Farzan Karimi

Launch Secured: A Story on Red Teaming the Pixel 6

Despite the large number of phone vendors, most Android devices are based on a relatively small subset of system on a chip (SoC) vendors. Google decided to break this pattern with the Pixel 6. From a security perspective, this meant rather than using code that had been tested and used for years, there was a new stack of high value device firmware we needed to get right the first time.

This presentation will showcase the value of red teaming by demonstrating results of offensive testing of Pixel 6 before its release to ensure a more secure and safe launch of the product. The authors will deep dive into methodology and tools used to proactively mitigate attack surface exposed by new and updated firmware components in Pixel 6. They will demonstrate privileged code execution in critical components such as: the updated Titan M2 chip, and Android bootloader with full persistence. To conclude the presentation authors will discuss the impact of the proactively identified issues for Android platform security and reflect on the prevented potential attacks scenarios.

Farzan Karimi has over 15 years experience in offensive security. He is the Android Offensive Security Manager at Google. In this role, he manages red team operations targeting low-level components within the Android ecosystem. He has previously led the EA Red Team, focusing on securing the enterprise. Farzan has specialized in exploiting game development consoles (devkits). His work on PlayStation and Xbox led to the development of key security features for next generation platforms. Farzan is a speaker at security conferences such as Black Hat USA, Microsoft STRIKE, and EA Team Blue.