Security Archive

libhasp: Repurposing a copy-protection dongle for general-purpose data storage

Way back in 2004, I spied an offer in Circuit Cellar magazine for a free evaluation kit from Aladdin Knowledge Systems (AKS), manufacturer of copy protection tokens. These are the little gadgets that you often need to plug in to your computer to prove that you ”really” own the particularly expensive application you’re trying to [...]

Creds101 v0.1 Release

I’m happy to announce the first release of a credentials (e.g. “usernames and passwords”) management system that I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. It’s called Creds101 and this excerpt from the documentation gives some more detail: Creds101 has 2 parts: Software that you run on your computer (the “host”) to send commands [...]

Sending data via cellular voice connections with Linux

“A5/1 [the encryption scheme used in most cellular voice calls] has operated unchanged for the last 21 years but it has now reached its cryptographic end-of-life, engulfed by the march of Moore’s Law. However, the operational end-of-life of A5/1 may still be decades away as there are approximately 2 billion GSM subscribers, commanding about 80% of [...]

Secure browser-based communications

Introduction I’ve often wanted to securely send a message to someone who didn’t have a serious software package like GPG installed. Rather than ask them to install software they might not use ever again, I employed the scheme described below – it only requires a web browser with Javascript support. Our friends Alice and Bob [...]

Not every OS can be as correct as OpenBSD

Here’s a really impressive method to provide memory safety for your favorite kernel that so desperately lacks it: the “Secure Virtual Architecture”. See… This 24MB 21min Quicktime video… and the accompanying PDF slides… and the research paper itself – Secure Virtual Architecture: A Safe Execution Environment for Commodity Operating Systems. See especially page 5 for [...] is is a stripped-down file-hosting service (cf. that has four “new-to-me” features:2 You can earn money when people download your files via their affiliate program. Your audience can access your files via HTTPS. An honest dedication to free speech and free software. You can upload your files via FTP-over-explicit-SSL (FTPES). Their support page doesn’t list [...]

ShmooCon 2009

Having last attended Shmoocon in 2007, I was glad to see that all the things that made it great ”then” were still present for the 2009 installment: A close-knit community feel. The Shmoo Group’s prolific members are very active in the infosec community and appear to unite many disparate groups within it. The freedom to [...]

Fighting Spam with OpenWRT

Time Warner recently cut off our RoadRunner cable service because one of our computers was blasting spam out onto the internet. To find out which machine it was, I ran the following command in a GNU Screen session on OpenWRT on my WL500gP router: tcpdump -n -X -s 96 -tttt -i br0 port 25 This [...]

Omitting Certain Commands from zsh’s History

I use pwsafe to store passwords on Ubuntu. It’s a *nix command line port of Counterpane’s Password Safe which uses twofish to store passwords in a database file. You can find it in the Ubuntu universe repository. If someone somehow managed to get ahold of my shell’s history file, they’d get a lot of juicy [...]

Xbox 360 Arbitrary Code Execution

An anonymous researcher has published a detailed write-up on how to execute arbitrary code with high privileges on a recent Xbox 360 kernel. The vulnerability exists in the (now patched) system call handler. There’s no googleprint for so I’m assuming this person created that email address just for the purpose of disclosing this vulnerability. [...]