At The PTR Group, we integrate our embedded systems development background with cutting edge research in vulnerability analysis, defensive tactics and techniques, reverse engineering and operations to solve customer problems across the full spectrum of cyber operations. Our deep, broad understanding of systems from the hardware up to the operating system, the development of intelligent web interfaces and for managing distributed systems gives us a unique perspective on the cyber space.
As recognized experts in the field of embedded and real-time systems, we leverage our experience in the commercial space to provide cutting-edge computer network operations solutions. Our capabilities include the design and development of custom exploit kits for targeted embedded systems to demonstrate capabilities, the development of novel protocol exploitation techniques, and the creation of unique, secure, covert communications systems.
Familiarity with the cyber kill-chain gives us a unique perspective on vulnerability assessment, mitigation and cyber deception techniques that upset the asymmetric information advantage normally held by the attacker. We can provide vulnerability analysis and mitigation techniques for embedded systems and standard and custom network protocols. Some of our research areas include live behavioral anomaly detection and analysis in embedded systems and disruption of the attacker’s information asymmetry advantage through cyber-deception tactics.
Many companies discussing reverse engineering capabilities approach it from the perspective of taking apart Windows binary malware files and understanding what the code is supposed to do and how it is structured. Our perspective is different. As embedded systems experts, we reverse engineer systems, not just software. We can pick apart an embedded hardware platform and tell you what the components are and how they work. We also look at how the firmware is structured, the firmware flow and where the potential vulnerabilities are. In short, we look at the system as a whole, not just the software. As internal R&D projects, we routinely reverse engineer and analyze commercial embedded systems and we also support commercial engagements requiring us to reverse engineer legacy systems – performing software and binary “archeology”.
The growing “Internet of Things” – IP-enabled devices embedded in multiple facets of our daily lives – is only just beginning. As more devices are network enabled and invade every corner of our daily lives, the demand is developing for web-based applications to monitor and manage these remote, embedded systems. Our expertise has been brought to bear on this problem in many projects over the years with development of systems to provide centralized command and control of platforms distributed across various network topologies. Our team creates command and control systems for multiple applications and has experience with multi-user web-based interfaces and back-end database applications to collect data sent back by the remote systems.
The follow on to Command and Control is working with the metadata about the embedded devices themselves in addition to the data they are providing. PTR works with several customers to develop tools and techniques to create and present an overall operational picture of the remote systems and their environment. A prime example is our work with a commercial customer to help them develop an operational picture of their embedded remote site-monitoring products. Our effort helped them expand their offering from just being a hardware vendor to becoming a solution provider for their customers.
Key to development is testing. To effectively test our solutions, we developed a virtual testbed system that simulates a large-scale network and allows our developers to perform testing in an environment that emulates the real-world environment. Our test environment includes virtual machines and the ability to incorporate hardware-in-the-loop to evaluate performance.
In addition to the services we provide, our team maintains an active research arm that is constantly monitoring emerging technologies. By researching tomorrow's technologies today, we help assure that our customers stay well ahead of the technology curve. Check out our current active areas of research.