Sjur Usken

Views on new technologies and business opportunities from Sjur Usken

Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Honeynet Workshop in Stavanger in May 18-20 2015

I am really looking forward to the most interesting security conference happening in the Nordic contries in recent years! The Honeynet Project is having their annual workshop right here in Stavanger!

Honeynet Project is is organising their Annual Honeynet Security Workshop this year from 18th to 20th May in Stavanger, Norway. The conference, expected to be attended by over 300+ participants from across the world, will be fully focused on various paradigms of IT Security and will be divided in to multiple focused tracks where technical track will cover latests security threats and solutions whereas CXO track will discuss and try to provide solutions for the challenges faced by the senior management.

The Honeynet Project is a nonprofit global organisation with a large global pool of people focused on Information/IT security and research. There are total of 44 honeynet chapters spread across the world. HP members consists of Entrepreneurs, representing various international universities to add a solid academic research angle, working in National security base organisations and private corporations like Microsoft, Facebook and other similar organisations.

The members meet once a year at a different locations to share their experience and to work towards convergence of security knowledge they possess. Previous workshops have been hosted in Warsaw, Dubai, Facebook HQ in San Francisco , Paris , UN’s Cyber Security Headquarters in Malaysia to name a few. In 2015 all this amazing group of people will be at Stavanger to share their knowledge.

In these cloud times…. trucrypt eases your worries

The cloud services are all over the place. From files to your social life is beeing served through the cloud. And then you read about several information thefts from several of these companies and wonders, what would happen if my files were stolen? Would a break into my dropbox, google drive or others make it very easy to do an identify theft as well? What other things could follow? Dropbox is a great service, but to ease your worries, trucrypt comes to your rescue!

Trucrypt makes a virtual file system within an encrypted file (it can do a lot more as well!) You need to have a very good password, but then all the files are protected!

The only drawback is that if you have very large files, and you edit parts of it, you need to upload the complete file every time. Solution could be to divide it into several encrypted files (and if you have several encrypted files, which files should the bad guy try to brute force first…..  but don’t use the same password in case)

Good luck securing your digital life!  (and of course you have enabled two-factor dropbox authentication???)

How one man is bringing VoIP, ‘Net access where telecoms fear to tread

Arstechnica has a great article about a man coming home and no telcos manages to deliver decent services. And then he knew about the MeshPotato and it did what it was designed for, bringing communications to those who has none. Read the full article at arstechnica.

My Internet enabled coffe machine

OK, I was tired of the coffee machine at work. The coffee was no good.
And we were not allowed to buy another machine, since we already had two (of same kind, same terribly coffee)

What do you do?

You make the coffee machine as part of one of your projects. I’m working on smart houses, so that part was easy. The harder part was to find a cheap coffee machine with an Ethernet plug. I dismissed that quite fast and did it the hard (wired) way.

Part 1.

Get an automatic machine that does the most things (I did not find one with automatic cup dispenser)
I found a quite cheap one, approx 500 USD (3000 NOK). It had electronic buttons in the front which I presumed I could modify.

Part 2.

The harder part. Get to the circuit board to the buttons. Of course, these are compact machines and the circuit board are not made for being “serviced” easily. I had to unscrew approx 30 screws and dismantle most of it to get the right part out of it.

I soldered 4 wires, two for the button for single coffe and two for the double strength. The switch just needed a short-circuit to activate.

Then I connected the wires to a relay (capable of 230V, but I just use it as a switch). This was again connected to a smart controller from Sensio.

Now I order coffee through my iPad. Great!



Using social media to organize Telephone Denial of Service (TDoS) attacks

Mark Collier has been blogging a long time and put up this about using social media to coordinate TDoS attacks. It remined me about another “joke” that ended up in a lawsuit

The rapper, whose real name is Jayceon Taylor, tweeted on his account that fans could call a given number and apply for an internship working for him, but the number given was the Compton area of Los Angeles‘ equivalent of the ‘999’ number and took callers straight through to the Sheriff’s department.

Also recalls an SMS that went around last time in 2007 in Norway, but also happened around year 2000.

Please call 22xxxxxx and ask for Harald, he needs technical assistance

Where this number was to the King of Norway, so they ended up with a lots of calls. (article in Norwegian)

Google Powermeter and now MS Hohm are shutting down their services

Last week Google announced they were shutting down their Powermeter service which would give you a nice view if you had one of the supported powermeters installed at home.

Now Microsoft does the same, shutting down their Hohm service.

The reason?

Not enough people interested and the utilities does not want to share their data…

Ubuntu Cloud not ready for mass market

I had two blade centres that I wanted to run virtualization on. Then it was timely that Ubuntu released their 11.04 version, cloud ready.

I read myself up on the Cloud controller, Cluster controller and the Node controller and started installing.

The first problem was when I did a PXE boot for the Node Controller. During the setup, the Node Controller contacts the Cluster Controller and the PXE server value is overwritten with the Cluster controller IP. The network configuration stopped further OS installation. I mounted the CD through the ILO management on the server instead, worked like a charm.

But the process of handling the images is not straight through. To setup a new image, you either need to do command line and remember IDs of the different images, or pay for the Landscape service.

I spent quite an amount of time to get the Ubuntu Cloud up and running, but dropped it and installed VMWare ESXi instead since I already used it for several years.

The femtocell, prime time or bad time?

I fancy the idea of femtocells, to take the wirless traffic down into “earth” as fast as possible, but is this femtocell effoert just too late?

I have a NEC G3 femtocell to test out. It can do 3G with speeds up to 14Mbit, and have 4 or 8 (license issue…) concurrent calls. The range is approx 25 metres indoor, 150+ metres outdoor it states in the manual.
The price is estimated to approx 200 USD for the devices at the moment.

But how can this match a WiFi access point capable of 300Mbit already and costing a fifth of it.

It is still sensible since these address to different service markets at the moment, but this services will be Internet based and then who cares if you use 3G/4G/5G or your WiFi. It should only give you Internet access to all your over the top services. And the mobile operator will be just another access provider….

M2M is ramping up

And then a new era has arrived, the time of the machines. No, they will not take over the world today, but start helping you out more and more with your life. All those little things..

From the robot vaccum cleaner (i’ve had one for 5 years already) to the built in intelligence in the microwave, more and more technology around you will get connected. Just like Web 2.0 brought the social web to the Internet for human beings, M2M (machine to machine) communication will get a lot of your technology gadgets to talk to each other, cooperate and give you an even better service.

And another 100 000 dollar fraud this weekend..

From one of the mailing lists:

Recently we have been hit by the attackers during the weekend causing more
than 100 K USD bill
They were dialing payphone type numbers” dial to win” by compromsing one of
our DID number.
Mostly calls were placed to Lithuania, and sierraleone.
But guys buckle up, there are some gangs using sophisticated mechanisms to
get into IP PBX systems
Remove all NAT with local IPs, block SIP ports and h.323 ports, if u r using
cisco upgrade to v15.12T.
add trusted gateway list.

One way to document and block hackers, is to implement a VoIP Abuse list.
Have a look at VoIP Abuse Blacklist implentation.