Ubuntu Runs on a Google Nest Hub, Wait, What? | #linux | #linuxsecurity | #cybersecurity | #infosecurity | #hacker


I just spotted a story about Ubuntu running on a Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen).

Well, that is certainly exciting!

So, let me share more about it here.

Hacking Google Nest Hub to Install Ubuntu

Yes, a hacking attempt made this possible.

A cybersecurity professional, Frédéric Basse, broke the secure boot on Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) and managed to run Ubuntu.

Of course, Google Nest Hub does not officially support booting a custom OS. But, a security vulnerability allowed Fred to use an exploit and run Ubuntu.

While this is fun, it is also a severe problem for an always-connected smart home display by Google.

Credits: Frédéric Basse

As explained in his blog post, the hacker utilized a Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller to exploit a USB bug in the bootloader to break the secure boot chain.

The security expert concluded:

As a result, an attacker can execute arbitrary code at early boot stage (before kernel execution) by plugging a malicious USB device and pressing two buttons

He has also made the bootloader exploit available on GitHub, if you want to experiment (suited for security researchers).

Making Ubuntu Work on Google Nest

Credits: Frédéric Basse

The exploit allowed the attacker to boot an unsigned OS. However, he had to make some modifications with the preinstalled Ubuntu image tailored for Raspberry Pi (64-bit ARM).



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