August 8, 2010 – Episode 160 and 161 from DefCon 18

Episode 161 is the this week’s full episode of The CyberJungle, posted immediately below.  Episode 160 is the su root edition for advanced listeners – material that’s too technical for the radio.  The advanced material consists of three conversations  from DefCon 18.  Scroll down to the end of this batch of shownotes to find it.

Episode 161:

This week’s regular episode of  The Cyberjungle  is 1 hour and 12 minutes long. You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.

To listen to Episode 161 via the flash player:


Security Researcher Craig Hefner offers an alarming discovery about the consumer grade routers you buy at the big box store.  He’s found major flaws in these router/firewalls.  This interview is about 8 minutes long, and it begins at 59 minutes into Episode 161.  Or you can just listen to the interview by going to our conference notes page.  Also, here are some links to more information about Craig’s work:

Craigs Hefner’s White Paper on this attack

Craigs Hefner’s DefCon18 presentation slides

Craigs Hefner’s Proof-of-Concept code

Tales from the Dark Web:

Our dramatic audio taken at a DefCon 18 press conference, in which the host of the press conference begins (quite out of the blue) to describe his personal relationship with Adrian Lamo, one of the central characters in the Wikileaks incident.  We posted this story, and six minutes of audio featuring cybersecurity researcher and self-described white-hat hacker Chet Uber on the last day of DefCon. In it, Uber discusses how he persuaded Lamo to turn in accused leaker Pfc Bradley Manning.  There is a disputed fact in Uber’s account. Uber said he helped Lamo determine that documents in his possession were classified.  Lamo now denies that he ever had possession of top secret documents.  The facts will come out at Bradley Manning’s trial. No matter who is correct, the sound file offers some interesting insight into how a high-level meeting with federal law enforcement is arranged, and what top secret documents look like. The file is at the bottom of this story, if you want to hear it.

Our Take on This Week’s News:

The National Science Foundation has a porn problem according to Senator Chuck Grassley.  Seems the science guys are passing around porn despite technical measures taken by the agency to block it.  Oh, and there’s one guy who reportedly spends 20 percent of his time looking at porn, at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of $58,000.  So do the math.  This guy makes $290k per year???  WTF!!!

BlackBerry Ban – RIM Coming To Agreement With Middle-Eastern and Asian Nations on Eavesdropping. The question that we are still researching: What about a foreigner that uses BES in one of the nations? Is the traffic routed to one of these local RIM servers, or back to Canada?

Apple remote jailbreak flaw. Major Flaw Uncovered in Apple iPhone/iPad/iPod

Salute to the Wall Street Journal for its series this week on web tracking, cell tracking and other privacy issues.

We stumbled over the Social Engineering contest at DefCon18.   A super fun event to watch, as contestants placed phone calls to major U.S. corporations, and charmed employees into revealing a wide range of information about company operations — everything from the name of the dumpster service to the details of the IT architecture. (We posted a story about it here, describing a call to Apple that yielded a whole lotta info.  Boy, Steve’s gonna be mad. There’s also an audio file with a three-minute explanation of the contest by its organizers, an group called Social-Engineer.  The audio file is located about half-way through the story.)  Read about the Social Engineering organization here.

The annual session on physical lock security is always a hit. (This year there was more than one.)  We attended the presentation by Marc Weber Tobias.  His team demonstrated flaws in five different locks, from the plain-vanilla pin tumbler lock on your back door, to the $200  fingerprint biometric, the electronic RFID military lock and even a personal safe.  You can see the videos here, demonstrating how the locks were breached.

Speaking of physical security — a state agency head in California sent an email message to 175 employees announcing that the lock at the south end of their office building was malfunctioning, and there was no budget to fix it. This column in the Sacramento Bee offers an unintentionally comical account of the way this broken lock was broadly communicated to the world when one of the employees faxed a copy of the email to a state worker newsletter. The info apparently ended up — we’re not sure how — on the desk of the SacBee reporter who wrote the column.  The major point of the story is that California has no money, and even getting approval to fix a broken lock on a state building in a bad neighborhood is a tough uphill climb. But the funny part is how nobody ever stopped to consider that inside this building, where unemployment benefit checks are written, there is a whopping amount of personal information about the citizens of the State Formerly Known as Golden.  Wow… If we were bad guys we’d probably keep an eye on this place even after the lock is fixed, because it might be a really easy target.

Adobe plans emergency patch for critical Reader bug

If we don’t laugh, we’ll probably cry.  For laughs – a national association of perverts has offered an endorsement of body scanning machines in airports.  Now read this and weep – The feds love these machines so much that they’ve decided to deploy them at federal courthouses as well as airports. Where next, the public library?  And yes, they do store images, the feds now admit, after repeated denials that the machines had such capabilities.  Duh.  Did we think they would perform a visual inspection for contraband, and then fail to store the image for evidence during prosecution?

Episode 160 – su root edition:

This is our unedited edition, featuring three interviews straight from DefCon 18.  The audio file is 34 minutes long. This is a special DefCon18 edition featuring interviews with David Bryan on building a network to withstand thousands of hackers, and using low-cost equipment and volunteers. He has lessons for anyone building a network today. Then we have an interview with Chris Drake of Firehost web hosting on web application security. Finally the third interview is with Suhil Ahmed of Airwave Security about his discovery of a flaw in the WPA WiFi security protocol that can reveal confidential information, and has no patch. But, there is a workaround.

You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.

To listen to su root edition (episode 160)  via the flash player:


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