Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

136

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.


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 ...


11

As @cremefraiche said, the object fits the profile of an wireless iPod/iPhone charger. As the coil works as an antenna, it could theoretically be used to send data from the device. To investigate if this device is charger or a surveillance bug, you can try to pry it open. If the 30-pin connector has anything else than the power-lines connected, it is ...


6

You are asking the wrong question. EMP and "magnetic stuff" is not your true concern. First, "EMP/magnetic stuff" will not wipe your harddisks, unless something really unexpected happens, such as a nuclear bomb going off in the stratosphere (and that will likely destroy the circuits, but not likely wipe the platters), or you putting the harddisk onto an ...


6

Although I agree with the other posters that the device in question probably was not a hack attempt, I disagree with their conclusion that he was not trying to hack you. In fact, I recommend adopting the strategy that everybody is trying to hack your equipment. That sounds paranoid, but it leads to the type of security that is more difficult (i.e. ...


5

From a security perspective, you can achieve the same security either through a review of the component (which you want to achieve with an open-source baseband through the many-eyes-principle), or proper isolation. Open source The first appproach is very hard, as regulatory authorities need to certify your baseband firmware. Because of this certification ...


5

If your laptop has an RFID/NFC reader (some Dell laptops have them) then yes an antenna can be used to "talk" to the laptop and exploit a vulnerability in the reader's driver, but readers are usually placed near the touchpad rather than behind the laptop, and while this antenna can most likely send any data to the reader, I doubt it's sensitive enough to ...


4

No, doesn't seem to be anything. Understandable: there is almost zero consumer demand for such a product and it would be very expensive to develop (because of the expensive certification you need from Telecom regulatory authorities). By the way, you're probably worrying about the wrong thing. The main concern with baseband processors is not that the ...


4

You can definitely brick a HDD or SSD by flashing it with incorrect or corrupt firmware. Most drives will accept firmware updates while in use. Of course a sufficiently determined person can probably repair the damage, but in most cases this would be written off as a drive failure and the drive replaced.


4

Non-executable memory regions are an example of a hardware-based countermeasure: the non-executability of the memory is enforced by the memory management unit. Heap overflow protection can also be implemented at the hardware level (by placing non-readable memory pages at the ends of a heap allocation), but usually isn't, because it greatly reduces the ...


4

The AES competition received 15 candidates, two of which suffered from "academic breaks" (weaknesses that are only theoretical, but still demonstrate that the underlying block cipher is not "optimally secure"). The remaining 13 are, to my knowledge, still unbroken to this day. Therefore, the choice of Rijndael had to be done for reasons other than security. ...


4

The microcontroller (a really tiny computer) in the HSM prevents it - your computer (or whatever device is talking to the HSM) can't directly interact with the memory chip that holds the keys, it has to go through the microcontroller which will allow you to do some operations using the keys (that microcontroller will do the operation and just give you the ...


4

One solution is to require all firmware to be signed and have the device check the signature before writing that firmware image to its memory; my current laptop has an option to enable this in its BIOS (the option is permanent - if I enable it now I can't disable it anymore, that's why I didn't enable it). There are many drawbacks however : induces a ...


3

Many copy machines and all-in-one scan/print/copy/fax machines (especially from HP) have internal hard drives they use for temporary storage. It's been in the news from time to time that people have recovered sensitive data from these drives, either using data-recovery software or by simply reading the drive filesystem.


3

Is it common for scanners to somehow cache or log documents they scan (on the scanner machine itself)? Yes, probably nearly all which aren't specially designed to be hightly confidential Does scanner driver/software often have temporary folders which end up leaving a trace of the document? Yes also. Can a networked scanner maliciously or ...


3

You are somehow thinking that dead tree docs are less secure than digital copies. I may venture to say you are mistaken in this belief. Digital data may be stolen in a myriad different ways. The scanner may be reporting to HP or other companies/agencies, while your computer may be already compromised. Your computer will have vestigial data on the hard ...


3

For one-way communication you have three classes of issues to contend with: Confidentiality: you want the messages to be unreadable by eavesdropper. Only the receiver (and possibly the sender) should be able to read the message. Integrity and authenticity: you want the receiver to make sure that what it receives is indeed what the authentic sender sent. ...


3

It's not Android[1] but I'm really excited about the Neo900. I loved my old Nokia N900 and thought it was years ahead of it's time. The Neo900 upgrades the internals with fully open source software and hardware. They don't have open source base band firmware but they do specifically address that in their FAQs. I suspect that's as close as you can get. ...


3

The name of $TxfLog.blf is self-explanatory: The extension blf indicates a CLFS log file, and TxF stands for Transactional NTFS. You can see that TxF is just a temporary file that backs up transactions to help against sudden crashes, just like similar precautions in modern databases. There can exist some leakage from this file, but it only would consist of ...


3

In theory, no. The outer shell is a Faraday Cage, so the radiation from the microwave will not penetrate the shell to do anything to the plates. But it will render most of the control board unusable. The radiation can damage the controller chips, and arcing can damage the board tracks and passive components. But swapping the control board could make the ...


3

Here's a whitepaper from logitech on the technology. They seem to believe it is secure, and apparently the two devices are paired at the factory. The actual key never gets broadcast. It has a short range of about 33 feet. It certainly isn't 100%, but if you're worried about the NSA... I doubt this is your biggest problem. A regular keyboard is most likely ...


3

Can This be done? I would say yes, but with some caveats. Depending on the cable and the data, you would need some very expensive / sensitive equipment to pull this off. To me this is a similar issue to the old Van Eck Phreaking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Eck_phreaking). Intel has some tech to circumvent this kind of attack: ...


2

I don't know exactly if Disk Wipe works by overwriting the partition data, or the disk data. If it only overwrites partition data, there can be files left on hidden partitions. If you are confortable with Linux, it's very easy to nuke out a disk. Assuming your disk is on /dev/sdb, you could do this: sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=65536 oflag=direct ...


2

For a “normal” computer (eg. may be infected but has no extra malice), booting from CD/usb, wiping the disk and performing a complete reinstall should be enough. Now, if the CIA is (knowingly) selling you the hardware where you will be storing the location of Russian submarines, you better throw that hardware away. It could do anything from sinply giving ...


2

The usual computations on password entropy take place in the context of a dictionary attack, especially an offline dictionary attack, where the attacker can try passwords at will without locking anything. When there is an auto-locking tamper-resistant hardware, the context changes. Conceptual view: there are N possible passwords (to simplify the exposition, ...


2

A developer has started work on a GPL'd command line tool for supporting TCG Opal 1.0/Opal 2.0/Enterprise drives under linux and windows. It's in very early development (v0.02alpha), but I like what I see so far and I have done some testing for the developer. Source: https://github.com/r0m30/msed Binaries: http://www.r0m30.com/msed/files


2

I was curious (and perhaps board) so I just ran a quick test to see... I took an old flash drive (4gb was my smallest one), did a quick reformat (to NTFS) and tossed a simple text file on there. Using FTK Imager, I took a before and after image of my drive (just the raw data dump). I used disk wipe to wipe (using the defaults and basic wipe settings) my ...


2

I don't know about firmware updates that brick a drive. Maybe for SSD? Damaging a disk by excessive reading and writing should result in damaged sectors, which the OS should be able to detect. Malware could result in overheating, but I think a harddrive won't suffer the most. And you should notice the noise. As the others suggested, the drive is probably ...


2

I would then suggest Yubikey ( http://www.yubico.com ). Yubikey is a OTP hardware token that does pretend to be a keyboard (Thus requiring NO extra software installation), and then sends a 128 bit encrypted secret to the server. The tokens are fully programmable by the administrator, and its possible to use the token in a variety of ways. You could either ...



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