Tag Archive | NSA

DEF CON Adventures 2012 Explored

DEF CON Logo from defcon.org

Many fun adventures occurred at DEF CON this year, with many interesting new things going on.

Here is the brief summary:

  • Man’s cell phone battery catches fire, explodes in his back pocket.
  • Private phone network created called “NinjaTel”.
  • Possible crack of PPTP encryption found.
  • National Security Agency (NSA) director visited.
  • Hacker explores the world of warranties.

Man’s cell phone battery catches fire, explodes in his back pocket

Credit: Elinor Mills, CNET – Click Image to News Article

Private phone network created called “NinjaTel”

NinjaTel phone network is part of a new initiative by hackers. They were giving them away at DEF CON to good contributors. Probably used as a play phone for hackers. Apparently, the initiative is based on a large unencrypted GSM network with a large open base transceiver station. With approximately 600 customized Android phones on the market, the phones are filled with silly apps and other apps that can help hackers.

Possible crack of PPTP encryption found

Tools were developed at the conference to crack PPTP encryption. Encryption specialist Moxie Marlinspike showed off his usual handiwork.

According to CNET, the tools crack WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and VPN passwords used by corporations and organizations running networks that are protected by the PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), which uses MS-CHAPv2 for authentication.

As for hacking warranties, read more here.

And that’s a wrap for this year’s DEF CON. Kudos!

Israel and the United States: Flame Developers? Really?

The United States and Israel jointly developed a sophisticated computer virus nicknamed Flame that collected intelligence in preparation for cyber-sabotage aimed at slowing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, according to Western officials with knowledge of the effort.

The massive piece of malware secretly mapped and monitored Iran’s computer networks, sending back a steady stream of intelligence to prepare for a cyber­warfare campaign, according to the officials.

The effort, involving the National Security Agency, the CIA and Israel’s military, has included the use of destructive software such as the Stuxnet virus to cause malfunctions in Iran’s nuclear-enrichment equipment.

The emerging details about Flame provide new clues to what is thought to be the first sustained campaign of cyber-sabotage against an adversary of the United States.

Read this story now: WashingtonPost.com

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