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30

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 ...


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

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 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 ...


9

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 ...


9

Most of these operations are "trivial": they replace combinations of two or three existing opcodes. For instance, the BLSR type of instruction is, as specified in the page you link to, equivalent to a subtraction followed by a bitwise AND. This could already be done. Extra operations don't harm, and compilers will benefit from them, and, undoubtly, some ...


9

I can just walk in, plug something similar to this into your network and read the unencrypted network traffic of the entire building. I can snip a few cables and cause a denial-of-service for multiple businesses. This will be pretty hard to diagnose if the building does not have a network admin on hand to deal with such issues. I can steal all the ...


9

A CD burner works by firing precise beams of IR or UV laser radiation at a targeted point on the disc surface, where it interacts with a chemical dye. This dye changes optical reflectivity when exposed to such radiation, hence the term "burning". When reading it back, a lower intensity beam (usually at a different electromagnetic wavelength) scans over the ...


9

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 ...


9

Any bug in the handling of USB devices can be exploited by malicious hardware. That's how the PS3 Jailbreak worked. Remember that when you plug a "USB Flash drive" in a machine, you cannot be sure that what you plug is really "just a Flash drive". The machine sees it as a "USB device" which may claim to be a keyboard, a mouse, a network interface... A ...


9

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 ...


8

As long as you open up the drive so your corrosive product can remove the magnetic coating from the platters then this should work. It will, however, be much slower than the other mechanisms you mention, and will be harder to test for completion. Shredding is the fastest and easiest to confirm complete - it takes a few minutes and leaves you with dust. ...


8

The main reason for getting hardware firewall is also not because the computer is directly vulnerable to attacks, it's because you need a fast performing device, which is manageable and has the ability to do complex filtering. Getting a hardware firewall for just one computer is a bit silly. The amount of possible attack vectors is reduced as less various ...


8

The security issues with FireWire come from Direct Memory Access: the FireWire hardware can read RAM contents directly, and (that's the critical part), the FireWire device gets to tell what parts of the RAM should be read and when. Of course, under normal operations, a FireWire device will not read RAM unless the machine tells it to do it; but a malicious ...


7

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 ...


7

for example, if my laptop is stolen and my house is exploded I suggest that the initial test run involve renting a safe deposit box at a nearby bank to do your offsite backup storage in. This is probably the best answer as well. If you want to get fancy, get a larger safe deposit box and pack the HD in an anti-static bag, then in a small layer of ...


6

There is no hard disk drive, or a solid state drive, or any other non-volatile computer memory on the market that would have self-destruct capabilities and a casual customer could buy. There's also a good reason for this. Let's, as an example, see what a military grade RunCore's InVincible SSD does: ...


6

While there are some IDS/IPS devices which are marketed as 'minimal' setup, in reality IDS is one of the most setup-intensive devices in a typical network. In your situation, I would strongly suggest that you avoid this type of device as there is a high likelihood that false positives would further convince your client that he is being targeted. I would ...


6

Jamming is the radio equivalent of shouting. The jammer drowns your communications under a lot of noise. Defence against jamming usually is a combination of the following: Power: speak louder. I.e. increase the power of your radio-emitting apparatus, so that it will take more noise to drown it. Of course, this increases energy consumption and heat ...


6

The AES instructions have to produce the proper output. If they were tampered with in a way that changed output, it would be detected very quickly, and there have been no reports of that. This limits the scope of tampering considerably (to side channels and such), and I can't see that being readily exploitable by the NSA. A random number generator is a ...


6

Theoretically, to ascertain what a chip does, you break it apart and reverse-engineer it. In practice, this will be nigh impossible to do. Actually, even for software, for which you have the actual source code, you cannot guarantee that the code really always does what you believe it does (otherwise we would be able to produce bug-free code). This is not a ...


6

Wikipedia is correct: on SD cards, you have to trust the host system (whatever the card is plugged in to) to honor the physical write protect switch. Here is the relevant text from the publicly available specification documents. Emphasis is mine. SD Specifications Part 1 Physical Layer Simplified Specification Version 4.10 January 22, ...


5

There is no actual evidence of any backdoor and it would be nigh impossible to check anyway, save by "opening" the case and inspecting all the transistors one by one, with an electronic microscope -- there are billions of them, so this is not feasible. Backdoors of that magnitude tend to be revealed by disgruntled insiders, not by external analysis. ...


5

Something like this may be of use, but your best bet would be to customize it using a 3G modem wired up internally that's 'always on' so you can remote kill-switch it. I remember seeing, years ago, a couple of demo units of hard-drives for servers where if they were removed without authorization, the would inject a tube of magnetic particles and sand into ...


5

If I recall correctly this is forced physically as the dye used on the CD is different between a CD-R and CD-RW. The CD-R has only 1 coat of semi-metal alloy wheras a CD-RW has multiple. So physically it's impossible to overwrite a CD-R (changing a bit) you might be able to add bits (burning extra holes) but I'm unsure about that.


5

Jamming is used either by fools or by clever professionals. The jammer can be triangulated by professional-level direction-finders (see source of this answer for a sample link) in half no time (unless special steps are taken by the attacker) What is jammed cannot be eavesdropped (okay, it's not as easy as that, but will suffice for the simplest case) ...


5

You are misinterpreting the article. The author never claims the infection came from communication over a microphone, see this passage: For most of the three years that Ruiu has been wrestling with badBIOS, its infection mechanism remained a mystery. A month or two ago, after buying a new computer, he noticed that it was almost immediately infected ...


5

Coin relies on the loophole that they're not a merchant or a middle-man handling payment data; they're just an electronic form of a physical wallet and the data is always with the customer (on the Coin itself). This is apparent in their FAQ: Q. Does Coin have a PCI PA-DSS validation? A. The PCI Security Standards Council PA-DSS program addresses ...


5

There is no way circumvent a malicious CPU. Malware can run at different layers on modern compute systems. From top to bottom; Application level, user-mode, kernel-mode, boot-sector, firmware and finally microcode. To understand the true significance of these levels, a layperson would first need to understand the process which occurs every time their ...


4

For proper security, graphic cards must be treated like all other sorts of hardware which have access to RAM: they must come under the umbrella of the MMU and the kernel-controlled scheduler, so that simultaneously executing tasks cannot impact each other, and may interact only through communication channels carefully managed by the kernel. As you note, ...



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