Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

140

No, you are just being paranoid. You were probably already connected to him over WiFi. There are many attacks he could have run this way without additional devices. Also if he would have wanted to hack you, he would not have thrown his strange hacking device in your face. He would have hidden it below the table. Side note: I feel like most of the people ...


115

Perhaps he was using one of these wireless chargers that are built into the tables. It certainly fits your description.


79

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. ...


70

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 ...


68

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 ...


38

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: ...


37

Well "impossible" is impossible to prove which is why in the linked answer I said "almost impossible", maybe even that is overstating it. By using a secure hardware device the attack vector goes from "malware installed remotely on host steals secret," to "attacker needs to physically gain access to the hardware device and destructively remove the private ...


36

I don't know what that gizmo is, but unless you've got a really bizarre laptop, it wouldn't be useful for attacking your computer. Outside of a laboratory setting, attacking a computer means using its standard input or output capabilities. An ordinary wifi or Bluetooth antenna can reach your laptop from anywhere in the room; a directional antenna can ...


33

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 ...


26

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 ...


23

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 ...


21

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 orbiting 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 ...


21

TL:DR - Yes, routers CAN be vulnerable. Misconfigured/Unconfigured routers - A ton of people just install their routers and leave the default accounts turned on without modification. Thus allowing attackers easy access. Vulnerable built in scripts - http://www.reddit.com/r/netsec/comments/1xy9k6/that_new_linksys_worm/ See: What is the ...


20

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 ...


19

Hardware crypto modules like this are regulated by a set of standards called FIPS 140-2 which specify the ridiculous lengths that the devices must go to in order to protect the private keys inside them. There are four levels of FIPS 140-2, briefly summarized as: Level 1: It does basic crypto-y things. Level 2: "Tamper-evident"; it's impossible to extract ...


15

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 ...


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 ...


15

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 ...


14

There is an element of truth to this one - an attack was discovered which took advantage of data remanence in RAM, allowing an attacker to grab data from the RAM in a machine. There was a very short timeframe (a matter of seconds or minutes) in which to do this, but it wasn't a hack of the PC as such. Simple Wikipedia link to Cold Boot Attack here And the ...


13

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 ...


13

@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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

Other answers have been given to answer whether routers are secure: your router likely has unpatched vulnerabilities. A recommendation for making things more secure would be to put a real Linux box in front of your router. Configure it for automatic security updates every 10-30 minutes so your patches come quickly. For kernel vulnerabilities, you could use ...


12

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 ...


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

Data in L1 cache will not remain in L1 cache only; the hardware will copy it to main RAM transparently and almost immediately. At least so operate modern CPU. If you want to keep sensitive data out of RAM, then you must keep it in registers only. Context switches will be a problem, also, since they automatically flush registers to a designated RAM space. ...


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 ...


11

As storage technologies change over time, using different encodings and remappings to deal with sector errors, the best way to permanently erase data changes also. Very smart people have expended enormous amounts of time and effort arguing over this problem. Most of them end up at the same bottom line, which is: the only method you can truly trust is ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible