Author Topic: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??  (Read 628350 times)

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Offline linux-works

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #525 on: October 24, 2014, 02:12:54 pm »
I just tried the linux fix:

./ft232r_prog --old-pid 0x0000 --new-pid 0x6001

ft232r_prog: version 1.24, by Mark Lord.
       eeprom_size = 128
         vendor_id = 0x0403
        product_id = 0x0000
      self_powered = 0
     remote_wakeup = 1
suspend_pull_downs = 0
     max_bus_power = 90 mA
      manufacturer = FTDI
           product = FT232R USB UART
         serialnum = A9E9X73N
   high_current_io = 0
  load_d2xx_driver = 0
      txd_inverted = 0
      rxd_inverted = 0
      rts_inverted = 0
      cts_inverted = 0
      dtr_inverted = 0
      dsr_inverted = 0
      dcd_inverted = 0
       ri_inverted = 0
           cbus[0] = TxLED
           cbus[1] = RxLED
           cbus[2] = TxDEN
           cbus[3] = PwrEn
           cbus[4] = Sleep
Rewriting eeprom with new contents.

moved the bad dongle over to windows (I installed 2.10 driver and disabled the damned windows update driver search.  my god!) and the pid is back to 6001 again.  confirmed on linux syslog, too.

2 or 3 times - even after I installed 2.10 on win7 - the driver must have been mem resident since it kept resetting my pid!  ok, fine, want to play it hard, I'll play it hard - moved it back to linux, reset the pid again and finally rebooted windows to clear its mem.

confirmed that once I REBOOTED win7, the 2.10 driver took the 2.12's place and things are back to 'normal' again.

the linux app definitely does 'repair' bad chips.  I love it!!

 

Offline (*steve*)

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #526 on: October 24, 2014, 02:43:08 pm »
I've just done a very quick analysis of the new 2.12.00 vs the old 2.12.00 drivers.

It seems that the dpinst.xml file has been updated, although curiously the updates seem to be fairly insignificant.

It consists of a large number of lines like this

<language code="0x0404"><eula type="txt" path="licence.txt"/></language>

It seems that it may have been intended to display the EULA.  More information about this file is located here: http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Knowledgebase/index.html?sampledpinstxmlfile.htm

There are other changes to the dpinst executable files.  The changes are quite significant by the looks of the size changes.  But I have not investigated what they might be.


 

Online Kjelt

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #527 on: October 24, 2014, 02:59:18 pm »
but most OSs now use "privacy addresses" that are basically random and change periodically. Once an address is chosen, default address detection (DAD) is performed to verify that the address is not already in use on the local segment. Then it is bound to the interface.
Did you see my "constrained device" remark in my post? There is no OS we have 32kB RAM and 64kB ROM if lucky an RTOS that has nothing to do with IP. Everyone still thinks PCs but that is definetly not the IoT universe. But going offtopic so I stop.
 

Offline MicroBoy

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #528 on: October 24, 2014, 04:05:38 pm »
Hello to all.

I'm new here, but not new viewing EEVBLOG videos on YouTube.

Shouldn't be the right question:

How will FTDI prove that my devices are, endeed, a counterfit? I could claim that they are originals and stick to it, the same way they are claiming to be counterfiting ICs. I could then claim that even after decapping the IC, they could still be from FTDI. And what if they are all genuine and they're trying to convince us otherwise because they released a bad batch or a buggy firmware / hardware version?

And for those who are still in the shadows. A couple of facts and ideas:

1) You can rewrite broken PID (0x0000) if you use another PC (or use a virtual machine for example) with an older FTDI driver (then use their FTProg tool to restore the original PID) BUT connecting the device again to a PC with the new driver will change again the PID to 0x0000.

2) You could add a new PID in the given drivers by FTDI, so the device could still work in all Windows versions, even with PID 0x0000;

3) I first suspected of some of my FT232RL devices a couple of months ago, because FTDI claims that they can handle up to 3mbps, but some of my chips were choking when configuring baudrates greaters than 2mbps. Sniffing USB packets i saw that at this values of baudrates, data reports were only beeing writtten each aprox. ~ 500 ms (a really piece of crap).

