February 18th, 2010

Mobile 2.4 GHz Spectrum Analyzer

Mobile 2.4 GHz Spectrum AnalyzerMobile 2.4 GHz Spectrum Analyzer

Miguel writes :

The analyzer has become my best travel companion. It’s very discrete: everyone think you are playing with a mobile phone!. You can see in a moment what are the used frecuencies / channels at your location. One of the most interesting things if to carry it in the pocket in exposure mode and walk sometime in your neighborhood. In this way you can find easily what are the free frecuencies or channels. With the time, I learned how to distinguish between different device

Mobile 2.4 GHz Spectrum Analyzer: [via HackADay]

SparkFun bluesmirf PIN Scam

That is an officer of the law holding a modified pin pad discovered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. You can barely see it in this image but among other mods the pin pad has a BlueSmirf module attached to it. This allows someone sitting within ~100 feet away to capture all of the information transmitted by the pin pad including credit card information and the PIN number. Now SparkFun commented on this issue , and I agree with Nate that all things can be used for good or evil including their products. I don’t believe SparkFun should be blamed in any way for this, it’s the companies that make the pin-pads that should take care more of the security of their devices.

Bad guys will always try to trick the systems but it’s the companies who make credit card processing devices that should be one step ahead of them. I’ve read the comments on SparkFun’s blog and someone who works in a company that makes this devices said that they have all kind of security features that will make the pin pad unusable once someone tried to open it without authorisation. Someone else said they even have an internal battery for monitoring even if the pin-pad is unplugged or has it’s main battery removed so I’m not sure how someone managed to mount the BlueSmirf inside the pin-pad.

July 30th, 2009

Tweeter Wireless Display

Tweeter Wireless Display

For all tweeter users that possess some hardware hacking skills, this is the Tweeter Wireless Display. It is basically a modified wireless router, stripped of its original case and mounted on a custom made wooden chassis. The text is displayed on a small screen which is mounted on the top side of the chassis.

The router used in this project is the WL-520-GU from Asus, which features a 4-port switch and supports both IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11g. The device uses OpenWRT to run a Python script that fetches the 20 most recent tweets. The script is taken from a USB flash memory and the information is displayed on a serial alphanumeric LCD from Sparkfun.

The project is entitled Tweetser, a combination from ‘tweet’ and ‘serial’ and is surely an appealing piece of equipment for any tweeter lover out there, especially for the ones that are also hardware enthusiasts. I personally still think that a PC would be more suitable for this kind of things as it also features… you know, a keyboard and a slightly bigger screen. Nevertheless, it’s still a nifty little project that can be useful if you’re a tweeter maniac.

Tweeter Wireless Display: [Link][via]

July 4th, 2009

BackTrack WEP Cracking

Backtrack WEP Cracking

The Wired Equivalent Privacy is an encryption algorithm that was introduced in 1997 for securing wireless networks and was designed to offer the privacy of a wired network in a wireless one. Known to have security flaws since 2001, WEP was superseded by WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) in recent years, but is still used in many wireless networks.

BackTrack is a Linux distribution which is distributed as a Live CD and can be used for performing security tests and other various tasks. Using BackTrack’s command line, called Konsole, and a few nifty commands, you can crack the WEP encryption and log onto the network. This tutorial uses BackTrack version 3, as version 4 is only in pre-release stage.

First and foremost, you will need a wireless adapter capable of packet injection and, of course, a wireless network nearby that uses WEP. The first thing you need to do is get a list of network interfaces and then fake a MAC address on your network interface. Next, you get a list of wireless network interfaces and look for one that uses WEP encryption. The final step is collecting enough data packets to make the crack successful (this requires that the signal is strong, so collecting of the data doesn’t take ages).

WEP has been cracked before and you can find lots of other tutorials on the Internet, so it’s no secret that it’s not a secure encryption standard. This one though can help even someone with just a little networking experience to successfully crack WEP. It only takes a few adequate tools and a little patience and voila! – you’re hacking. Detailed BackTrack commands, as well as screenshots and additional information is available in the link.

BackTrack WEP Cracking: [Link][via]

June 5th, 2009

DIY Wifi Radio

DIY WiFi Radio

You like listening to radio and your favourite stations use Internet broadcasting? Or you’re sick of commercials between songs or the radio man spoiling the song with some announcement? Here is an award worthy project for you. With this wifi radio you have wireless connectivity to the Internet so you have a huge variety of radio stations to tune in, mp3 decoding, 44.1kHz 16 bit stereo audio, 4W amplifier with two 4 inch speakers, LCD display all this in a very nice vintage looking compact case. Total cost under 100$.

Asus WL-520GU was the choice for the wireless router. For under 50$ it’s a good platform for an embedded Linux system, its only shortcoming would be that it lacks built-in audio. This problem was solved with an USB audio adapter SYBA SD-CM-UAUD for 8$. Notice however the Asus router only supports USB 1.1 which is enough for audio, WL-500GP v2 can be used for USB 2.0. The router has a Broadcom BCM5354KFBG SoC CPU running at 200Mhz, 4MB flash and 16MB SRAM.

The most important part of the project is hacking the WL-520GU. Since it is just a router you will need to write new firmware to turn in into a wifi radio. This is done on the serial port which is pretty easy to access. The chosen open source Linux distribution that supports this router was OpenWRT. In the link you will find a precompiled image, thanks to the designer and builder of this project.

The LCD interface communicates with the WL-520GU by serial using ATmega168 microcontroller. On one of the analog inputs of the Atmel a potentiometer is connected and rotating the pot will make the radio jump to next station.

This is really an advanced project and i just love how it turned out. Lots of information on how to build one yourself is available in the link and I’m sure if you decide to go for it you will not regret it.

DIY Wifi Radio: [Link]

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