A MONITOR DARKLY

Reversing and exploiting ubiquitous on-screen display controllers in modern monitors.

Is your monitor displaying the truth?

CLIENT

Internal R&D

YEAR

2017

On-screen-display (OSD) controllers are ubiquitous components in nearly all modern monitors. OSDs are typically used to generate simple menus on the monitor, allowing the user to change settings like brightness, contrast and input source. However, OSDs are effectively independent general-purpose computers that can: read the content of the screen, change arbitrary pixel values, and execute arbitrary code supplied through numerous control channels. This internal research demonstrates multiple methods of loading and executing arbitrary code in a modern monitor and discusses the security implication of this novel attack vector.