Schedule

Schedule

Wednesday, October 1

1412177400 FLOSS Weekly
1412182800 Tech News Today
1412186400 Windows Weekly
1412193600 This Week in Google
1412204400 Tech News 2Night
1412211600 Ham Nation

Thursday, October 2

1412269200 Tech News Today
1412272800 Know How...
1412276400 Marketing Mavericks
1412281800 Coding 101
1412285400 Home Theater Geeks
1412290800 Tech News 2Night
1412292600 The Giz Wiz

Friday, October 3

1412355600 Tech News Today
1412359200 This Week in Law
1412366400 Android App Arena
1412377200 Tech News 2Night

Saturday, October 4

1412445600 The Tech Guy

Sunday, October 5

1412532000 The Tech Guy
1412546400 This Week in Tech

Monday, October 6

1412614800 Tech News Today
1412618400 Triangulation
1412623800 iPad Today
1412636400 Tech News 2Night

Tuesday, October 7

1412701200 Tech News Today
1412704800 MacBreak Weekly
1412712000 Security Now
1412719200 Before You Buy
1412722800 Tech News 2Night
1412726400 All About Android
1412735400 Padre's Corner

Wednesday, October 8

1412782200 FLOSS Weekly
1412787600 Tech News Today
1412791200 Windows Weekly
1412798400 This Week in Google
1412809200 Tech News 2Night
1412816400 Ham Nation

Thursday, October 9

1412874000 Tech News Today
1412877600 Know How...
1412881200 Marketing Mavericks
1412886600 Coding 101
1412890200 Home Theater Geeks
1412895600 Tech News 2Night
1412897400 The Giz Wiz

Friday, October 10

1412960400 Tech News Today
1412964000 This Week in Law
1412971200 Android App Arena
1412982000 Tech News 2Night

Most Recent Episodes

Padre's Corner

How pickpockets hack your brain, FedEx going green, and geeking out with Fr. Jim McDermott!

All About Android

The week was filled with new initiatives by Google that directly affect independent developers.

Before You Buy

Jason Howell reviews the HTC Desire 510.

MacBreak Weekly
Episode #422: Designed by Aggle September 30th, 2014

iOS 8.0.1 issues, bending iPhone 6 Plus.

Windows Weekly

Microsoft announces Windows 10, with a focus on enterprise.

Tech News Today

eBay and PayPal will become two separate companies.

This Week in Enterprise Tech
Episode #109: The IxCharriot September 29th, 2014

Troubleshooting your network with IxChariot

iPad Today

MyScript, Fleksy, hidden iOS albums

Tech News 2Night

The app powering the Hong Kong protests.

Triangulation

How to use Facebook better.

Know How... 106

Bad USB, I Am Groot, and Defcon

August 14 2014

A USB hack that will make you drop your packets, Patrick Djelahanty shows how he built the "Baby Groot" out of common parts, see soundwaves, lock picking, and Defcon wrap up.

"Bad USB"
* German Researchers Karsten Knoll and Jacob Lell discovered an exploit in the way USB works
* ALL USB devices use some form of controller. They're small computers that interface the USB serial communications protocol with whatever device we want to connect via USB.
-- That controller is actually a small computer... and the computer runs an operating system that is determined by firmware.

What's the Exploit?
* The way that USB was created, that firmware is updateable. It's updateable because the creators of the USB standard wanted manufacturers to be able to reprogram the firmware if a flaw was ever discovered in that firmware.
* HOWEVER, that also means that a malicious user (hacker) could reprogram the firmware to make the device act in a way that the manufacturers had not intended.

What does that all mean?
* This means that a USB flash drive could be reprogramed to act like a keyboard
-- So after you plug it in, it issues a series of keystrokes that (for example) open Internet Explorer, navigate to a page that contains malware, then close the browser... all in a matter of seconds
* Or a USB flash drive could be reprogrammed to act like a network adapter
-- All the traffic you send and receive from your network would pass through this new network adapter, which would forward the packet stream to another computer before sending your trafic to the proper destinations.

Worse still... since your computer has USB devices INTEGRATED into the system (Keyboard, Mouse, Webcamera, Card Reader) a compromised USB device could be used to compromise the USB devices in your computer, which would then compromise any USB device that connects to your computer.

Ok... so why not just run an anti-virus? Or copy over new firmware? Or just make USB firmware non-programmable?

Let's take that one at a time: Anti-Virus
* Your system cannot see past the controller of a USB device.
-- The way USB devices work, the system can query the controller, and the controller will tell the system the status of the USB device.
-- If the controller is compromised, then you cannot trust it to report the correct status
** In other words, the only way an Anti-Virus would work would be if the malware infecting the USB device was programmed to tell the system that it was compromising the controller... an unlikely scenario.

Copying New Firmware:
* As with the Anti-Virus question, the system cannot see past the controller.
* When you update firmware on a USB device, the new firmware is loaded into memory, then the controller is responsible for overwriting its old firmware and reporting back to the system with the new firmware status.
* If I was writing BadUSB malware, the first thing I would to would be to disable that process: Allow the controller to copy the new firmware to memory, then strip off the revision number of the new firmware and report THAT to the system.
-- The system thinks it has new firmware, but the malware is still there.

Making USB devices unprogrammable:
* This is the most likely solution, but there are two MAJOR problems
1. It doesn't fix the BILLIONS of USB devices that are already in the wild.
2. If a manufacturer ever discovers a problem with their firmware (say, an exploit) there is no way to patch it.

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