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LG LAF Protocol

This document is a reverse-engineered protocol description for LG Advanced Flash (LAF), the download mode offered by various LG models. It is based on analysis on the Send_Command.exe utility and LGD855_20140526_LGFLASHv160.dll file and a USB trace using Wireshark and usbmon on Linux. Some commands were found in the /sbin/lafd binary.

This document uses the following conventions for types:

  • \xaa\xbb\xcc\xdd denotes a byte pattern aa bb cc dd.
  • 0xddccbbaa denotes a 32-bit integer in hexadecimal format. It represents the same byte pattern as \xaa\xbb\xcc\xdd.

Overview

LAF is a simple request/response protocol operating over USB. The USB details are described at the end of the document, the messages are described below.

Each message consists of a header, followed by an optional body. The header contains 32-bit DWORDs, integers are encoded in little-endian form:

Offset (hex) Offset (dec) Type Description
0x00 0 char[4] Command
0x04 4 var Argument 1
0x08 8 var Argument 2
0x0c 12 var Argument 3
0x10 16 var Argument 4
0x14 20 int Body length
0x18 24 int CRC-16
0x1c 28 char[4] Bit-wise invertion of command at offset 0

Arguments can be integers or character sequences depending on the command.

The CRC field is the CRC-16-CCITT calculation (LSB-first) over the header and the body with zeroes in place of CRC.

Each request is followed by a response with a matching command field. If an error occurs, the response contains command is FAIL with argument 1 being the error code and the original request header as body.

Commands

OPEN - Open File

Opens a file path.

Arguments:

  • arg1 (response): DWORD file descriptor.

Request body: NUL-terminated file path that should be opened for reading or an empty string to open /dev/block/mmcblk0 in read/write mode. (at most 276 (0x114) bytes?)

Non-existing files result in FAIL with error code 0x80000001.

On newer versions, this requires authentication via KILO command.

CLSE - Close File

Closes a file descriptor which was returned by the OPEN command.

Arguments:

  • arg1: DWORD file descriptor (same in request and response).

Note: this allows you to close any file descriptor that are in use by the lafd process, not just the one returned by OPEN. You can discover the current file descriptors via ls -l /proc/$pid/fd where $pid is found by ps | grep lafd.

HELO - Hello

Arguments:

  • arg1: DWORD Protocol Version (\1\0\0\1) (resp must match req.)
  • arg2 (response): Minimum Protocol Version (\0\0\x80\0 was observed)

CTRL - Control

Reboot or power off. Arguments:

  • arg1: sub-command:
    • POFF: power off
    • RSON: restart lafd
    • RSET: reboot with param oem-90466252 (normal reboot)
    • ONRS: reboot with param oem-02179092
    • AATD: reboot with param aat_enter

Note: CTRL(RSET) with no body is sent by the Send_Command.exe utility for the LEAVE command.

LG Flash DLL waits 5000 milliseconds after this command.

Purpose of ONRS and AATD are unknown. Both seem to reboot normally. Probably one is meant to enter fastboot?

WRTE - Write File

Writes to a file descriptor.

Arguments:

  • arg1: file descriptor (must be open for writing!)
  • arg2 (request): offset in blocks (multiple of 512 bytes).
  • arg2 (response): offset in bytes.

Request body: the data to be written. Can be of any size (including 1 or 513).

Note: writing to a file descriptor which was opened for reading results in FAIL with code 0x82000002. This command is likely used for writing to partitions.

Integer overflow in the response offset is ignored. That is, the block offset 30736384 (0x1d50000) is 0x3aa000000 bytes, but will appear as 0xaa000000.

This can be used to write to already-opened files without authentication, but lafd doesn't appear to have any files opened for writing by default.

READ - Read File

Reads from a file descriptor.

Arguments:

  • arg1: file descriptor.
  • arg2: offset in blocks (multiple of 512 bytes).
  • arg3: requested length in bytes (at most 8MiB).
  • arg4: "whence" seek mode (see below).

Response body: data in file at given offset and requested length.

Note: be sure not to read past the end of the file (512 * offset + length), this will hang the communication, requiring a reset (pull out battery)!

Arg4 affects the seek mode, values for request:

  • 0 (SEEK_SET) - seek to 512 * offset.
  • 1 (SEEK_CUR) - read from current position (offset argument is ignored).
  • 2 (SEEK_END) - kind of useless when all offsets are unsigned...
  • 3 (SEEK_DATA) - FAILs with 0x80000001 when used on /proc/kmsg or /dev/block/mmcblk0p44. Works on a regular file though.

