How to Break Software: Embedded Edition

Jon Hagar, Grand Software Testing

In the tradition of James Whittaker’s book series How to Break … Software, Jon Hagar applies the testing “attack” concept to the domain of embedded software systems. Jon defines the sub-domain of embedded software and examines the issues of product failure caused by defects in that software. Next, he shares a set of attacks against embedded software based on common modes of failure that testers can direct against their own software. For specific attacks, Jon explains when and how to conduct the attack, as well as why the attack works to find bugs. In addition to learning these testing skills, attendees get to practice the attacks on a device—a robot that Jon will bring to the tutorial—containing embedded software. Specific attack methods considered include data issues, computation and control structures, hardware-software interfaces, and communications.