FoxGaurd Solutions, Monta Elkins has shown that it’s easy to plant a spy chip on various devices. In his experiment, Elkins took an ATiny85 chip smaller than a pinky fingernail coded the chip and ready it as a spy chip. He then soldered it to a motherboard of a firewall, giving the chip access to the serial port of the firewall.
He used an inconspicuous spot that required no extra wiring, also, this type of modification would not alert an administrator. Elkins said his attack could change firewall settings to offer remote access to the device, disable its security features, and give the hacker access to the device’s log of connections it sees.
What makes this proof-of-concept alarming is how easy it was to do, it’s almost impossible to spot, and how low cost it was (less than $200). With more and more of our lives living online and in the cloud, one has to wonder how secure these service providers and cloud server companies really are.