The nexmon C-based firmware patching framework adapted for the ARC architecture.
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README.md

Nexmon for ARC

This is the nexmon C-based firmware patching framework adapted for the ARC architecture, that enables you to write your own firmware patches for ARC based WiFi chips such as the QCA9500.

Getting Started

The following explained how to use nexmon-arc and compile our hello world application for the wil6210 firmware v4.1.0.55, which prints a debug output that is readable from the device driver. The following instructions have been tested with Ubuntu 16.04.03.

Setting up the environment (needs to be done only once)

  • Installing dependencies (mostly for the ARC toolchain):

    sudo apt-get install texinfo byacc flex libncurses5-dev zlib1g-dev libexpat1-dev texlive build-essential git wget bison gawk libgmp3-dev
  • Run make in the root directory, this will download the original firmware and compile the ARC toolchain.

Patch the firmware

  • Setup the build environment for Nexmon:

    source setup_env.sh
  • Go to the hello world example in the patches directory and execute make. This will build a patched firmware which prints a string at the initialization time of the fw and uc code.

    cd patches/wil6210/4-1-0_55/hello_world
    make
  • Copy the resulting wil6210.fw to your device (the default place in the filesystem is /lib/firmware/wil6210.fw)

  • Restart the interface (executed on the device):

    ifconfig wlan2 down && ifconfig wlan2 up
  • You should be able to get the following results by reading the console_fw and console_uc files in the debugfs:

    root@TALON1:~# cat /sys/kernel/debug/ieee80211/phy2/wil6210/console_dump_fw 
    FW: INITIALIZED
    root@TALON1:~# cat /sys/kernel/debug/ieee80211/phy2/wil6210/console_dump_uc 
    UC: INITIALIZED

    The console_fw and console_uc debugfs interfaces are custom extensions of the wil6210 driver that allow to read the output buffer from the firmware. This function is integrated in our lede-ad7200 image for TP-Link Talon AD7200 devices and provided by this patch.

Access the received signal strength of sector sweep frames

The following explained how to use nexmon-arc to gain access to the signal strength of received sector sweep frames in wil6210 firmware v4.1.0.55, and v5.2.0.18 and make it readable from our extended wil6210 device driver. The following instructions have been tested with Ubuntu 16.04.03.

  • Choose the firmware you aim to work with either v4.1.0.55 or v5.2.0.18 are supported.

  • Go to the sweep_info example in the patches directory and execute make. This will build a patched firmware which keeps information on received sweep frames in a buffer in the uc code.

    cd patches/wil6210/4-1-0_55/sweep_info
    make
  • Copy the resulting wil6210.fw to your device (the default place in the filesystem is /lib/firmware/wil6210.fw)

  • Restart the interface (executed on the device):

    ifconfig wlan2 down && ifconfig wlan2 up
  • You should be able to see a table of results by reading the sweep_dump files in the debugfs:

    root@TALON1:~# cat /sys/kernel/debug/ieee80211/phy2/wil6210/sweep_dump

    The sweep_dump debugfs interface is a custom extension for the wil6210 driver that allow to read the signal strength of received sector sweep frames from the firmware. This function is integrated in our lede-ad7200 image for TP-Link Talon AD7200 devices. Please check the version of the wil6210 firmware that is running in your LEDE system. Running a new firmware with an old driver might cause errors. You should keep the same version or update both the extended device driver and the patched firmware to the most recent release.

Write your own patch

To write your own patches, check the example files in patches/wil6210/4-1-0_55/hello_world/src and consider the original Nexmon project for further documentation on the patching process.

DISCLAIMER

This software might damage your hardware and may void your hardware’s warranty. You use our tools at your risk and responsibility.

You acknowledge that you are solely responsible for how you use the software, & for complying with all relevant laws in your area. You also acknowledge that neither of the developers of nexmon-arc nor any of its affiliates & associates may be held liable, responsible or accountable for any type of damage, litigation or other legal action, which may arise either from your legal or illegal use of nexmon-arc, or any other software. We do not tolerate the use of our software for any illegal purpose. By using our software in any way, you acknowledge & approve to use it exclusively in a lawful manner.

Statistics

Nexmon is mainly intended as a research project that we share with the community so that others can benefit from our tools. We want to collect statistics to figure out how often Nexmon is used in general and which platform and firmware version is the most popular. We also intent to share our findings in the future. For further information please check the original Nexmon project page.

What kind of statistics do you collect?

Every time you run a Nexmon firmware build, we collect the following information:

  • A unique identifier based on a random number (e.g., 5O31UY9Z5IEX3O9KL680V5IHNASIE1SB)
  • The name, release, machine and processor of your build system (uname -srmp, e.g., Linux 4.2.0-42-generic x86_64 x86_64)
  • Git internal path to the built project (e.g., patches/wil6210/4-1-0_55/hello_world/)
  • Git version (e.g., 2.2.1-55-g3684a80c-dirty)
  • Git repository URL (e.g., git@github.com:seemoo-lab/nexmon-arc.git)

How do I disable the collection of statistics?

If you have privacy concerns, we also offer to opt-out of the statistic collections. To this end, you simply have to create a DISABLE_STATISTICS file in your Nexmon root directory.

Talon Tools

This software has been released as part of Talon Tools: The Framework for Practical IEEE 802.11ad Research. Any use of it, which results in an academic publication or other publication which includes a bibliography is encouraged to appreciate this work and include a citation the Talon Tools project and any of our papers. You can find all references on Talon Tools in our bibtex file. Please also check the project page for supplemental tools.

Give us Feedback

We want to learn how people use our platform and what aspects we might improve. Please report any issues or comments using the bug-tracker and do not hesitate to approach us via e-mail.

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