andre.kesteloot at verizon.net
Tue Jan 31 19:16:57 CST 2012
Security researcher Brendan O'Connor is trying a different approach to
spy hardware: building a sensor-equipped surveillance-capable computer
that's so cheap it can be sacrificed after one use, with off-the-shelf
parts that anyone can buy and assemble for less than fifty dollars.
At the Shmoocon security conference Friday in Washington D.C., O'Connor
plans to present the F-BOMB, or Falling or Ballistically-launched Object
that Makes Backdoors. Built from just the hardware in a
commercially-available PogoPlug mini-computer, a few tiny antennae,
eight gigabytes of flash memory and some 3D-printed plastic casing, the
F-BOMB serves as 3.5 by 4 by 1 inch spy computer. And O'Connor has
designed the cheap gadgets to be dropped from a drone, plugged
inconspicuously into a wall socket, thrown over a barrier, or otherwise
put into irretrievable positions, to quietly collect data and send it
back to the owner over any available Wifi network. With PogoPlugs
currently on sale at Amazon for $25, O'Connor built his prototypes with
gear that added up to just $46 each.
"If some target is surrounded by bad men with guns, you don't want to
have to retrieve this, but you also don't want to have to pay four or
five hundred dollars for every use," says O'Connor. "The idea is that
it's as close to free as possible. So you can throw a bunch of these
sensors at a target and get away with losing a couple nodes in the process."
Homemade as it may look, the F-BOMB is more than a hacker hobby. _
_O'Connor says his one-man security consultancy Malice Afterthought
received a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract earlier
this month to develop the devices as part of the Cyber Fast Track
program, which awards small sums to inventors. [Read more:
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