 

Offline Someone

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #529 on: October 24, 2014, 04:06:57 pm »
A few cases of similar protection of trivial magic numbers people seem to be forgetting:
http://mashable.com/2009/10/03/palm-restores-itunes-sync/
http://hackaday.com/2014/08/05/hardware-security-and-a-dmca-takedown-notice/

Good on FTDI for having a go and pushing the squatters off their driver, the device isn't bricked it is simply not recognised by their driver anymore. Intentionally looking for a device which isn't licensed to use the software and disabling it from doing so sounds legitimate when you put it that way.
 

Offline Vendan

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #530 on: October 24, 2014, 04:34:30 pm »
A few cases of similar protection of trivial magic numbers people seem to be forgetting:
http://mashable.com/2009/10/03/palm-restores-itunes-sync/
http://hackaday.com/2014/08/05/hardware-security-and-a-dmca-takedown-notice/

Good on FTDI for having a go and pushing the squatters off their driver, the device isn't bricked it is simply not recognised by their driver anymore. Intentionally looking for a device which isn't licensed to use the software and disabling it from doing so sounds legitimate when you put it that way.

First link, Palm signed an agreement, and then violated that agreement.  Second one is irrelevant, cause the manufacturer isn't directly copying the chips, they are making a functional copy, likely through some form of reverse engineering.  Good try, but unusable without a different os and or painful contortions is close enough to bricked for the average user, not to mention messing with my hardware is a very iffy thing for them to be doing.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #531 on: October 24, 2014, 04:38:35 pm »
Good on FTDI for having a go and pushing the squatters off their driver, the device isn't bricked it is simply not recognised by their driver anymore. Intentionally looking for a device which isn't licensed to use the software and disabling it from doing so sounds legitimate when you put it that way.

It's the other way around, the software is not licensed to be used the device and thus should not modify it.

Anyway, looks like FTDI learned their lesson but they are weak in managing damage control. Fluke did a much better job with the Sparkfun's yellow DMMs.
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Online Kjelt

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #532 on: October 24, 2014, 04:53:34 pm »
On a side note: if FTDI would bring out a software package that would identify the connected ic as being genuine or fake without damaging or altering it I think that would be a good thing.
But only if everyone currently buying their chips from any vendor will check their purchases and give negative feedback to that vendor in case of fake chips.
The big question to the hobbieist community is will you do that and pay the extra $ for the genuine part or not?
 

Offline poorchava

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #533 on: October 24, 2014, 04:56:36 pm »
I have switched to CH340 some month or two ago. They are several times cheaper than FTDI and work same as well  (despite sincere hate towards Win8 - it has the drivers preinstalled for that chip).

Entire converter usb stick costs less than the FTDI chip alone. Since FTDI's products are same as risky to use as shady chinese supplier now - why overpay when you get the same risk?
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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #534 on: October 24, 2014, 04:58:57 pm »
Good on FTDI for having a go and pushing the squatters off their driver, the device isn't bricked it is simply not recognised by their driver anymore.

For a layman, aka, consumers, and the vast majority of users of this IC are consumers, the result is indistinguishable.

Consumers just don't know, don't care, and need not to know or care what kind of USB chip is in their gadget. They buy the gadget, they don't have the knowledge to open it, diagnose if the IC is fake and they don't have the means and the skills to fix a bricked device.

FTDI was knowingly and willingly accepting huge collateral damage. They thought it was OK to kill heaps of innocent bystanders. It is now firing back.

Maybe a Scottish victim of FTDI finds some time to report FTDI to the proper authorities 

Quote
Intentionally looking for a device which isn't licensed to use the software and disabling it from doing so sounds legitimate when you put it that way.

No, it isn't. It is vigilantism without proper authority. Turning off their own driver so it does not works with fakes, OK, fine. Manipulating the property of others, so laymen can no longer use that property, is not legitimate.

Further, even if the damage is not permanent, i.e. people manage to fix it, FTDI caused damage. Just because you can repair something doesn't mean damaging that property is legal.

