Defcon 17: Badge details released

humanbadge

Defcon is upon us once again, and that can only mean one thing: new badge designs. Our friends over at Wired posted the picture above along with a description of this year’s new badge. Since our last post, there has been little new information released regarding the components used for the new badge. However, we now know that it utilizes a microphone and a full color LED along with the Freescale mc56f8006, an advanced digital signal processing microcontroller. [Grand], the badge designer, told Wired that while this year’s design is a bit simplified compared to last year’s design, it is not nearly as easy to hack. Just like last year, the functionality of the badge hasn’t been announced yet. We’re hoping for some kind of communicator. Be sure to check out Wired’s article if you want to see the high res pictures.

1wire attic cooling

blower

[RagingComputer] built this 1-wire attic cooling fan. He’s using an Ubuntu server loaded with OWFS to control everything. The 1-wire temperature sensor is interfaced using USB while a serial x10 module sends out commands to be received by another x10 module near the fan. Back in the day we had covered a linux home automation project. We also covered HVAC hacks such as the smart attic fan and a 1-Wire HVAC monitoring system.

Text on an oscilloscope

This is an interesting little toy. A tiny board that can display text on an oscilloscope. The components, or rather just component, is a PIC16F628A. Aside from a power supply, that’s it. It can display 10 characters at a time and, as you can see above, scroll them as well. We don’t really know of a practical use for this, but it would make a nice practical joke tool. If you want some more complicated oscilloscope effects, check out Tennis for Two.

[via HackedGadgets]

Black Hat 2009: Parking meter hacking

meter

For day two of Black Hat, we sat in on on [Joe Grand], [Jacob Appelbaum], and [Chris Tarnovsky]‘s study of the electronic parking meter industry. They decided to study parking meters because they are available everywhere, but rarely considered from a security perspective.

[Read more...]

Lazy man’s USB RFID reader

c_674_usbrfid5 (Custom)

[Don] had some Serial RFID readers that he needed to work and be powered by USB. He went out and purchased a simple serial to USB converter, but was left with the problem of the operating voltage. He supplies the schematics on his site for his solution. Basically he gutted the converter and integrated it all with the appropriate voltage broken out. The final project is nice, using the serial to USB convert as the project box and even including a nice LED to show when an RFID tag has been read.

Amazing robot dexterity

Ishikawa Komuro Laboratories are doing some amazing stuff with robots right now. The video above starts out looking like a clumsy and somewhat failed attempt at dribbling a ping pong ball. Once it goes into slow motion however, we see the true action. This robot is dribbling that ball amazingly. Utilizing 1000 FPS cameras, it readjusts and hits the ball on every bounce. As the ball drifts out of the reach of the bot, suddenly we are struck with the lifelike motion.  Personification can be a fleeting thing, appearing so strongly as the little bot tries in vain to reach for that ball, then disappearing again an instant later. If you really want to see some personification worthy of the crab fu challenge, check out their tool manipulation by a multi fingered hand video.

[via BotJunkie]

Black Hat 2009: Breaking SSL with null characters

Update: The video of [Moxie]‘s presentation is now online.

[Moxie Marlinspike] appeared on our radar back in February when he showed sslstrip at Black Hat DC. It was an amazing piece of software that could hijack and rewrite all SSL connections. The differences between a legitimate site and the hijacked ones were very hard to notice. He recently stumbled across something thing that makes the attack even more effective.

[Read more...]

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