What we are going to do is a basic variant of a process generally known as reverse engineering. You start examining the device with common tools (USB is quite descriptive itself). Then you capture the data that the device exchanges with its existing (Windows) driver, and try to guess what it means. This is the toughest part, and you’ll need some experience and a bit of luck to reverse engineer a non-trivial protocol.
BadUSB – Turning devices evil. Once reprogrammed, benign devices can turn malicious in many ways, including:
- A device can emulate a keyboard and issue commands on behalf of the logged-in user, for example to exfiltrate files or install malware. Such malware, in turn, can infect the controller chips of other USB devices connected to the computer.
- The device can also spoof a network card and change the computer’s DNS setting to redirect traffic.
- A modified thumb drive or external hard disk can – when it detects that the computer is starting up – boot a small virus, which infects the computer’s operating system prior to boot.
UNetbootin allows you to create bootable Live USB drives for Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux distributions without burning a CD. It runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. You can either let UNetbootin download one of the many distributions supported out-of-the-box for you, or supply your own Linux .iso file if you’ve already downloaded one or your preferred distribution isn’t on the list.