And if you want to discuss legality further, the UK (and Scotland is still in the UK), has a chapter "Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, etc." in its Computer Misuse Act.
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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #535 on: October 24, 2014, 05:08:11 pm »
Anyway, looks like FTDI learned their lesson

No, they haven't. Companies hardly ever learn their lesson. Instead they just believe they have been treated unfair and some great injustice happened to them. They would do it again, as soon as they manage to find a way to not get caught next time. Until they find such a way they consider PR as a "remedy", instead of actually compensating the victims of their behavior.

Thats why these companies need to be constantly reminded of the consequences of their wrongdoing. Even years or decades after the did something.

Quote
Fluke did a much better job with the Sparkfun's yellow DMMs.

One thing Fluke did right was to use the law, not to break it. That tremendously helps handling the fallout.
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Offline FPGAcrazy

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #536 on: October 24, 2014, 05:15:47 pm »
A MAC address is in its nature not unique nor does it needs to be. As long as you have one MAC address on a segment it works correctly. The IPV6 address needs to be unique if some one clones them you get a lot of problems.
How do you think a constrained device gets an IPv6 address in the IoT universe?
Answer: it is a direct substitute of its MAC address. So NO it is not allowed to have two devices with the same MAC address in this setting
Is this the same as the ethernet MAC address? If so it is not guaranteed to be unique.
Keep in mind that MAC address are not routed through a gateway. The IP address is needed for that.
The protocol keeps the IP address and substitue the MAC address with the address of the correct gateway on each new segment /route it encouters. Thats how IPv4 works since the hardware has not changed I do not think IPv6 will change this behaviour.
Also note that an MAC address is 6 bytes long. Many of these bits are used for the manufactor. And they only needed to be unique within one segment.


 

Offline alex.forencich

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #537 on: October 24, 2014, 05:23:54 pm »
Quote
Fluke did a much better job with the Sparkfun's yellow DMMs.

One thing Fluke did right was to use the law, not to break it. That tremendously helps handling the fallout.

The Fluke thing was not a result of something Fluke did directly, it was a result of the US customs officials enforcing Fluke's trademark.  Still doesn't make it right, but the blame did not fall squarely on Fluke as it wasn't a direct action by Fluke which caused the problem.  (personally, I think Fluke should have to pay a fee for this sort of protection - I don't believe that it is the government's responsibility to enforce trademarks, it should be the responsibility of the trademark holder and they should take direct action against Sparkfun if they have a problem with the product)  However, in this case the customs officials had the legal authority to block the shipment, while FTDI does not have the legal authority to damage 3rd party hardware. 
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 05:46:59 pm by alex.forencich »
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Offline coppice

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #538 on: October 24, 2014, 05:28:42 pm »
Is this the same as the ethernet MAC address? If so it is not guaranteed to be unique.
Keep in mind that MAC address are not routed through a gateway. The IP address is needed for that.
The protocol keeps the IP address and substitue the MAC address with the address of the correct gateway on each new segment /route it encouters. Thats how IPv4 works since the hardware has not changed I do not think IPv6 will change this behaviour.
Also note that an MAC address is 6 bytes long. Many of these bits are used for the manufactor. And they only needed to be unique within one segment.
A MAC address is supposed to be unique. They are handed out in blocks to manufacturers, who are then supposed to ensure that each port they make has its own unique MAC address out of their allocated blocks. However, people have tinkered so much with MAC addresses that the uniqueness has been severely compromised.
 

Offline all_repair

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #539 on: October 24, 2014, 05:29:56 pm »
FTDI actually got (used to have) a lot of fans all over.  If they have approached the whole issue responsibily, and seek help and support, they can get to their pot of gold.  But in a swipe, they inflame these fans into their most bitter enermies.  I am not a high volume buyers.  When I do buy, I bought the so-called industrial grade FTDI cable and sold how good these cables to my clients, and strongly recommend them to get the FTDI for their departments and subsidaries.  They trust my word as I have solved a lot of their tough problems.  I believe a lot of people here are (tech) opinions leaders.  But now, I have to bad mouth FTDI.  This type of company is too dangerous to be around.  You never know what they may resort to in the future, and when they can. 
 

