Tag Archives | Hacking
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In 2012 we witnessed NSA’s Director Gen. Keith Alexander put on a black t-shirt and jeans and head out to DEF CON, “one of the world’s largest annual hacker conventions”, in search of the youngest and brightest minds in our society to join his ilk:
“‘In this room, this room right here, is the talent our nation needs to secure cyberspace,’ Alexander told the standing-room-only audience at DefCon, a grassroots gathering in Las Vegas expected to draw a record 16,000 attendees this year. ‘We need great talent. We don’t pay as high as everybody else, but we’re fun to be around.’”
DEF CON 20 By General Keith B Alexander Shared Values Shared Response [sic]
We all know that top government officials lie, this should be obvious to everyone, especially after watching the “National Director of Intelligence James Clapper commit perjury when he testified before the Senate” when he stated that the NSA does “not wittingly” spy on Americans, but the lies that Gen.
Senator Ed Markey is trying to determine the extent to which modern cars are vulnerable to attacks by hackers.
Imagine someone setting off an airbag in a car by tricking the sensors into believing it had come to a sudden stop. Or driving a car into oncoming traffic. Or just stealing location data.
“I write to request information regarding your company’s protections against the threat of cyberattacks or unwarranted invasions of privacy related to the integration of wireless, navigation and other technologies into and with automobiles,” wrote Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, in a letter to Daniel Akerson, CEO of General Motors, earlier in December. Markey sent similar letters to 19 other major car manufacturers, asking about the defenses car electronics contain against these intrusions.
Getting pissed off and screaming at your computer still shown to have no effect.
Using the microphones and speakers that come standard in many of today’s laptop computers and mobile devices, hackers can secretly transmit and receive data using high-frequency audio signals that are mostly inaudible to human ears, a new study shows.
Michael Hanspach and Michael Goetz, researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing, and Ergonomics, recently performed a proof-of-concept experiment that showed that “covert acoustical networking,” a technique which had been hypothesized but considered improbable by most experts, is indeed possible.
Basically, envision Alfred Hitchcock’s The Byrds but with Amazon delivery drones suddenly turning against you. Ars Technica reports:
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Serial hacker Samy Kamkar has released all the hardware and software specifications that hobbyists need to build an aerial drone that seeks out other drones in the air, hacks them, and turns them into a conscripted army of unmanned vehicles under the attacker’s control.
“How fun would it be to take over drones, carrying Amazon packages… or take over any other drones and make them my little zombie drones,” Kamkar asked rhetorically in a blog post.
Dubbed SkyJack, the contraption uses a radio-controlled Parrot AR.Drone quadcopter carrying a Raspberry Pi circuit board, a small battery, and two wireless transmitters. The devices seek out wireless signals of nearby Parrot drones, hijack the wireless connections used to control them, and commandeer the victims’ flight-control and camera systems.
He hacked his RFID-enabled E-ZPass to set off a light and a “moo cow” every time it was being read. Then he drove around New York. His tag got milked multiple times on the short drive from Times Square to Madison Square Garden in mid-town Manhattan…and also on his way out of New York through Lincoln Tunnel, again in a place with no toll plaza. At Defcon, where he presented his findings, Puking Monkey said he found the reading of the E-ZPass [in non-toll situations] “intrusive and unsettling.”
The Kernel recalls a particularly strange episode in British broadcasting history: An evening when an “alien” named “Vrillon” took over the airwaves:
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As Andrew Gardner read out news of the conflict in Rhodesia, a hissing, shuffling sound drowned out his voice. Suddenly, a booming voice addressed the startled viewers, as the screen still showed the oblivious newsreader reading through the day’s headlines.
This is the voice of Vrillon, a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command, speaking to you.
It was now ten past five in the evening. With the news report still continuing on the screen, the deep, oscillating voice continued with his message.
For many years you have seen us as lights in the skies.
None of the evening staff at Southern Television were aware of the intrusion to their signal. International Broadcasting Authority engineers in Croydon, Surrey did not hear the rogue signal, nor was it detected at the main transmitter site in Southampton.
Via Forbes, Kashmir Hill reveals that the “demonic house” horror archetype may soon be coming true:
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“I can see all of the devices in your home and I think I can control them,” I said to Thomas Hatley, a stranger in Oregon who I had rudely awoken with an early morning phone call.
He and his wife were still in bed. Expressing surprise, he asked me to try to turn the master bedroom lights on and off. Sitting in my living room in San Francisco, I flipped the light switch with a click, and resisted the Poltergeist-like temptation to turn the television on as well.
Googling a very simple phrase led me to a list of “smart homes” that had done something rather stupid. The homes all have an automation system from Insteon that allows remote control of their lights, hot tubs, fans, televisions, water pumps, garage doors, cameras, and other devices, so that their owners can turn these things on and off with a smartphone app or via the Web.
Why even bother trying? The New York Times reveals:
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The NSA is winning its long-running secret war on encryption. Below are encryption tools the agency has had some success in cracking, according to documents provided by Edward Snowden.
Virtual Private Networks – Commonly used by businesses to allow employees to access work networks from outside the office, via an encrypted “tunnel” through a public network.
Encrypted chat – Available with chat programs like Adium or with software added to programs like AOL Instant Messenger, providing “end to end” encryption, in which the data cannot be decrypted at any point along the transfer (even by the messaging service).
Encrypted Voice over Internet Protocol – Services like Microsoft’s Skype and Apple’s FaceTime allow users to make free, encrypted phone and video calls over the Internet. The documents suggest that the N.S.A. is working with some VoIP services to obtain pre-encryption access to such messages.
From now on, are all notable car crashes suspicious? Engadget reports:
Famed white hats Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek are preparing to unleash a 100-page paper at the annual hacker conference in Las Vegas, and notably, hacks that overtake both Toyota and Ford automotive systems will be positioned front and center. The information was gathered as part of a multi-month project that was funded by the US government, so note that the specifics of the exploits will not be revealed to the masses; they’ll be given to the automakers so that they can patch things up.
Using laptops patched into vehicular systems, the two were able to force a Prius to “brake suddenly at 80 miles an hour, jerk its steering wheel, and accelerate the engine,” while they were also able to “disable the brakes of a Ford Escape traveling at very slow speeds.”