Sunday, August 30, 2015

Current Projects

This is really just a list of projects I'm planning on doing.  Each item warrants a post of it's own.

  1. Electronics
    1. Hand Wired Neutrino Keyboard
    2. Defcon 23 - DCDarknet Badge
    3. RFID Cloner (from the Hardware hacking village)
    4. Custom handheld keyboard (Maybe a chording layout?)
  2. Software
    1. (Nexus 6) Android in Memory PIN brute forcer
    2. Zoneminder RasPi setup
    3. Sniffer/MHN homebrew setup (Docker instead of vagrant maybe?)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

New Keyboard

I'm working on putting together a Neutrino from Ortholinear keyboards.  It's essentially a kit that contains an aluminum plate and an aluminum and acrylic case (a bunch of flat pieces really.)  I have built an atomic keyboard before (a kit that's a grid layout and is entirely hand wired.)

It would seem it's a large quantity of work for what is essentially an "imperfect" keyboard by typical standards.  I actually found I really liked the layout when I used it exclusively.  It had the benefit of more vertical movements and less diagonal transition movements with my hands while typing.

Unfortunately it's just off enough (and I don't have multiple Atomic keyboard) so whenever I would go from work to home I would have a period of adjustment.  It drove me nuts.  I loved the layout, and have great keycaps on the keyswitches, but it's just not worth the period of relearning every single day.

Also, when going from a fixed keyboard, such as a laptop, back to the ortholinear it would take the same amount of adjustment.  I'm really talking about 30 seconds or so, but it's enough that the mental adjustment was frustrating.

The Neutrino, by contrast, is normally a hand wired standard offset keyboard.  Assembled it would, presumably, have no real adjustment time since it would be the same offset as any other qwerty keyboard one uses daily.  This seemed like the perfect design for me.  I have built several keyboards, and they all aren't quite the layout I want.  The Neutrino is nearly exactly the layout I would design if I was doing it from the start.  I started out and bought a kit (top and bottom plates plus a middle divider made from acrylic.)

The work I did on the atomic keyboard gave me experience when it comes to how keyboards really work.  I decided I was going to try and make my life easier.

For some idea of what it takes, a member of the mechanicalkeyboards subreddit livestreamed soldering a planck keyboard (which is ~20% less complicated than an Atomic.)  It took him more than 6 hours to complete from start to finish.

Since the process of hand wiring a keyboard is so incredibly time intensive, I had decided I was going to try and make the process easier.   Having also built a phantom, and an infinity v60 keyboard I knew how beneficial using a PCB was to creating a keyboard from scratch.

It is so much easier to solder points to a PCB (through hole points) than it is to solder individual wires and diodes to each other by hand.  With a little research I found the "enabler" pcbs.  They are small printed circuit boards that allow for through hole mounting of switches, diodes and leds to.  The caveat being, instead of an integrated circuit board where all switches go into one large board, they are individual PCBs that you have to crosswire between each other.

The image to the right has a few of the PCBs by themselves, and a row of switches soldered to a Neutrino.  At first glance it definitely looks like it will allow an intrepid keyboard creator the ability to make a much cleaner keyboard design.   But that's at first glance.

To give some more clarity let me break down the process for a hand wired board:

Step 1: Insert switches into plate
Step 2: Solder a Diode to one side of the key switch
Step 3: Solder the end of the diode to the next diode (off of the next switch.)
Step 4: Solder the other terminal on the switch to a wire that is connecting vertically to the switch above & below it.

Per switch, you are basically only soldering three times.  For a keyboard composed of roughly 70 keys, you are soldering 210 times.  It actually goes pretty quickly and you can make it look relatively decent after a little practice.

You can see in the image above, the grid layout sort of forms itself with a bit of practice.  While still rudimentary, it can be somewhat orderly.

Unfortunately, the enabler requires 6 solder points per keyswitch (up to 9 if you're using LEDs,)  I hadn't realized this before I started building the keyboard and so I didn't have solid core wire and appropriate gear to strip and solder so many cables.

