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retro edition                         /___/ 
Now optimized for embedded devices!!
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Home automation via twitter

posted Jul 19th 2009 2:28pm by
filed under: home hacks

We’ve seen tons of stuff hooked up to send updates to twitter when something happens. That’s what we expected when we first read this tip from [Matt]. We were pleasantly surprised to see he’s actually doing the opposite. He has rigged several items to an IoBridge module and he can control them by sending tweets to his account. In the video you can see him sound a buzzer and change a display on an LCD. Its nice to see twitter being used as part of the control as opposed to updating us every time someone flushes.

High school students hacking electronic tests

posted Aug 27th 2008 1:39pm by
filed under: news

[Alex Papadimoulis] wrote about ingenuity and hacking in high school. Immediately after the teacher’s installed a new electronic note taking and test giving software, the students began hacking. They managed to find several ways to ace their tests, none of which involved studying hard the night before. Ultimately, the teachers went back to the old system to prevent such shenanigans.

[photo: COCOEN]

24C3 Mifare crypto1 RFID completely broken

posted Jan 1st 2008 9:56am by
filed under: wireless hacks

Another highlight for us at CCC was [Karsten Nohl] and [Henryk Plötz] presenting how they reversed Philips crypto-1 “classic” Mifare RFID chips which are used in car keys, among other things. They analyzed both the silicon and the actual handshaking over RF. Looking at the silicon they found about 10K gates. Analyzing with Matlab turned up 70 unique functions. Then they started looking “crypto-like” parts: long strings of flip-flops used for registers, XORs, things near the edge that were heavily interconnected. Only 10% of the gates ended up being crypto. They now know the crypto algorithm based on this analysis and will be releasing later in the year.

The random number generator ended up being only 16-bit. It generates this number based on how long since the card has been powered up. They controlled the reader (an OpenPCD) which lets them generate the same “random” seed number over and over again. This was actually happening on accident before they discovered the flaw.

One more broken security-through-obscurity system to add to the list. For more fun, watch the video of the presentation.

Data broacasting “Transparency Grenade” ads whimsy to your meetings

posted Feb 21st 2012 12:01pm by
filed under: misc hacks

If you’re tired of underhanded deals going down behind closed doors maybe you need to start carrying around this transparency grenade. The enclosure is modeled after a Soviet-era F1 Hand Grenade. But it’s not filled with explosives and won’t send deadly shrapnel around the room. Instead, when the pin is pulled it starts recording audio and sniffing network packets, then broadcasts both to a remote server. Perhaps you could consider this to be data shrapnel sent around the world.

The exploded parts image above shows what hardware is at use. There’s a Gumstix board at the heart of the device which uses a WiFi module for sniffing and broadcasting data. The LED bar graph which you see in the fully assembled unit shows the wireless signal strength.

It sounds like the enclosure itself was 3D printed from┬áTusk2700T translucent resin but we’re a little confused by this part of the hardware description. We don’t have much of a need to transmit recordings of our meetings, but we’d love to use this case design for that MP3 enclosure.

[via Reddit]

SPRIME controlled AC outlets

posted May 29th 2010 9:47am by
filed under: home hacks

Reader [Tim Upthegrove] sent in a novel take on powering and monitoring AC outlets and devices called SPRIME, or Simple Powerline Remote Interactive Monitor and Enforcer. Compared to previous hacks, such as 120v switching or Quick cheap remote outlets, that only turned an outlet on or off; SPRIME allows not only control over outlets via the internet, but also power usage of devices currently plugged in.

We really liked their idea of giving power companies access to SPRIME outlets to reduce power consumption during peak hours, but sadly we don’t see it being implemented in homes any time soon. Catch a video of SPRIME after the rift.

[Thanks Chris McClanahan and Jeff Starker for the project, and deyjavont for pointing out our silly mistakes]

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