Monthly Archives July 2014

Gigabit Ethernet NIC Hardware Implant FIREWALK

As we all know the NSA has many different tools that they use to spy on us. Today I will be writing about FIREWALK, which is a Gigabit Ethernet NIC hardware implant.   What It Is FIREWALK is a 10/100/1000bT (Gigabit) Ethernet network implant that is capable of passively collecting network traffic and actively injecting packets onto the same target network. FIREWALK resides within a dual stacked RJ45/USB connector. It is able to collect network traffic and send it to a ROC (or an intermediate redirector node) by creating a VPN tunnel between the target network and the ROC. FIREWALK
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Categories: Information Technology, IT Security, and Preston Hood.

Tor an Anonymity Network

This post is for people who don’t already know what Tor is. If you already know what Tor is and how to use it, then I would recommend that you read another one of my posts. What Tor Is Tor is basally an anonymity network which is made up of nodes or “relays”. These relays might also be referred to as Onion Routers (OR’s) or simply routers. These relays route information in a way that it is nearly impossible for one person or organization to compromise your anonymity. Onion routing is just that, routing information in a way where communication
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Categories: Information Technology, IT Security, and Preston Hood.

Universal Serial Bus (USB) Hardware Implant COTTONMOUTH-I

As we all know the NSA has many different tools that they use to spy on us. Today I will be writing about COTTONMOUTH-I, which is a USB hardware implant.   What It Is COTTONMOUTH-I is a hardware implant which can be placed in USB devices. COTTONMOUTH-I is only one of the hardware implants from the COTTONMOUTH family. The COTTONMOUTH family has hardware implants for USB and Ethernet connectors. COTTONMOUTH-I can provide a wireless bridge into a target network and it also has the ability to load exploited software onto target systems. When we think about hardware implants that the
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Categories: Information Technology, IT Security, and Preston Hood.

Apple iPhone Backdoor DROPOUTJEEP

As we all know the NSA has many different tools that they use to spy on us. This covers everything from the TURMOIL, TURBINE, and QFIRE systems (as I covered in my NSA Surveillance post) to COTTONMOUTH-I which is a USB hardware implant (I will cover this in a later post). In this post I will be talking about the NSA’s backdoor DROPOUTJEEP which is a backdoor for Apple’s iPhone.   What It Is The DROPOUTJEEP backdoor is a backdoor for Apple’s iPhones (as I said above) which enables the NSA to spy on you at the application layer. Now
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Categories: Information Technology, IT Security, and Preston Hood.

The Importance of Strong Passwords

This may seem like a very simple article to some of you out there but let me tell you in the “real world” this is a HUGE problem! Whenever you login to your email account, online banking account, or social media account you are always having to provide some sort of credentials to verify that you are who you say you are. The credentials that you are required to provide might be a username and password or something else. Most people I have seen use very simple passwords like the name of their dog, cat, fish, bird, or whatever with
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Categories: Information Technology, IT Security, and Preston Hood.

Denial of Service Attacks

Where do I start with Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks? I guess I will start with saying that DoS attacks are very common and can be as simple as someone holding down the F5 key on their keyboard or they can be as complicated as a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack with thousands of botnets hitting an entire company’s network all at once. What a DoS Attack Is A DoS attack is someone trying to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. What a DDoS Attack Is A DDoS attack is the same thing as a DoS attack except
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Categories: Information Technology, IT Security, and Preston Hood.

Cold Boot Attacks

Some of you might have heard about an attack called a cold boot attack. This attack is a side channel attack that is performed by stealing the encryption keys out of a systems DRAM and/or SRAM that has an encrypted hard drive. How It Works A cold boot attacks are pretty simple to preform, but for the group of people who figured it out, it was no walk in the park. The reason cold boot attacks work is because usually none of the information that is stored in your RAM is encrypted and therefore the attackers are able to gain
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Categories: Information Technology, IT Security, and Preston Hood.

Does TrueCrypt Have a Future?

As some of you might have heard the 10 year old on-the-fly encryption (OTFE) software TrueCrypt was discontinued on May 28, 2014 by its anonymous developers. On May 28th of 2014 TrueCrypt’s website started forwarding visitors to sourceforge.net, which is a source code repository for free and open source software. Apparently the TrueCrypt developers discontinued this software project because of Microsoft ending support for Windows XP, and because the new OS’s already have built in encryption options. The TrueCrypt developers are recommending that you migrate your data that is encrypted by TrueCrypt to “virtual disk images supported on your platform”.
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Categories: Information Technology, IT Security, and Preston Hood.

NSA Surveillance

First of all let’s start off with what the NSA’s goal is; their goal is to have total surveillance and control in secrecy. The good news is they can’t… completely. There is no boundary on what the NSA wants to do but there are sometimes boundaries on what they are funded to do. What we know so far is that the NSA has massive global surveillance systems. That covers everything from the National Reconnaissance office with their keyhole satellites to the NSA’s TURMOIL, TURBINE, and QFIRE systems to handle the internet. I am going to focus on the internet side
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Categories: Information Technology, IT Security, and Preston Hood.

Surveillance in the Modern Age

As you may have heard there are many different security agencies and people trying to spy on our every move. Luckily there is still hope for our society. We need to use VERY strong mathematics (cryptography) to put an end to mass surveillance at least at the network level. We can use tools such as the Onion router (Tor), I2P, and Freenet for avoiding someone monitoring your upstream and to provide end-to-end encryption (as long as you don’t exit the Tor network). We also need to use tools such as PGP and OTR messaging to protect our communications that might
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Categories: Information Technology, IT Security, and Preston Hood.