The response matches the request (masked with 0x3).

If the length is larger than somewhere between 227 MiB and 228 MiB, an 0x80000001 error will be raised (observed with /dev/block/mmcblk0). Requesting lengths larger than 8 MiB however already seem to hang the communication. Length can be zero to test if a file is readable.

This can be used to read already-opened files without authentication, but lafd seems to only have PNG files and /dev/null open by default. Attempting to read /dev/null hangs communication.

ERSE - Erase Block

TRIMs a block (IOCTL_TRIM_CMD).

Arguments:

  • arg1: file descriptor (open /dev/block/mmcblk0 for writing).
  • arg2: start address (in sectors).
  • arg3: count (in sectors).
  • arg4: unknown, set to zero.

Request body: none.

Note: after sending TRIM, reading the block still returned old values. After a reboot, everything was zeroed out though.

EXEC - Execute Command

Arguments: none

Request body: NUL-terminated command, at most 255 bytes including terminator.

Response body: standard output of the command.

The command is split on spaces and then passed to execvp. In order to see standard error, use variables and globbing, use a command such as:

sh -c eval\t"$*"</dev/null\t2>&1 -- echo $PATH

(replace \t by tabs)

If you need to read dmesg (or other blocking files), try to put busybox on the device (e.g. by writing to an unused partition) and execute:

/data/busybox timeout -s 2 cat /proc/kmsg

The maximum output size appears to be 0x800001 (LAF_MAX_DATA_PAYLOAD). Larger values result in an error. Output is read per byte, not very efficient for large output...

On newer versions, this requires authentication via KILO command, and few commands are allowed.

INFO

Arguments:

  • arg1: action (GPRO - Get Properties, SPRO - Set Properties)

Request body: a laf_property structure.

Response body: 2824 (0x00000b08) bytes of binary info.

See scripts/parse-props.py for the structure of the property body. This structure begins with a DWORD with a version that is apparently the same as the expected length (2824 or \x08\x0b\0\0).

UNLK - Unlink

Delete a file.

Arguments: none

Request body: NUL-terminated file name

Responds with FAIL code 0x80000001 if the file name is invalid (missing) or file does not exist. Deleting directories is also not possible, giving the same FAIL code 0x80000001.

RSVD - Reserved

Miscellaneous commands.

Arguments:

  • arg1: Subcommand:
    • IDDD: create /data/idt.cfg ("indirect config file") and start IDT thread
    • PDDD: unzip DF file
    • QDDD: verify /system/DFFileList.txt
    • RDDD: execute /system/DFFileList.txt
    • SDDD: LCD test (turns screen grey)
    • TDDD: set properties and disable USB:
      • ro.boot.laf = MID
      • sys.usb.config = none

IOCT - ioctl

Perform flash IOCTLs. (XXX document this)

MISC

Read/write misc parttition.

Arguments:

  • arg1: Subcommand
    • READ
    • WRTE

XXX document this

KILO

Challenge/response to authenticate for some commands.

Arguments:

  • arg1: CENT or METR
  • arg2: challenge/mode
  1. Host sends CENT with arg2=0
  2. Device responds CENT with a random value in arg2
  3. Host responds METR with desired mode in arg2 and challenge response as body
  4. Device responds METR with no body, or FAIL

The response must decrypt to the bytes 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F. TODO: explain protocol

DIFF

Execute a script of some sort, path specified in message body.

SNIF

Unknown / looks related to TOT download (TODO: document this)

Arguments:

  • arg1: Subcommand
    • REQS
    • OPEN
    • WRTE
    • CLSE
    • STUS
    • IDDD

OPCM

Check/Write opcode

NOTE: Supported since Protocol version 0x1000004

Arguments:

  • arg1: action (CHEK - Check opcode, WRTE - Write opcode)

FUSE

Get or set efuse(s) (TODO: document this)

Arguments:

  • arg1: action (GFUS - Get efuse state, SFRS - Set/blow efuse)

WRZR

Write zeroes

CRCC

Calculcate CRC (TODO: document this)

CHCK

Unknown (TODO: document this)

NOTE: Supported since Protocol version 0x1000003

Arguments:

  • arg1: Subcommand
    • TSUM
    • CLER

SEBP

Set eMMC boot partition (TODO: document this)

SBLU

Set UFS boot LUN# (TODO: document this)

MBPT

Manipulate boot partition table (TODO: document this)

FAIL

Dummy command.

new versions

TODO: document these commands added in some version: TOFF, COPY, SLEI, SIGN

HDLC commands

These are sent through the same interface, but have a different structure:

  • The packet must be at least 3 and at most 31 bytes long.
  • The last byte must be 0x7E.
  • Any 0x7D byte is skipped; the next byte is then XORed with 0x20. eg 0x7D 0x5E becomes 0x7E. (Not sure why this is done.)
  • The last two bytes of the body are a CRC16.

