exe" -DownloadFile -url http://didierstevens.com/index.html -path test.html

This command uses MpCommunication as User Agent String:

Update: this download feature has been disabled.

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Monday 7 September 2020

Overview of Content Published in August

Filed under: Announcement — Didier Stevens @ 6:12

Here is an overview of content I published in August:

Blog posts:

SANS ISC Diary entries:

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