Saturday, August 09, 2014

Using Your Cat To Hack Your Neighbor's Wi-Fi

   I thought that you might like to see what kind of crap people like us can come up with when we get bored.

  By Retroactive Genius

As someone who is in the employ of 3 cats, I understand that it's a quid pro quo arrangement: I provide food, a home, visits to the vet and household items to destroy;  the cats provide me, my family (and the dog) with endless pleasure, affection, amusement and a (less desirable) supply of dead mice, rats and birds.

Now, security researcher Gene Bransfield has developed a way to get your cats to bring home more than dead mice, rats, birds and other forms of wildlife that were too slow. Bransfield has created a 'WarKitteh' collar equipped with:

...a Spark Core chip loaded with his custom-coded firmware, a Wi-Fi card, a tiny GPS module and a battery—everything necessary to map all the networks in the neighborhood that would be vulnerable to any intruder or Wi-Fi mooch with, at most, some simple crypto-cracking tools.

First, there was wardialling, cycling through phone numbers with a modem to find vulnerable computers; we all remember WarGames, right?

Then came Wi-Fi and 'wardialling' became 'wardriving', which involved driving (or even walking) through a neighborhood with a good antenna/receiver to find vulnerable networks.

Wardriving led to 'warchalking',  a 'code' that would be chalked up on the side of a building to indicate an open or weakly encrypted Wi-Fi network (in much the same way that hobos used chalk marks to indicate a place where people were generous or not).

Bransfield has taken the next logical step and attached his hacked collar to his wife’s grandmother’s cat, Coco. The 'upgraded' cat, wearing the 'Warkitteh' collar, would roam and detect vulnerable Wi-Fi setups. Bransfield made the 'Warkitteh' collar for less than $100.

Initially, said Bransfield, he’d outfitted the Wi-Fi hacking cat as sort of a cute stunt. The security engineer thought it would make for an amusing topic to entertain the hacker-filled audience at this year's DEF Con; but he said he was surprised at the experiment’s success.

Bransfield told Wired Magazine:

“My intent was not to show people where to get free Wi-Fi. I put some technology on a cat and let it roam around because the idea amused me. But the result of this cat research was that there were a lot more open and WEP-encrypted hot spots out there than there should be in 2014.”

Over three hours, Coco, the Wi-Fi hacking cat, found 23 Wi-Fi hotspots and over a third of them were unsecured or used easily hackable WEP instead of the more secure WPA encryption.

WEP encryption has been laughably easy to crack for years, which is why people were urged to switch to WPA or WPA2 encryption. But even the latter two, if not properly configured, can be cracked relatively easily by a linux tool called Reaver. Reaver is even available for Android smartphones (if your phone has the right wireless chip).

Bransfield says that although he came up with the weaponized cat experiment (he admits the term weaponized is tongue-in-cheek) for fun, he like to think that the results will alert more people to the importance of Wi-Fi security.

“Cats are more interesting to people than information security. If people realize that a cat can pick up on their open Wi-Fi hotspot, maybe that’s a good thing.”

Kittehs, God love 'em: can it be long before they're hacking into your credit card account and ordering tuna and catnip by the pallet-load?

Originally posted to Retroactive Genius on Sat Aug 09, 2014

Friday, August 08, 2014

Saturday Satire

 "Craig Ferguson: It is our president's birthday. It's also the birthday of NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon. Jeff Gordon and President Obama are very different, of course. One's a guy who spent his whole life turning left and is hated by NASCAR fans. And the other one? Jeff Gordon." 

Daniel Kurtzman

 Wishful Thinking

July 2014 Cartoons     Copyright © 2014 Creators Syndicate
CartoonsArts International"

U.S. Border Goalie

By Daniel Kurtzman
U.S. Border Goalie
Copyright © 2014 Universal Press Syndicate
 Seth Meyers: "Congress wanted to surprise President Obama on his birthday so they passed a bill."
Jimmy Fallon: "Yesterday the House of Representatives voted to sue President Obama for abusing his executive powers. Experts are calling this a meaningless political stunt that's a huge waste of taxpayer money, while Congress is saying, 'Yep. That's what we do.'"
"The House voted 225-201 to sue President Obama. That's the bad news. The good news is that Congress actually passed something."
Stephen Colbert: "I have always been a huge fan of Sarah Palin. She's a strong leader with a proven history of selflessness. I mean, in the midst of her 2008 campaign, she took the time to help out a struggling senior with severely impaired judgment."

By Daniel Kurtzman
CartoonsArts International"

Darth Vader and Cheney

By Daniel Kurtzman
Darth Vader and Cheney

Copyright © 2014 Creators Syndicate

Poor Poor Hillary

By Daniel Kurtzman
Poor Poor Hillary
Cagle Cartoons

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Only 31 Incidences Of Voter-ID Preventable Fraud In 14 Years

Wed Aug 06, 2014

We've got a new number on just how extensive America's voter fraud problem really is. Hold on to your hats, folks, because that number is: 31.

I’ve been tracking allegations of fraud for years now, including the fraud ID laws are designed to stop. In 2008, when the Supreme Court weighed in on voter ID, I looked at every single allegation put before the Court. And since then, I’ve been following reports wherever they crop up.

To be clear, I’m not just talking about prosecutions. I track any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix.

So far, I’ve found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country.

That's not 31 proven incidents in the last 14 years, that's 31 possible incidents—some or most of them could be the result of clerical errors, like people signing the poll books on the wrong lines. That's what the conservative obsession with voter ID laws seeks to tamp down on. Having politicians pay people to vote, or having "charity" organizations be front organizations for political operations, or having candidates funded wholesale by corporate lobbies, all of that pales in comparison to making sure those 31 people (maybe) get what's coming to them.

That, or it's a transparent attempt to make voting more difficult for minorities and the poor, backed by the same people who have a long history of trying to make voting more difficult for minorities and the poor. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

  By  Hunter at Daily Kos