Archive for the ‘hardware’ Category

Toronto, October 2010

November 2, 2010

This post was originally entitled “SecTor 2010″, however I never actually attended the conference, so it’s not really about the conference but rather my short stay in Toronto during the SecTor 2010 conference.

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ToorCon 12

October 27, 2010

After a two year absence due to unavoidable other obligations like good friends’ weddings, I finally made it back to one of my favorite hacker conferences, Toorcon.  San Diego is always beautiful when I happen to be there with nice weather and a cool mix of people, both locals and visitors who are there for the conference, and this year was no exception.

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REcon 2010

July 16, 2010

This last weekend I took a trip up to Montreal for REcon.  If you’re unfamiliar with REcon, it’s a small security conference focused on topics most interesting to reverse engineers.  As such, the talks are more technical than you will find at other more mainstream conferences like BlackHat or DEFCON, and generally require a certain level of expertise as a baseline.  If you don’t understand assembly language, you’ll probably not get much out of at least half of the lectures.

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SmartPhone Unlock Screens: Moving in the Wrong Direction

November 10, 2009

I recently purchased the Motorola Droid from Verizon, and am so far very happy with it.  Other than finding the physical keyboard a bit lacking from being extremely spoiled by the Sidekick’s physical keyboard to which no other physical keyboard could ever hope to live up to, I’ve really had no complaints with the device or the Android 2.0 operating system that runs on it.  I have however, noticed that touch-screen smart-phone unlock screens (not just the Droid’s) are getting progressively less secure.

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Metroid Security Mechanism

November 16, 2007

Having recently played most of the way through Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, I came across an interesting security mechanism in the game that I haven’t really seen paralleled in the real world…

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DEFCON 15

August 9, 2007

DEFCON 15, in their second year at the Riviera, seemed a little more settled than the turbulent vibe from last year. Unfortunately DEFCON already seems to be outgrowing this space as a couple of the talks I wanted to see were standing room only and attendees were spilling out into the halls.

The badge this year was a large rectangular PCB with the DEFCON logo parts down the left side and the letters “DEFCON” down the right side. In the center, oriented vertically, was a mini LED pixel display which was controlled by an on-board chip. In it’s default state, the display scrolled the text “I <heart> DEFCON”, however you could program the display through various sequences of pressing your fingers to the DEFCON logo parts down the left side. The badge this year was interesting, but it definitely had some quality issues. The controls to program the scrolling LED display were too easily triggered accidentally, causing most badges to be usually scrolling one of the menu texts instead of the custom message. Also, toward the end of the conference I was seeing a lot of the badges with stuck displays, only having a couple of random LED pixels lit up on them. The badges may have also been a little over-engineered as the instructional poem in the DEFCON book alluded to being able to solder on more components like an RF transceiver, an accelerometer, and potentially some other stuff. I identified at least three different places where you could add components to the badge. There was also WAY too much information about the badge in the DEFCON book such as what types of components you could add, where to get complete source code, how to debug it, etc. This seemed way more like being led down a path than actually being able to “hack” the badge.

Due to speaking this year and having a bunch of friends from DFW in town partying and gambling I didn’t really do the DEFCON social/party thing. I didn’t even have time to attempt Caezar’s Challenge, which from what I could tell merged this year with the Ninja Networks party since the challenge was on the back of the Ninja party pass. Oh well, the couple hundred bucks I made playing BlackJack and hanging out with my DFW friends was worth it.

Out of the presentations and events I attended, here’s my thoughts:

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Diebold Fails as Badly at Physical Security as They Do at Digital Security

January 29, 2007

I love Diebold, I really do… they’re a non-stop fountain of hilarity… I can’t believe they are still in business.


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