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66

In 2011 the news was reporting on HP Printers catching fire. HP Responded saying that there was a hardware element called a "thermal breaker" to prevent this from happening. The researcher never produced a burning pile of printer. Also in 2011 Charlie Miller was researching the firmware on Apple's batteries trying to get them to explode or catch fire. ...


62

Physical destruction of a drive is tricky business. There are many companies that deal specifically in the field of data destruction, so if you are doing any kind of mass you may want to at least look at their price list. If you contract, make sure the company is properly bonded/insured, and provides audit trails for each destroyed item. In the worst case ...


59

Overview First, I learned a lot of my information from a combination of my amateur radio experience and an awesome talk I sat in at DEFCON 18. The majority of satellite systems are simple repeaters. The signal that comes in on a transponder is cleaned, amplified, and retransmitted. If you know the location and input frequency, and you pump more effective ...


31

Special firms either degauss, destroy or melt the harddrives. Harddrives are magnetic data. Magnetism can be destroyed by either: Degaussing (changing the magnetism) Heating the drive (melting) (which destroys/changes the magnetism) Hammering (shock) (shock damages magnetism somewhat, but the denting of the drive makes it very difficult to read the ...


27

Yes. If you do a normal format, the old data can be recovered. A normal format only deletes/overwrites a tiny bit of filesystem metadata, but does not overwrite all of the data itself. The data is still there. This is especially true on SSDs, due to wear levelling and other features of SSDs. The following research paper studies erasure of data on SSDs: ...


21

It's taking me a few minutes to come up with something beyond, "That's patently damn absurd!" But... I guess like many things, nobody would write it if somebody didn't buy it. My first thought from the formatting and related image is that this was sensationalist crud from a few decades ago. After all, that machine has a 5 1/4" floppy... but they're talking ...


19

What would be required to hack a satellite (in general terms, any hack really)? When it comes to satellites, the word general does not apply. Almost every satellite, with very few exceptions is custom. Even the currently orbitng GPS satellites are not all the same: there are GPS IIA, GPS IIR, GPS IIR-M, and GPS IIF. I would venture that even satellites ...


18

The only NIST approved method to securely erase a hard drive is by utilizing the secure erase internal command - documented at the Center for Magnetic Recording Research (CMRR) - and that is what everyone should be doing. It is an ATA command, and covers (S)ATA interfaces. After that, you can optionally degauss the drive to erase the firmware itself. Lots ...


15

1. Backdoor testing accounts. Engineers often include backdoor mechanisms and testing accounts in hardware for debugging purposes, with trivial or no security measures put in place to protect them. Unfortunately, a large number of devices make it to market without having these mechanisms and accounts disabled, allowing attackers to gain illegitimate access ...


13

You don't. Some vendors do indeed ship backdoors with their products, and many computers come with "crapware" pre-installed as a source of revenue for the manufacturers. Even apps that don't contain a backdoor can cause other damage (e.g. Browser toolbars that track browsing). Same concerns apply with hardware, especially in networking equipment. What you ...


12

From a theoretical standpoint the idea of total drive destruction may be the only way of destroying data on a hard drive fully. From a practical standpoint, I've not seen any evidence that it's possible to recover meaningful data from a standard hard drive (ie, not taking SSDs or other devices that use wear levelling or similar technologies) after a once ...


12

There was a presentation at BlackHat yesterday where they used a Arduino to open hotel rooms that are using a certain kind of lock: http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/Arduino-used-as-master-key-for-hotel-rooms-1652281.html As devices get smaller and more powerful, that are getting better suited to be used as pentesting drop boxes. Examples are: ...


12

In lieu of waxing elequent in a topic that I am only briefly versed, I will defer my response to a DEFCON talk I saw last year that will do at least three things: Blow your mind Expose vulnerabilities in Sats Enlighten your knowledge on the subject in painstaking detail (see item one) Here is the archived talk with video. This is a very nice guy (Matt ...


12

A USB device with "manipulated firmware" can sure do evil things. For an extreme case, see this answer: the USB device may tell to the OS "hey, I am the FireWire-to-USB converter X.Y, please download my driver from your vendor, then grant me full DMA access when I say so". Though theoretical yet, this is not science-fiction, and it sure is scary. For more ...


