Is there some detailed documentation how exactly does the Factory Reset Protection (FRP) on Android devices works?


I think much of this is intentionally kept "quiet"... in researching some of this myself a while back, this is the most I could find "in detail".


Bootloader Policy and Factory Reset Protection Google's verified boot (GVB) specification and Google Factory Reset Protection (FRP) for AndroidTM define a set of security protocols for ensuring system integrity and dis-incentivising device theft, respectively.

There are legitimate reasons to unlock the bootloader without knowing the screen unlock PIN; specifically RMAs. An RMA processing center should be able to unlock device flashing restrictions in Fastboot and return the device to a factory pristine state without requiring the user to disclose their screen unlock PIN or potentially opening their user data to compromise.

This documentation describes the solution for defining a class A device and a mechanism that allow for unlocking a device for RMA regardless of FRP or class A status. It meets Google FRP security requirements by ensuring that there is no single skeleton key to unlock devices if all security considerations are implemented. It also allows devices to be provisioned so that the entity with unlock authority could be Vendor, the OEM, ODM, a carrier, or an enterprise organization.

Device User Experience User boots the device to Fastboot User obtains an action challenge fastboot oem get-action-nonce force-unlock User gives the challenge to the action authorization agent and receives an action authorization token file (details later) User flashes the action authorization token fastboot flash action-authorization token_file Fastboot performs the authorized action Implementation The OEM action authorization protocol is a simple challenge response where the device's Fastboot generates a one-time-nonce, the OEM action authorization agent signs the nonce and approved action using its private override authorization key (OAK) to generate an authorization token, and then the device's Fastboot validates the action authorization token and executes the action.

Override Authorization Key The override authorization key (OAK) is a public key that is set in the device during manufacturing and that is used to validate action authorization tokens. If an OAK is not set, then all action authorization features are disabled and default bootloader and Fastboot behavior specified in GVB and FRP is in effect. Since the OAK is capable of overriding the class A and FRP policies, it is important to ensure that it cannot be changed by unauthorized code, which would change the identity of who can override policy.

The OAK may act as a validation root certificate if the certificate authority attribute of the certificate is "true" -- standard X.509v3 certificate handling. This means that the OAK can be used to issue certificates that are also able to sign action authorization tokens. This is the preferred method of setting the OAK in cases where multiple entities need the ability to issue action authorization tokens without having access to a single key.

OAK is stored as the OAK time-based authenticated EFI variable under the Fastboot GUID of 1ac80a82-4f0c-456b-9a99-debeb431fcc1. The content of this variable is the SHA256 sum of the OAK certificate.

Bootloader Policy Mask Bootloader policy mask (BPM) is a set of 64 boolean policy flags. If a BPM is not set, then Fastboot defaults to a policy matching a BPM value of zero. If a BPM value is set, a one bit indicates the corresponding policy is active.

The BPM is set in the device during manufacturing.

Policy Name Bit(s) Description CLASS_A_DEVICE 0 If set, the bootloader enforces the behavior defined by GVB for class A devices. MIN_BOOT_STATE 1-2 Minimal boot state required to boot the device (0 for red, 1 for orange, 2 for yellow and 3 for green) BPM is stored as the BPM time-based authenticated EFI variable under the Fastboot GUID of 1ac80a82-4f0c-456b-9a99-debeb431fcc1.

Generating One-Time-Nonce The one-time action authorization nonce has the form "::<8 bit action id>:<16 client random bytes>" with all fields hex encoded. It is generated when the fastboot oem get-action-nonce command is used. Fastboot saves the value for a limited amount of time before it expires. Each time the command is run a new value is generated and previous value is overwritten. The value is not stored persistently. If Fastboot is restarted, the old nonce is no longer valid.

The following actions are defined.

Name Action ID Description Force unlock 0x00 Makes Kernelfliner execute the Fastboot flashing unlock command as if the "enable oem unlock" developer option is enabled. All standard GVB properties apply, including secure erase of the user data partition. The version field is a one byte value. It must be zero for the current version.

Creating an Action Authorization Token An action authorization token is generated by signing the action authorization nonce with the OAK. The token is a PKCS #7 signed document, where the body takes the form "::<8 bit action id>:<16 client random bytes>:<16 auth agent random bytes>" with all fields hex encoded. The auth agent random bytes added when creating the authorization is to prevent an attacker from mounting an attack by supplying known plain-text values.

The token must contain all certificates required to validate the signature chain of the token.

The action authorization agent must verify that the nonce is exactly in the prescribed format.

The action authorization agent must verify that the action ID in nonce is a recognized value.

If possible, the action authorization agent should verify that the serial number is valid.

Flashing the Action Authorization Token The authorization token is sent to Fastboot using the special "action-authorization" flash target. Fastboot verifies that the token is valid, invalidates the current one-time-nonce, and executes the authorized action.

Fastboot must validate that there is no extra data after parsing the token.

Fastboot must verify that the signature's certificate chains to the OAK set at manufacturing.

Fastboot must verify that all values in the token body have the prescribed values.

Fastboot must verify that the value returned by the "oem get-action-nonce " command matches the value in the token body and the nonce has not expired.

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