I will continue to make it work, but at this point the enabler seems like a giant time sink, and I'm seriously regretting not just wiring the keyboard by hand.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fun with Gate Codes and iPhone block feature

The management company at the apartment complex I live in refuses to give out a bypass code for the door. That means delivery people are basically fucked (have to call, or wait for someone to come through the gate.)

They do let you have an "interactive" gate access of sorts by calling your phone and then you press 9 to open the gate. Knowing a little about telephony I figured I could give them a SIP DID that I had somewhere and setup something on Asterix. I did them one better however.

Since I recently switched to an iPhone I have the "block" feature easily accessible. I figured I would use it to make the process a great jimmy rig. I setup my greeting to have the unlock DTMF as the first notes it plays and then blocked the source number for the gate.

Low and behold, one ring later I have an automatic gate code so I can get back in when I'm jogging or delivery folks can drop packages off without a code.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trust in Comodo, no really...

Contrary to popular belief (and self subscribed insantiy) Comodo is not "Hacker Proof" After the breach earlier this year at GlobalTrust It should come as no surprise that they have had yet another breach. Their CEO commented that We are rolling out improved authentication for all RA accounts. We are implementing both IP address restriction and hardware based two-factor authentication. The rollout of two-factor tokens is in progress but will take another couple of weeks to complete. Until that process is complete Comodo will review 100% of all RA validation work before issuing any certificate Reading statements like that, anyone who's studied for the CISSP in the past half decade could have told you two-factor tokenization was the norm at big shops like Verisign. Perhaps that's why Comodo's offerings are so much cheaper than the majority of their competitors. I guess trust really does have a pricetag.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Net Neutrality

Again, it's been in the news for a while and talking heads just DON'T GET IT. Which is no surprise, they aren't paid to get it. They're paid to push Snapple. So I wrote my congressman, to make it pretty clear what the issue is, as I'm sure they aren't fully aware. To be clear, this isn't a slight on politicians, but ask a lawyer you know what they know about net neutrality and you'll get a good idea how most congresspeople see the issue.


I know something as misunderstood as Net Neutrality is getting a lot of talk time with the pundits du jour, but I feel obligated to voice my concern. I understand the largest concerns being voiced are those of the largest "people" Google on one side and ATT on the other. The thing to be aware of here is that Google seems to be on the side of the people in this. They hold more fiber than any other entity in the United States.

The people of the US are already subject to traffic shaping and prioritization by their providers. This has been a well known fact by those of us in the industry who have to manage these devices. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon's digital download services (and soon Google TV) are threatening current content providers business models. This is to be accepted, as the Internet is still evolving the way we do business. The problem is the content providers also own the cables that run into our home. To use a bad analogy, the tubes are being squeezed into two different sections: the one the providers offer and the one they don't. If they aren't able to monetize the traffic they are putting it at a lower priority to your home.

The difficulty here is, some prioritization is good. For instance if you buy your phone service through this provider, you want the phone calls to come through even if your family is watching a TV show. But since there is no regulation in this area, there's no difference to the end users if the provider does the same thing to their Movie Service (TM) over Netflix or Hulu. This is clearly an abuse over the local monopolies we the American people have allowed the providers to hold.

As a congressman from the Tech State, I would hope you have heard from many people in this regard and work with your peers to present a rational (and easily understood) front to this threat to our digital democracy.

I'd urge many to do the same, as the more people advertising this the better. We, the American People, need to make sure our representatives understand our concern. We don't have a lobby that does it for us.

Monday, August 2, 2010

So you think your information has been compromised?

Here’s a quick cheat sheet on how to protect what you can.

  1. Pull out your emergency visa gift card.
    ( 50 dollars minimum Must not expire after 2017 or it won’t work on Experian, you can buy this at most retailers for $55!! Though the form submission post allowed for the value to be set to 2019 and my Target Gift Card validated. )

  2. On a hard line call your credit card companies and put a freeze on your accounts.

  3. On a hard line call your bank and report your cards lost.

  4. Get on Equifax’s website, enable a freeze.
    ( as of 08.02.2010)
    It costs an average of $10.

  5. Get on Transunion’s site and enable a freeze. (
    It costs an average of $10.

  6. Get on Experian’s site and enable a freeze.
    It costs an average of $10.

  7. Call your office and deactivate any badge codes or accounts you think may be compromised with the information in your wallet.

