Monday, 21 November 2016

Zorin OS

Another week, another "this will solve world peace" Linux Distro....

except, I like the look of this one:

There is an ULTIMATE version that currently costs $15 and adds a load of things.

For trial purposes, there is a CORE version, that has all the essentials, minus a few of the custom elements.

If I get time this week, I'll do a USB install onto a 64Gb USB stick and see how easy it is to transition over to, or whether it is just like using a Debian / UBuntu distro with a new set of wallpapers....

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

PolySync autonomous vehicle

PolySync Arduino-fest..... but you have to have a Kia Soul...for now:

If you’re tired of waiting around to get an autonomous vehicle, PolySync’s Open Source Car Control Project (OSCC) development kit can be had for under $1000.
Autonomous cars are still in their infancy, and can cost upwards of $100,000. If you’re willing to do some of the work yourself—and trust a machine you modified to drive you around—PolySync has an Arduino-based kit (nearly) available to help you build your own.
You can pre-order a kit right now for $649, and you’ll have program each Arduino module yourself when you receive it. You’ll also need a 2014-or-later Kia Soul on which to install it, chosen for its combination of drive-by-wire controls as well as relatively low price. Keep in mind, however, the project is intended for R&D and off-road use only.
The OSCC Project is built around a number of individual modules that interoperate to create a fully controllable vehicle. These modules are built from Arduinos and Arduino shields designed specifically for interfacing with various vehicle components. Once these modules have been programmed with the accompanying firmware and installed into the vehicle, the vehicle is ready to receive control commands sent over a CAN bus from a computer running a control program.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

IoT Worm via Zigbee

Zigbee...Zigbee....Zigbee..... yep, I have quite a few of these in my "Arduino" stash drawer.

Have you used the Zigbee in any of your IoT projects?  If might want to read on....

"Within the next few years, billions of IoT devices will densely populate our cities.

In this paper we describe a new type of threat in which adjacent IoT devices will infect each other with a worm that will spread explosively over large areas in a kind of nuclear chain reaction, provided that the density of compatible IoT devices exceeds a certain critical mass. In particular, we developed and verified such an infection using the popular Philips Hue smart lamps as a platform.
The worm spreads by jumping directly from one lamp to its neighbours, using only their built-in ZigBee wireless connectivity and their physical proximity. The attack can start by plugging in a single infected bulb anywhere in the city, and then catastrophically spread everywhere within minutes, enabling the attacker to turn all the city lights on or off, permanently brick them, or exploit them in a massive DDOS attack. To demonstrate the risks involved, we use results from percolation theory to estimate the critical mass of installed devices for a typical city such as Paris whose area is about 105 square km: The chain reaction will fizzle if there are fewer than about 15,000 randomly located smart lights in the whole city, but will spread everywhere when the number exceeds this critical mass (which had almost certainly been surpassed already).

To make such an attack possible, we had to find a way to remotely yank already installed lamps from their current networks, and to perform over-the-air firmware updates. We overcame the first problem by discovering and exploiting a major bug in the implementation of the Touch link part of the ZigBee Light Link protocol, which is supposed to stop such attempts with a proximity test. To solve the second problem, we developed a new version of a side channel attack to extract the global AES-CCM key that Philips uses to encrypt and authenticate new firmware. We used only readily available equipment costing a few hundred dollars, and managed to find this key without seeing any actual updates. This demonstrates once again how difficult it is to get security right even for a large company that uses standard cryptographic techniques to protect a major product.