Exploiting Vendor-Defined Messages in the USB Power Delivery Protocol

  • Gunnar AlendalEmail author
  • Stefan Axelsson
  • Geir Olav Dyrkolbotn
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 569)


The USB Power Delivery protocol enables USB-connected devices to negotiate power delivery and exchange data over a single connection such as a USB Type-C cable. The protocol incorporates standard commands; however, it also enables vendors to add non-standard commands called vendor-defined messages. These messages are similar to the vendor-specific commands in the SCSI protocol, which enable vendors to specify undocumented commands to implement functionality that meets their needs. Such commands can be employed to enable firmware updates, memory dumps and even backdoors.

This chapter analyzes vendor-defined message support in devices that employ the USB Power Delivery protocol, the ultimate goal being to identify messages that could be leveraged in digital forensic investigations to acquire data stored in the devices.


USB Power Delivery protocol vendor-specified messages exploitation 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gunnar Alendal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefan Axelsson
    • 1
  • Geir Olav Dyrkolbotn
    • 1
  1. 1.Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyGjovikNorway

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