Monday, September 10, 2012

Hack lets Google Nexus 7 capture 720p video

Your Google Nexus 7 tablet may not have a rear-facing camera, but with a little technical know-how it appears you can get the slate's 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera to capture high-definition video. A user named "hillbeast" in the XDA Developers forum recently posted a quick how-to guide to get your Nexus 7 recording 720p video at 30 frames per second. Hillbeast also posted two videos to YouTube, which hillbeast says, contrasts the Nexus 7 recording video at 480p and 720p resolutions. Hillbeast's post on XDA was first reported by Pocketnow.

The two YouTube videos (included at the bottom of this post) show a substantial difference in capture quality. The 720p version enables you to see far more detail and colors are more vibrant. While there was no way to immediately verify these claims, it appears the 720p mod is the real deal; the code has been merged into the Jelly Bean version of Cyanogenmod currently under development. Cyanogenmod is an after-market version of Android that is popular with people who root (the Android version of jailbreak) their device. Hillbeast's software change will not be an easy solution for users who are unfamiliar with navigating a file system or using a Unix-style command line.

The modification requires you to edit an XML file and give it the proper file permissions using "chmod." You could, however, take care of most of the editing right on the device, but it appears to be a little easier to just hook your device up to a PC. Despite having a built-in front-facing camera (the Nexus One lacks a rear camera) Google made the odd choice of not including a simple way to launch and use the camera at will. Third-party developers soon came to the rescue with camera launchers such as Camera Launcher for Nexus 7 by MoDaCo. Check out these videos to see hillbeast's modification in action. To see the difference, make sure you set each video to its proper resolution by clicking the cog icon and selecting either 480p or 720p.

The 480p version:

The 720p version:

How To Hack WPA2 Wireless Access Points

Many of you have probably seen plenty of tutorials on how to crack WEP encryption. We even did a video back in the old Bauer-Power podcast on how to hack a WEP protected wireless access point using Bauer-Puntu Linux and GrimWEPA. The fact of the matter is, cracking WEP is really easy! What about something more people are using today like WPA2?

It used to be that the only way to crack WPA or WPA2 was to capture the 4 way handshake, then try to  brute-force the password. If the person's password is really long, then it would take an attacker way too long to try to crack it and they would probably move on to easier targets. That isn't necessarily the case now.

There is a new tool for Linux called Reaver. From their Google Code Page:
Reaver implements a brute force attack against Wifi Protected Setup (WPS) registrar PINs in order to recover WPA/WPA2 passphrases.  Reaver has been designed to be a robust and practical attack against WPS, and has been tested against a wide variety of access points and WPS implementations.  On average Reaver will recover the target AP's plain text WPA/WPA2 passphrase in 4-10 hours, depending on the AP. In practice, it will generally take half this time to guess the correct WPS pin and recover the passphrase. In short, Reaver bypasses the security of WPA and WPA2 by brute-forcing the WPS pin that is enabled by default on many home/SOHO wireless routers. The WPS pin in a non-complex 8 digit number. Because it isn't complex, it can be cracked in hours instead of days, weeks or months.

The simplest command you need to run while your wireless card is in monitor mode is:
reaver -i mon0 -b [BSSID] -vv Of course some access points are pickier than others, there are a bunch of different switches you can use to get better results. You can find out more on their Google Plus page.

Former Hacker Reveals How Business Owners Should Protect Their Web Sites

Kevin Mitnick
Mitnick was wanted for computer hacking — he bypassed security systems in organizations such as Motorola, Sun Microsystems, Pacific Bell and the FBI themselves — and he served five years in prison.
Today, he owns a security consulting firm called Mitnick Security. As a computer security consultant, Mitnick works with companies to prevent them from intruders like his former self. Below is a lightly-edited transcript of our conversation: Should businesses spend money on employing security consultants?

Businesses should absolutely set aside funding in their budgets for security consultants. What happens with smaller businesses is that they give in to the misconception that their site is secure because the system administrator deployed standard security products — firewalls, intrusion detection systems, or stronger authentication devices such as time-based tokens or biometric smart cards. Most people assume that once security software is installed, they’re protected. It’s critical that companies be proactive in thinking about security on a long-term basis. Social engineering is when an attacker does thorough research on the company, using various simple investigative techniques to hack a company based on human error.

An attacker would call to ask a simple question; once they get that information, they make another phone call using the previous information provided. The hacker will go after the weakest link and if he can get one person in the business to make a bad decision, none of the security precautions taken will matter. I recently partnered with a company called KnowBe4 that specializes in security awareness training — a niche that wasn’t really available before. It’s important to note that information security policies cannot be written in stone. As a business needs change, new security technologies become available, and security vulnerabilities evolve, the policies need to be modified or supplemented. You should review security at least on an annual basis, but if you’re a bigger company, on a quarterly basis. Back in my hacking days, I was able to remain in some systems for over a decade as a result of companies failing to review their security measures.

