DefCon update #1
Amazon day at DefCon in Vegas with around 30,000 hackers and geeks at the Rio. The highlights were:
A talk by Balint Seeber that was supposed to be about Software Defined Radio (a radio where software does what circuits usually do) but turned out to be so much more. He showed how there are serious weaknesses in Aircraft Mode S transponders that can cause aircraft to be rerouted by an attacker. He also showed how ACARS has weaknesses that can allow an attacker to route instructions to pilots to do whatever they want the pilots to do. He also showed how to DoS a satellite by overloading it’s transponder. Serious fun for a ham radio geek like me. (My callsign is WT1J). His company is launching a software defined radio that has a real-time bandwidth of 50 Mhz – it’s still in testing and is code named the B200.
I met some amazing people who are doing amazing things and out of respect for privacy I can’t share. Felt very privileged to be in their company. I noticed there were very few names and emails exchanged and very few photos being taken. One door had a sign on it saying “no f***ing photos” to give you an idea, so my apologies for no photo or video.
The ACLU did a cool talk on Snowden and they clearly view him as a hero. My favorite quote from their talk was “We believe American privacy should be protected by constitutional law rather than Moore’s law.”.They’re seeing a trend where local law enforcement are following the feds when it comes to overstepping boundaries in taking away our liberties and communication monitoring. For example local law is using license plate scanners in the same way that the Feds are using PRISM.
The vendors area is pretty amazing. I met a small business that is putting Linux on hardware switches and I’m hoping to work with them to get Wordfence and Feedjit’s servers on a switch running a Linux shell in the next few weeks.
So good fun for the first day. Have a great weekend!!!