After decoding, the body is checked for an 0x7E byte (except the very last byte of the packet); if one is found, all bytes up to and including it are discarded. This is done before the checksum is validated. (for example, 0x7E marks the beginning of the body, but can be omitted, in which case the body starts at the first byte of the packet.)

The first byte of the body is a command:

  • 0x06: unknown. Always responds with 0x02?
  • 0x0A: Sets misc partition item 0x1C0 and reboots. (XXX investigate)
  • 0xEF: webdload_proc
  • 0xFA: testmode_proc

Additionally, sending a packet which decodes to an empty body (for example, a packet of only 0x7E 0x7E 0x7E 0x7E) restarts lafd. Unsure if this is intentional.

webdload_proc

First byte of body (after 0xEF command byte) is subcommand:

  • 0x00: returns 0x05 and writes 0x04 at input[3]
  • 0xA0: returns device OS version, target operator, model, etc.
  • 0xA1, 0xA2, 0xB0, 0xB1, 0xB2, 0xB5: all return all-zero response.

These appear to also read/write some misc partition values.

testmode_proc

First two bytes (after 0xFA command byte) must be 0x94 0x00. Next byte after that is subcommand for laf_testmode_bootloader_unlock_handler:

  • 0x00: Check if unlocked. (/sys/devices/platform/lge-msm8226-qfprom/unlock contains 0x277F.)
  • 0x01: Always returns 0.
  • 0x02: Reads hex from /sys/devices/platform/lge-msm8226-qfprom/unlock-extra.
  • 0x03: Read /persist/rct.

Commands 0x00 and 0x02 don't work on some devices, since they have lge-qfprom instead of lge-msm8226-qfprom directory.

Return data

0xFA 0x94 0x00 followed by response body followed by CRC16 and 0x7E, encoded the same way as the command packet.

First byte of response body is a status code:

  • 0x00: OK
  • 0x01: Failed
  • 0x02: Return from command 0x06 (might be LAF_ERROR_INVALID_PARAMETER? but it can only ever return this.)
  • 0x05: Return from webdload_proc subcommand 0x00 (might be LAF_ERROR_INTERNAL_ERROR?)
  • 0xFF: Invalid command

Following response bytes depend on the command:

  • testmode_proc: null-terminated string (eg "lock", "unlock", "fail") followed by unknown bytes (0x19 0xEA 0xE8 0x7F 0x00 0x00 observed)
  • webdload_proc: several strings of device info

Encoded commands

For convenience, valid commands encoded with CRC:

  • 0xEF 0x00 0x00 0x00 0xAD 0xFA 0x7E
  • 0xEF 0xA0 0x00 0x00 0x7A 0xF5 0x7E
  • 0xEF 0xA1 0x00 0x00 0xA6 0xAF 0x7E
  • 0xEF 0xA2 0x00 0x00 0xC2 0x40 0x7E
  • 0xEF 0xB0 0x00 0x00 0xEF 0x70 0x7E
  • 0xEF 0xB1 0x00 0x00 0x33 0x2A 0x7E
  • 0xEF 0xB2 0x00 0x00 0x57 0xC5 0x7E
  • 0xEF 0xB5 0x00 0x00 0x52 0x49 0x7E
  • 0xFA 0x94 0x00 0x00 0x43 0xBD 0x7E
  • 0xFA 0x94 0x00 0x01 0xCA 0xAC 0x7E
  • 0xFA 0x94 0x00 0x02 0x51 0x9E 0x7E
  • 0xFA 0x94 0x00 0x03 0xD8 0x8F 0x7E
  • 0xFA 0x94 0x00 0x04 0x67 0xFB 0x7E

USB layer

The LG Windows driver (via LGMobileDriver_WHQL_Ver_4.0.3.exe) exposes two serial ports, LGANDNETMDM0 and LGANDNETDIAG1. The LGANDNETDIAG1 port is used for LAF.

The LG G3 (D855) has Vendor ID 0x1004 and Product ID 0x633e.

There is only one configuration descriptor and LAF uses bulk transfers over endpoints 5 (for input from the device) and endpoint 3 (for output to the device).

For other descriptors, see info/lsusb.txt.

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