If credit card information or other data is stolen, can I figure out exactly what has been taken?
In some cases, we can go into the system and see the logs of exactly what information was viewed, taken, and when it was retrieved.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Why Everyone Is Getting Hacked These Days

If it feels like there have been a lot of password hacks this year, it's because there have been more than usual, and Ars Technica's Dan Goodin explains why that is. In short: Password hacking has gotten better, while our password making has gotten worse. "The result: security provided by the average password in 2012 has never been weaker," Goodin writes, which is why it shouldn't surprise you that this year we have heard about security breaches at LinkedIneHarmonyYahoo Voices, and a personal horror story fromWired's Mat Honan. Last year, James Fallows told us about his wife's security situation in The Atlantic story called "Hacked!" And for all the high profile accounts, there are all the ones we don't hear about. It's happening a lot these days.
But why the sudden uptick? Goodin explains:

Our password habits have gotten worse. "The average Web user maintains 25 separate accounts but uses just 6.5 passwords to protect them, according to a landmark study (PDF) from 2007," he writes. We have more things for which we need to create codes and it takes far too much brain space to store 25 different combos. Having the same passwords for various accounts was what did Fallows' wife in. Plus, the passwords we pick are stupid, as we learned from the Yahoo Voices hack, in which "123456" was (still!) a popular choice. It takes 10 minutes to crack a lower case 6 character password. To avoid this possible issue, we have before suggested picking dumb passwords for sites that don't matter. 

Password cracking has gotten better. "Now used increasingly for computing, graphics processors allow password-cracking programs to work thousands of times faster than they did just a decade ago on similarly priced PCs that used traditional CPUs alone," adds Goodin, who details the various tech advancements in hacking. The LinkedIn breach taught us this, leading us to the conclusion that perhaps we need to accept that the modern password isn't good enough anymore. 

There is a hacking network effect. With each hacker password revelation, future thieves learn more about the way the aggregate thinks. "The ever-growing list of leaked passwords allows programmers to write rules that make cracking algorithms faster and more accurate; password attacks have become cut-and-paste exercises that even script kiddies can perform with ease," explains Goodin. For one, it proves people still use "123456" and "password," even after being told lots of time to use better, different passwords. How many of you have started using Gmail's two-tiered authentication? 

Sites have gotten worse at protecting us. Again, a lesson we learned from LinkedIn, in which the company admitted its protective measures weren't good enough. Honan blamed Apple and Amazon for his hack, too. The bulk of Goodin's post goes into the technical specifics of this dangerous state of affairs. Many websites for example don't have enough ""cryptographic 'salt' to passwords to render such attacks infeasible." "To the detriment of millions of Internet users, going without salt is only one of the many sins that popular websites routinely commit against password security," he writes. 
Reading Goodin's take confirms to us that we have reached the end of the password as we know it. But what to do now? One could hope that technology fixes everything. Or maybe we should start thinking about the kind of stuff we put on the Internet and how we protect it. 

How to Hack into a School Computer

This is how to hack your school's computer. Don't do anything illegal or malicious. If you get in trouble, I am not responsible for your actions.

Please be careful with this - you could stop the computer from accessing the school network, or you could corrupt the operating system. This only works with Macs so don't bother trying it on a PC. Start up the computer and hold command S while booting. Let it scroll through the text and then type:
sbin/mount -wu
sbin/SystemStarter OR launchctl load
passwd root

Now type a password you can remember and the hit enter and type reboot. It will auto reboot the system when you get to the login screen use root as the lgoin in and your new password and viola.

How to Hack/Install Custom Firmware on Sony PSP-E1004 Street

On seeing that a 12 year old kid was still alive in me, one of my closest friends decided to gift me a Sony PSP this birthday. As soon as I opened the box and played games for few minutes, I was more curious about things I can do on it than just playing games all day (that was the tech blogger in me speaking). But when I searched the internet everything demanded a custom firmware running on the PSP and that was enough of a reason for me to install a custom firmware on my Sony PSP® E-1004 Street.
sony psp e1004
There are two ways you in which you can run a custom firmware on PSP. One is the temporary hack and other is the permanent one. In temporary hack, PSP runs the custom firmware as long as its switched on/standby but after restarting it, things go back to default. The permanent one on the other hand means that the fix will remain even after restarting the PSP.
In this post we will be seeing how we can use temporary hack to use custom firmware on PSP E-1004 Street. Advantages of using temporary hack is that the device warranty is not violated and even if something goes wrong, there is no fear of bricking the device. Moreover, reapplying the fix after restarting PSP takes only a few seconds. So let’s start

Things to Arrange.

  • A PSP memory stick to save files. Please use the memory stick that you use on a regular basis.
  • A memory card reader or a PSP USB cable to mount the memory stick on your computer.
  • Make sure your PSP is adequately charged.

Installing the Custom Firmware

Step 1: Turn on your PSP and navigate to Settings—>System Settings  to open PSP System Information. Here go to Check your System Software information and proceed only if the version is 6.60.
Step 2: Download the Light Custom Firmware (LCFW) and extract the files on your computer. Also, mount the PSP Memory Stick to your computer.
Step 3: Having done that, transfer the two folders FastRecovery and PROUPDATE to PSP/GAME folder on your memory stick.
update files
Step 4: If you are using USB connection, un-mount the memory stick or if you are using the memory card reader, transfer the memory stick to PSP and restart the device.
Step 5: Now navigate to Game—> Memory Stick and run the pro Update file.
pro update
Step 6: Your PSP will restart and launch CFW installation. Simply press X button and follow the on-screen instructions your PSP to install the LCFW.
installing cusstom framework
That’s all, after you restart your computer your PSP will be hacked and running the custom PRO B9 firmware which you can check in PSP system settings. As the fix is temporary, it will be erased as soon as you turn off your PSP.
system information
To install the custom recovery after restarting your PSP, you just need to run the pro Fast Recovery  file from Games—>Memory Stick section.
recovery menu


You can now install custom plugins on PSP and use it as you like. We will be seeing many posts on customizing PSP in the coming days and the first one will be about installing custom themes on PSP.
Moreover, after installing the custom firmware you will be able to run modified ISO games on your PSP. You can use it to test a game but we recommend buying an authentic original PSP game if you are planning to play it.