Offline alex.forencich

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #540 on: October 24, 2014, 05:51:48 pm »
FTDI actually got (used to have) a lot of fans all over.  If they have approached the whole issue responsibily, and seek help and support, they can get to their pot of gold.  But in a swipe, they inflame these fans into their most bitter enermies.  I am not a high volume buyers.  When I do buy, I bought the so-called industrial grade FTDI cable and sold how good these cables to my clients, and strongly recommend them to get the FTDI for their departments and subsidaries.  They trust my word as I have solved a lot of their tough problems.  I believe a lot of people here are (tech) opinions leaders.  But now, I have to bad mouth FTDI.  This type of company is too dangerous to be around.  You never know what they may resort to in the future, and when they can.

My thoughts exactly.  I have designed FT232RL chips into a couple of research devices (legitimate ones from Digikey, not unknown ones from ebay).  I chose FTDI because 'it just works'.  However, that's no longer the case.  Will it work?  Who knows.  As soon as you start building kill switches into things, then there is a chance that the kill switch will not work completely as anticipated and end up causing collateral damage to a legitimate part.  I believe most of the 'counterfeit' chips are legitimate FTDI-compatible clones that have been illegally re-marked.  They really shot themselves in the foot with this one. 
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Offline Simon

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #541 on: October 24, 2014, 06:08:54 pm »
From: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/

Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update. :palm:

Sounds like MS stepped up and put them in their place over this issue...

PS SIMON.... I never figured you were sparkylabs... I've ordered a number of stuff off you in the past and always been happy :-) (Waves)

Good stuff

I'm yet to catch up on the topic but I think FTDI are going over the top. perhaps they could modify their chip design so that is looks in a certain place for a code and if it's not there or wrong it refuses to use the driver. I know it means changes for them but welcome to life poor FTDI, it would not help old chips being fakes and really as they are already our there and in customers gear it is wrong to punish the end user but it would help protect future devices. Bricking devices people thought to be genuine FTDI will not help their image at all. But then since being back in the Uk i have learnt that consumers have very little rights at all, and the bigger the company and the more "consumer friendly stuff" they sign up to the more unlikely external bodies are to step in and help while your left in an endless loop in their "complaints procedure" or whatever fancy process they have that keep official bodies happy but does very little for the user.
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Offline Simon

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #542 on: October 24, 2014, 06:14:25 pm »
Just read one of the articles linked to, oh they are a scottish company ? say no more, if i were to generalize I could say "the scotts hate everyone and always think they are right and the injured party" but that would not be fair of all scottish people (I work for a scottish based company)
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Offline jippie

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #543 on: October 24, 2014, 06:26:11 pm »
Nice article for the Dutch visitors of eevblog, written by a Dutch IT jurist:

http://blog.iusmentis.com/2014/10/24/chipleverancier-fdti-saboteert-namaakchips-met-firmwareupdates-mag-dat/
 

Offline alex.forencich

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #544 on: October 24, 2014, 06:28:43 pm »
From: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/

Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update. :palm:

Sounds like MS stepped up and put them in their place over this issue...

PS SIMON.... I never figured you were sparkylabs... I've ordered a number of stuff off you in the past and always been happy :-) (Waves)

Good stuff

I'm yet to catch up on the topic but I think FTDI are going over the top. perhaps they could modify their chip design so that is looks in a certain place for a code and if it's not there or wrong it refuses to use the driver. I know it means changes for them but welcome to life poor FTDI, it would not help old chips being fakes and really as they are already our there and in customers gear it is wrong to punish the end user but it would help protect future devices. Bricking devices people thought to be genuine FTDI will not help their image at all. But then since being back in the Uk i have learnt that consumers have very little rights at all, and the bigger the company and the more "consumer friendly stuff" they sign up to the more unlikely external bodies are to step in and help while your left in an endless loop in their "complaints procedure" or whatever fancy process they have that keep official bodies happy but does very little for the user.

Problem is they have to support legacy FTDI devices.  So that would do nothing about clones of the FT232RL and other existing devices.  And just reading out some ID is trivial to duplicate, so it will do nothing to fix the counterfeit problem.  Incidentally, the current difference that they are exploiting is quite easy to fix and in a few months we will see clones that are invulnerable to the current destructive clone counterfeit test.
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Offline Simon

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #545 on: October 24, 2014, 07:01:05 pm »
From: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/

Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update. :palm:

Sounds like MS stepped up and put them in their place over this issue...