12

No. Litecoin uses an algorithm called scrypt which has variables that determine the amount of CPU/RAM required to compute hash. Litecoin's scrypt parameters are fixed at N = 1024; p = 1; r = 1. (http://cryptocur.com/litecoin/) Users of Scypt for password hashing purposes should have the parameters set much, much higher which will put password cracking out ...


11

This an incident you need to handle and I am guessing that a standard response has not been detailed in your documentation. Realize that your system is malfunctioning. It is not operating the the way it was intended to. Isolate your system [meaning your network(s) and physical facility if possible] to prevent the data from leaving your system. Take care ...


11

This should be sufficient at least for the moderately to quite paranoid: Change BIOS settings to boot only from the harddisk, so you can't boot from other devices. Make sure to disable network boot, which is usually in the same menu. Set up a password for changing BIOS settings and for startup, so nobody can get past the BIOS loading screen without ...


11

@ewanm89 is entirely correct. Securing the connection between ground control and a plane should be no different from securing any regular connection. The main issue is that the protocol designers are relying on security by obscurity. Obscurity through the relatively unknown protocol being used. Obscurity through what used to be relatively difficult to ...


11

What isn't documented, is not documented. All we can do is infer. From the documentation, we see that the password must be re-entered in a number of conditions (drive unplugged, computer shut down, computer put to sleep...) which boil down to: the drive was not powered at some time. This hints at a security feature done on the drive itself, not in software ...


11

Given a sufficiently smart adversary with significant resources, you can't. There are five potential attack vectors: Malware on the disk within a partition. Malware within the boot sector. Malformed partition or filesystem structures that exploit bugs in your OS (example) Malware within disk firmware. Modified hardware (e.g. replace the firmware PROM with ...


10

The key here is what you define as "every day use" - if you work in an environment where the data is sensitive, your security policy should take into account the risk from wireless interception and if appropriate, the use of wireless devices should be forbidden. Faraday cage equivalents, such as shielded rooms/buildings may be appropriate but are obviously ...


10

The whole idea of encryption is that it is meant to bring you confidentiality regardless of how the physical media is managed. Details about how a bit is "erased" (or fails to be erased) is relevant to security; encryption is about getting said security without having to bother with those details. It turns out that data on a SSD is a fickle thing and it is ...


10

I used to work IT at an Airforce Base for a while and we actually had a couple of incidents like this happen. First and foremost, make sure you notify the appropriate authorities of the incident. They will be able to instruct you further based on their current security policies. You need to isolate access to the laptop. Shut it down completely, boot ...


10

It's not impossible; Intel CPUs have had the ability to have new microcode uploaded into them for some time, and there are open source programs that can do so. If someone can then decipher the microcode, they could then produce modified microcode with a different CPUID string embedded in it. (It's supposed to have a checksum to prevent that, but I wouldn't ...


10

A few observations: It's a 32-bit Linux OS. Difficult to tell which distro - might be something custom. They're running the latest version of Bash shell. It contains an NVRAM device, such as an onboard EEPROM, which failed to initialise due to corruption. These are often used as tamper-proof storage modules that contain the game code. It's on the network ...


10

The Thales nShield HSM (previously nCipher) allow for generic programming. This is a rather expensive option; it must first be enabled in the HSM (through a "feature file" which is signed by Thales and specific to the serial number of a HSM), and then the extra code can run as long as it is signed with a key known to the HSM for such usage. With that ...


10

The 7 and 35 passes very probably come from the paper "Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory" by Peter Gutmann. There, he described various overwrite patterns targeted at specific hard drive write encodings. However, the paper, and the 35 passes, are now obsolete, as they were for old hard drive technology, as even the author readily ...


10

Provided you didn't reformat the new card and/or write anything else on it, there's a good chance you could restore some of the deleted contents with tools like undelete or unformat (some such tools are freely available, just Google for them). I've done it before and is quite possible, that is of course, assuming the card in question was actually used ...


10

No. Submerging a hard disk drive into water or any other non-corrosive liquid will do nothing to its platters that would render data recorded on them irretrievable. It will most likely ruin hard drive's logic board (controller and other circuitry on its PCB), but that's not too hard to replace. Hard drive platters' magnetic recording surface is most ...



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