Reverse-Engineering a NAND Flash Device Management Algorithm

When you hear “reverse engineering”, do you usually think of ease and comfort? I certainly don’t. This Hackaday post by Mathieu Stephan covers Joshua Wise’s project to reverse engineer a broken SD card in order to retrieve its data.

The broken SD card.
The broken SD card.

This six month long project involved first desoldering the SD card’s Flash chip. The initial deconstruction revealed that only the integrated SD-to-NAND Flash controller was damaged. The Flash then had to be soldered onto a breadboard and connected to a Digilent Nexys 2 FPGA board.  Joshua checked that his wire-made bus was reliable and generated two 12GiB dump files on his computer.

He was eventually able to recover all the images, videos, and files on the SD card. To view the source code and check hardware configurations, check out Wise’s post about the project!


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About Amber Mear

I was the Digilent blog editor, and now I'm a contributor. I love learning about wearables and writing about social issues in STEM. Outside of work, I can be found watching Netflix with my cat, working on an art project, or trying to find new, delicious local foods.

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