Build your own time server with a GPS receiver.

If you've had your ear to the ground lately, you might have heard that the NIST timekeeping radio station used by devices all over the world as a time reference for Coordinated Universal Time as well as some experiments in signal propagation and geophysical event notices might be on the chopping block in 2019, leaving the HF bands quieter and, let's face it, we can't have nice things.  Clocks that rely on this time source signal won't have any way to stay in sync and the inevitable drift due to the imperfections in everything will cause fractions of second to …

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Exocortex: Halo

In my last post on the topic of exocortices I discussed the Huginn project, how it works, what the code for the agents actually look like, and some of the stuff I use Huginn's agent networks for for in my everyday life. In short, I call it my exocortex - an extension of the information processing capabilities of my brain running in silico instead of in vivo. Now I'm going to talk about Exocortex Halo, a separate suite of bots which augment Huginn to carry out tasks that Huginn by itself isn't designed to carry out very easily, and thus extend …

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DefCon 23: Presentation notes

Here and behind the cut are the notes I took at DefCon 23. They are necessarily incomplete because they're notes, and I refer you to the speakers' presentations and eventually video recordings for the whole story.

Applied Intelligence: Using Information That's Not There - Michael Schrenk

  • Knowing your operations and resources
  • More effective and efficient
  • Competitive intelligence
  • What's happening outside of your business
  • Know your competitors and markets
  • Collect, analyze, and apply external data
  • There is a professional association of people who do competitive intelligence
  • Applied intelligence is actionable and changes what you do
  • Most is useless unless you develop it …
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GPS tracking device smartassery at its finest.

The battle over whether or not law enforcement agencies can legally use a GPS tracking device to monitor your activities is still raging in the US court system. Right now animal rights and environmental activists are being surveilled with these devices; it's only a matter of time before cypherpunks who have come in from the cold, lawyers, and privacy and anonymity advocates come under the watchful eye of Big Brother for exercising their First Amendment Rights. To complicate matters, lower courts scattered around the United States all have different opinions on the practice, so a few are hoping that the …

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So, what exactly should you do?

Earlier today while prowling around in my RSS feed reader I came across this thread on Reddit, and I've been pondering what I would do were I in a similar situation. The original poster brought to Reddit a tale of a strange device found in the undercarriage of his friend's car, near the exhaust system but farther toward the center of the vehicle (if I interpret his description correctly). The mechanic didn't know what to make of it but some research showed that it was a GPS tracking device manufactured for federal law enforcement agencies by a company called Cobham …

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The walls are closing in.

Every couple of days - usually on the weekends - I force myself to go on a media fast. If I can get away with it, I don't watch television, I don't look at my RSS feed reader, and I don't let myself get wrapped up in the newswires. These days it's about the only thing that lets me get a good night's sleep on the weekends and makes my blood pressure managable. I'm pretty much a desk jockey these days so that's about the only exercise I get, but that's beside the point.

Many years ago, during the early time of …

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I'm here today with absolutely nothing to talk about.. and that's what I want to talk to you about.

Still not dead. Still not sleeping, either.

Work has been keeping me busy lately, but thankfully not due to a certain beastie that was supposed to go off last week. Conflicker.C appears to have been something of a damp squib, and I for one am grateful. I'm not terribly surprised that it didn't bring about The End of the Net as we Know It. Hyperbole and RPG references aside, packing an out-of-date exploit as a primary vector of infection coupled with samples of the Conflicker.C binary itself winding up in the hands of practically every antivirus researcher on …

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Such a beautiful weekend - seemed a shame to waste it.

After so many weeks of cold, bracing wind and a few days of snow, a weekend of bright sun and temperatures in the mid'70's seemed like an ideal time to get out a little and do some running around while enjoying the nice weather. And so on Saturday afternoon I opened the windows, threw some gear into my backpack, slapped a GPS puck onto the roof of the TARDIS (I've grown quite attached to my Rikaline GPS-6010 - thanks again, Rhianna!) and headed over to pick up Hasufin and Mika to do a little wardriving in northern Virginia. For those of …

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Following someone around isn't that easy.

Like many people today, I have a GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation system mounted semipermanantly in my car to help me get around when I'm out and about. Every once in a while, however, I find myself being asked a rather curious question to which I haven't really put together a rehearsed answer. That question is this: "If you're so consciencious about your privacy, why do you have a GPS unit in your car? Aren't you worried that you'll be tracked wherever you go by your GPS?"

The short and simple answer to that question is, "No, I'm not concerned …

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Cellular PDAs with RATs in the datawalls.

RATs meaning remote access tools, that is. Malware that conceals itself in a system and lets someone on the outside with the right application and credentials connect and manipulate the system remotely. The classic such utility is Back Orifice by the Cult of the Dead Cow, and was probably the first of its kind which let you do such things as mess with the mouse cursor and typed text, flip the display upside down, access the webcam, and open or close the CD-ROM.

It seems that combination cellphone/PDA's are now advanced enough to be targeted. Nowadays many cellphones have …

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