  8. The next day: Don’t forget, your license was in your wallet/purse too get it reissued and get a temporary or the added irony of getting pulled over and cited could be added to your list of inconveniences.

Your personal information is now protected against the larger credit companies and most large purchases. What this means is, you will now be protected from transactions that require a credit history look-up, since any attempt to view that data will fail. With the only downside being if you are filing for a loan you will need to release the credit freeze at the additional cost. The other bit to note is any accounts that have been opened before you lost control of your information will also be at risk, so make sure you contact those agencies (your phone company, utility companies, credit unions, insurers and make sure to set up security pins separate from any other data that your future identity attackers (it’s not a thief if they affect you forever) will use.

And yeah, I spent a week and a half at security conventions plus training in Vegas, and lost my wallet the day I got home. Loki loves to give me irony in large doses apparently.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cyber is the New Domain, but please don't turn off the lights

So this was triggered by reading the crappy article over at the inquirer, I sent them the full text of this before I posted it and even gave them 3 days to fix the article. So here's the real deal and I hope I didn't fuck anything up.

This little blurp is a watered down misinterpretation of the keynote. What Hayden actually said was nothing of the sort. His words were profound and direct. Very much with a purpose, and though he is no doubt used to being misrepresented in the news I cannot believe that this site would do such a terrible job of follow-up.

Let me reiterate his speech, and perhaps your author will learn to be more direct and less sensational.
I attended Black Hat as part of furthering my training as an IT Professional and with the added benefit of sitting in on some excellent, and not so excellent, briefings.

One highlight of the two day briefings was the second Day's keynote presented by Former Director of the CIA, General Hayden. Hayden began by explaining his former positions and his involvement in the US Government's CyberCom. His explanation, and breakdown of the roles the US, and truly all nations, are facing is thus:

The existing domains (as the military establishment terms land, sea, air, and space) are deeply understood by those involved. The newest domain, cyber, is almost as much a new dimension as it is a domain. Any action that effects the cyber domain, cannot (by virtue of it's multi-domain nature) go without making 'something in another domain go pop.'

The Cyber domain has requirements similar to the other four, it must be defended against infiltration and hardened against malicious attackers. It is also fair game for internationally accepted espionage practices, data gathering if you will. And finally, it is a domain to be considered when attacking one's enemies in time of war.

This is not to say that there should be no boundaries, he seemed to be fully of the belief that there are areas of the cyber domain that should be off limits to disruptive activities. For instance, when speaking of the power infrastructure he described the troubles governments have in attacking an enemy. If there is an armed conflict and a nation wishes to bring the power infrastructure down utilizing the cyber domain they had to have been within those systems BEFORE the fighting occurs.

This creates an interesting dilemma when looking at it on the world stage. Because of the nature of the beast, attackers must penetrate and reside on these systems perpetually. And when thinking of many nations all in different levels of "possible" armed conflict in the "future" that would mean these systems in many nations would be a battleground for multiple nations agents attempting to maintain control.

General Hayden made the correlation with chemical weapons being banned with the Geneva Protocol. This particular tenant was truly the only piece he mentioned as being 'off-limits' and truly only in the concept of preemptive system residence. Much to the dismay of some of the security professionals I spoke with later that day.

We will be in for an interesting future, seeing that now the US military establishment has taken full notice of the added dimension the Cyber domain has created for us all. It's only a matter of time before most other nations begin doing the same, Russia, China and the other G8 nations are notable examples of this. One thing is for certain, more are sure to follow.
I couldn't see him arguing against the use of the cyber domain to orchestrate attacks during armed conflict, as this is a large part of the CyberCom's stated mission:

"USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries."

I will be publishing this tomorrow, so if you'd like to correct this article before then I will make no reference to it.