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Archive for the ‘steganography’ Category

DEFCON 16

August 14, 2008

DEFCON is always entertaining as it’s the largest hacker conference in North America. Back to back with it’s corporate counterpart, Black Hat, it generally draws thousands of hacker-type people to Las Vegas every summer. The related parties, shenanigans, and drama surrounding it are legendary, and this year was no different.

Below are my thoughts on the talks I was able to attend.

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CSI 2007

November 8, 2007

CSI 2007 was the first time I’ve ever attended a CSI conference. I was actually a CSI member way back in the day when I was running my own consulting firm and needed as many business development avenues to explore as possible, but after closing my consultancy and going back to work for The Man(tm) I didn’t keep up my membership as I really wasn’t getting much out of the organization at that point. For some reason I had never attended any of their conferences. The CSI Annual Conference is billed as “The leading management, strategy and policy event for today’s security professionals”, so it’s a very different conference from what I’m used to. While I generally attend the more technical events, this one was targeted at an entirely different demographic. There was a lot of large enterprise and government presence, and I got plenty of scowls as people noticed my green hair, but in the end I believe I won most of them over…

The evening of my talk there was also a Capture the Flag game. Unfortunately I wasn’t aware of this until I ran into Dave Aitel that evening and he told me about it, or I would have had my laptop with me and been prepared to compete. This game was essentially a race through various goals with clues and hints along the way. The guy that won achieved the final goal at just under 2 hours. One potential vulnerability that I pointed out to the event organizers was that most of the information was given away to the audience in the observation room near the start of the competition, and had the competition not been 3 floors underground where there was no cellular signal, I could have easily relayed the information to Dave’s mobile via SMS or AIM or something. Had we had some other form of local wireless communication, cheating would have been trivial. Perhaps next time they’ll not give away so much information at the beginning to the audience…

Below are my thoughts on the couple of talks I was able to attend. Unfortunately I was only there for the one day that I was speaking and I was busy preparing to speak and recording a shorter version of my talk to actually attend many of them.

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Real-time Steganography with RTP Video

September 21, 2007

Apparently, some guy purchased video of all of the DEFCON 15 talks on DVD, then ripped them all to MP4 and uploaded them to Google Video. If you couldn’t make DEFCON this year and wanted to see my talk, or don’t have the patience to read the 50 page paper but have about an hour to watch a video, you should check it out.

Real-time Steganography with RTP Whitepaper

September 18, 2007

My paper detailing the research I presented last month at DEFCON 15 was published today in Uninformed Journal Vol. 8. The paper is entitled “Real-time Steganography with RTP” and details using steganographic techniques to establish a covert channel within the protocol commonly used for the media channel in VoIP calls as well as a reference implementation.

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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Speaking at DEFCON 15

May 19, 2007

I’ve been invited to speak at DEFCON 15 this August which is being held at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. I’ll be presenting on some new research I’ve been working on involving VoIP and steganography. The presentation will be entitled “Real-time Steganography with RTP.”

ToorCon Seattle (Beta)

May 16, 2007

ToorCon Seattle (Beta) in Seattle was a new experiment by the ToorCon folks. It was essentially an informal and free invite-only conference, total attendance numbering around 150, with a single track of speakers each having 20 minutes to speak on their current (and potentially in-progress) research. The format was very similar to the format that the AHA! meetings take, so I was right at home speaking there. The conference talks were held on a single day, during the day, in a night club called the Last Supper Club.

The badges for this conference were really unique and interesting in that they looked like chocolate bars. The badges themselves were wrapped in a paper candy-bar wrapping themed after a Wonka bar, and the conference being invite-only, some of the bars had golden tickets in them which ensured your invite to next year’s conference. I don’t know what the ratio of bars with golden tickets to bars without were, but I was lucky enough to have gotten a bar with a golden ticket.

Finally, here are my comments for the various talks that I attended:

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Black and White Ball

April 16, 2007

I’ve been invited to speak during the Black Track at the Black and White Ball this September which is being held at the Ministry of Sound in London. I’ll be presenting on some new research I’ve been working on involving VoIP and steganography. The presentation will be entitled “Real-time Steganography with RTP.”