new windows driver could brick millions of usb devices.

Started by wr250, October 30, 2014, 05:29:25 AM

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wr250

The FTDI FT232 chip is found in thousands of electronic baubles, from Arduinos to test equipment, and more than a few bits of consumer electronics. It’s a simple chip, converting USB to a serial port, but very useful and probably one of the most cloned pieces of silicon on Earth. Thanks to a recent Windows update, all those fake FTDI chips are at risk of being bricked. This isn’t a case where fake FTDI chips won’t work if plugged into a machine running the newest FTDI driver; the latest driver bricks the fake chips, rendering them inoperable with any computer.

Reports of problems with FTDI chips surfaced early this month, with an explanation of the behavior showing up in an EEVblog forum thread. The new driver for these chips from FTDI, delivered through a recent Windows update, reprograms the USB PID to 0, something Windows, Linux, and OS X don’t like. This renders the chip inaccessible from any OS, effectively bricking any device that happens to have one of these fake FTDI serial chips.

http://hackaday.com/2014/10/22/watch-that-windows-update-ftdi-drivers-are-killing-fake-chips/

comments: this driver permanently makes the chip inoperable. in most if not all cases the end user will simply  assume a defective device, and warrenty it. then the replacement gets bricked, and the user gets angry at the supplier/manufacturer of a device, when in fact its the windows  driver bricking their device(s).
how nice, go after the end user, rather than the manufacturer of the device.

UPDATE:
upon further investigation i found this:

the driver has been removed from Windows Update, and an updated driver will be released next week. A PC won’t be able to communicate with a counterfeit chip with the new driver, but at least it won’t soft-brick the chip.

Microsoft has since released a statement and rolled back two versions of the FTDI driver to prevent counterfeit chips from being bricked. The affected versions of the FTDI driver are 2.11.0 and 2.12.0, released on August 26, 2014. The latest version of the driver that does not have this chip bricking functionality is 2.10.0.0, released on January 27th. If you’re affected by the latest driver, rolling back the driver through the Device Manager to 2.10.0.0 will prevent counterfeit chips from being bricked. You might want to find a copy of the 2.10.0 driver; this will likely be the last version of the FTDI driver to work with counterfeit chips.
http://hackaday.com/2014/10/24/ftdi-screws-up-backs-down/

area51drone

Good thing I'm running XP,  Microsoft doesn't give me updates anymore.   Nice to know though, I think I will forgo those updates if possible on my other machines.

Gd5150

Quote from: area51drone on November 01, 2014, 09:38:35 AM
Good thing I'm running XP,  Microsoft doesn't give me updates anymore.   Nice to know though, I think I will forgo those updates if possible on my other machines.

Yeah but you're missing out on all the great new features incorporated into vista, 7, 8. Features like, ummmmm, hmmmmm.

wr250

Quote from: Gd5150 on November 01, 2014, 12:16:57 PM
Yeah but you're missing out on all the great new features incorporated into vista, 7, 8. Features like, metro and ummmmm, hmmmmm.

fixed

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