PS SIMON.... I never figured you were sparkylabs... I've ordered a number of stuff off you in the past and always been happy :-) (Waves)

Good stuff

I'm yet to catch up on the topic but I think FTDI are going over the top. perhaps they could modify their chip design so that is looks in a certain place for a code and if it's not there or wrong it refuses to use the driver. I know it means changes for them but welcome to life poor FTDI, it would not help old chips being fakes and really as they are already our there and in customers gear it is wrong to punish the end user but it would help protect future devices. Bricking devices people thought to be genuine FTDI will not help their image at all. But then since being back in the Uk i have learnt that consumers have very little rights at all, and the bigger the company and the more "consumer friendly stuff" they sign up to the more unlikely external bodies are to step in and help while your left in an endless loop in their "complaints procedure" or whatever fancy process they have that keep official bodies happy but does very little for the user.

Problem is they have to support legacy FTDI devices.  So that would do nothing about clones of the FT232RL and other existing devices.  And just reading out some ID is trivial to duplicate, so it will do nothing to fix the counterfeit problem.  Incidentally, the current difference that they are exploiting is quite easy to fix and in a few months we will see clones that are invulnerable to the current destructive clone counterfeit test.

True enough i suppose, time they actually tracked down the counterfitters, then they will have the law on their side.
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Offline jeremy

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #546 on: October 24, 2014, 07:39:00 pm »
Someone posted this over at Slashdot, amused me:

>We've discovered some counterfeit parts in your car.
-Oh, really? Well, I'm going to drive over to the dealership take that up with them.
>We've already handled the problem. We crushed your car into a cube.
-Uhhh...
>You have 15 seconds to move your cube.

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ftdi-driver-kills-fake-ftdi-ft232/msg534731/#msg534731

 ;)
 

Offline daqq

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #547 on: October 24, 2014, 09:30:47 pm »
Quote
How will FTDI prove that my devices are, endeed, a counterfit? I could claim that they are originals and stick to it, the same way they are claiming to be counterfiting ICs. I could then claim that even after decapping the IC, they could still be from FTDI. And what if they are all genuine and they're trying to convince us otherwise because they released a bad batch or a buggy firmware / hardware version?
There are MAJOR differences between genuine and fake FT232 - it's a COMPLETELY different die, different behaviour etc. The ONLY way they are similar is in the driver interface and the logo on the encapsulation.
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Offline FTDI Chip

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #548 on: October 24, 2014, 10:27:17 pm »
We appreciate your feedback, comments and suggestions.
 
As you are probably aware, the semiconductor industry is increasingly blighted by the issue of counterfeit chips and all semiconductor vendors are taking measures to protect their IP and the investment they make in developing innovative new technology. FTDI will continue to follow an active approach to deterring the counterfeiting of our devices, in order to ensure that our customers receive genuine FTDI product. Though our intentions were honourable, we acknowledge that our recent driver update has caused concern amongst our genuine customer base.  I assure you, we value our customers highly and do not in any way wish to cause distress to them.
 
The recently release driver release has now been removed from Windows Update so that on-the-fly updating cannot occur. The driver is in the process of being updated and will be released next week. This will still uphold our stance against devices that are not genuine, but do so in a non-invasive way that means that there is no risk of end user’s hardware being directly affected.   
 
As previously stated, we recommend to all our customers to guarantee genuine FTDI products please purchase either from FTDI directly or from one of our authorised distributors.  http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm
 
If you are concerned that you might have a non-genuine device, our support team would be happy to help out.
 
Yours Sincerely
Fred Dart - CEO
 

Offline rob77

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #549 on: October 24, 2014, 10:33:15 pm »
I am seriously curious - I want to buy one of those counterfeit FT232s and play with it. How/where do I buy one which is definitely NOT the original?

all cheap arduino nano clones ( < $10) with FTDI chip have those fake FT232R chips. the newer cheap nano clones are coming with CH340G instead of the fake FTDI.
 


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