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Tech Segment: CES, MacWorld, and Security

There are lots of new technology gadgets and the like being released this week. Being geeks, we love to read about them! Of course, we want to put our security angle on it. So, here are some things that I have been hearing about and my thoughts (others, feel free to add):

- Apple Airport Extreme - Probably the most glossed over part of the keynote was the enhancements to the Airport. It will now support 802.11 a/b/g/draft-n! A drive update will be released for Core 2 Duo machines, who silently shipped with draft-n chipsets. Be certain to heed the warning from JW on 802.11n security. Boils down to using encryption (does 802.11n support WPA2?), running it on 5GHz spectrum, and not running it in mixed mode (i.e. dedicate a radio to 802.11n, much harder in large deployments). Oh, and bonus USB port to attach printers and share drives. Sweet!

- Nokia n800 - Replacing the Nokia 770 is this awesome new model. Twitchy and I both bought one last Sunday when they became available in the stores. It sports a Jabber client that can do live video teleconferencing, very geeky! I am still configuring it, and just updated the OS. Some of my challenges include making it work with EAP-TTLS/PAP, connecting to my IMAP SSL server, and preventing it from connecting to networks by default. This is a cool device, and it runs Linux. The new model has more memory as well, so can't wait to get it all configured and use it on a regular basis. Also, Nokia 770's will drop in price, these make great little hacking platforms (metasploit, kismet, nmap, etc...)

- Apple iPhone - So little is known, however we're pretty sure its an ARM processor. But, no keyboard or stylus? We'll see...We use Verizon, so there won't be one in my future anytime soon. It uses a Marvell wireless chipset, and it looks like there is no support under Linux other than NDIS. Kind of a wait and see on this one. I mean, for $499 you only get like 4GB, so its not replacing my iPod anytime soon. Bets on when the first exploit will be released?

Stories for Discussion

How do you know your code is secure? - [Joe] - Wait until someone pwns it, of course! I like these quotes: "The more complicated the program is, the harder it is to get it right. It's really hard to tell the difference between a program that works and one that just appears to work"

New "Wifi Protected" Products announced - [PaulDotCom] - This is in the saim vain as Cisco's "Secure Easy Setup", and effort to make securing Wifi easy for the average user. This trick is that both the AP and the client hardware/software need to support it. Ya, good luck with that. Maybe it can be better than SES at least, which only worked with Cisco/Linksys.

"bugging" coins with RFID - [Joe] - "Canadian coins containing tiny transmitters have mysteriously turned up in the pockets of at least three American contractors who visited Canada, says a branch of the U.S. Department of Defence. Security experts believe the miniature devices could be used to track the movements of defence industry personnel dealing in sensitive military technology." [Larry] - Holy crap! Besides the potential tracking and provacy issues, I want one! Any Canadians care to send me one?

We are controlling transmission - [Larry] - This hack is old, but very neat. Chicago, Novermber 22, 1987, Chicago land viewers for to see Max Headroom and a naked butt on the TV instead of Dr. Who. Apparently someone was able to inject their own data in to a licensed microwave transmission array. Alegedly, the equipment could have been rented for about 25K, or built by hand. Either way, it was illegal to operate - just because it is illegal or expensive, doesn't mean hackers won't do it

Apple's Bug Fix tool...is Buggy! - [Joe] - "Vulnerability researchers behind the "Month of Apple Bugs" project, which aims to publish one flaw per day throughout January in software used on Apple platforms, announced on Monday that they have found a vulnerability in a tool that is used by a group involved in finding fixes for the flaws. APE is a third-party piece of software, written by Unsanity, designed to "enhance and redefine" the behavior of applications running on Apple platforms. APE loads plug-ins containing executable code into active applications. Month of Apple Fixes uses the software to apply run-time patches to the flaws found by the Month of Apple Bugs project. The patches insert themselves into applications when they run, find the vulnerable code and apply themselves."

SPAM decline? - [Larry] - Spam rose to unbelievable levels before the Holidays, now where did it all go? Rumor has it that a large botnet went all pear-shape. If the bot-nerder owns it, who does?

How to catch a mole - [Larry] - More MOAB craziness. Release an "exploit" earlier to those trolling the site before releases. PWN3D!

Where's Nick? - [Larry] - Lindend labs release the code to the second life client - Open Source.

More Raul - [Larry] - More of Raul's great article on wireless forensics.

Irongeek's HP Printer hackin' - [Larry] - Updated to include the FTP exploits a few shows ago. Adrian, Please drop Joe a note.

Just a Little Old Fashioned Hotel Proxy'n - [Joe] - My boss showed me this little blog story. This might be old news, but it strikes me as one of those buyer beware situations- even though you're paying money to use the internet, it doesn't mean the hotel is looking out for you and your security/privacy