Putting Faraday shielding fabric to the test.

Last year at Thotcon the presenters were given what were purported to be faraday shielded backpacks - backpacks manufactured with fabric woven out of very fine conductive wires that are said to reflect radio frequency signals inside and outside.  The idea is that if you have a cellphone and you put it inside the bag, you could be sure that the phone was not talking to any cell towers so it would be harder to track the person carrying the phone, as well as preventing any malware that may have been installed from phoning home.  So the reasoning goes, even if …

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Got some new hardware installed.

For a couple of years now, I've had my eye on the community of people who've had RFID or NFC chips implanted somewhere in their bodies, usually in the back of the hand.  If you've ever used a badge to unlock a door at work or tapped your phone on a point-of-sale terminal to buy something, you've used one of these two technologies in your everyday life to do something useful.  What I've wanted to do for a while was use an implanted chip as a second authentication factor to my servers for better security.  As for why I couldn't …

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Shmoocon 2009: ...duck!!

It's been six hours since I got back from Shmoocon, and I'm still readjusting to a low information density environment. Shmoocon is DC's premiere hacker con, held early every February by a security research outfit called the Shmoo Group, which seems to have an odd interest in moose (judging by the repeating moose motif all over the place, from the free stickers to the laser cut acrylic convention badges). I've wanted to go for a couple of years but various and sundry things kept me from attending, so when I finally was able to score a ticket I jumped at …

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RFID dust?!

The Hitachi corporation has come out with a new generation of RFID tags, and get this: They're about as large around as a human hair and 5 microns thick. In fact, they're unobtrusive to the tune of 0.05mm by 0.0.05mm in size. They're calling it RFID dust, and it's an order of magnetude smaller than the smallest RFID chips that Hitachi has on the market, the so-called mu-chips, which are only 0.4mm on a side. RFID dust doesn't have a lot of storage capacity, at most 128 bits of data, but they're so tiny, they could …

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Archive: 20070112

It's just about the middle of January, and just now has winter come to DC. I don't want to say that it's cold or anything but we've gone from wearing t-shirts and shorts outside to frost on the windows and multiple layers of clothing because the temperature has been below freezing for much of the day. As if that weren't enough, the wind's been cold enough to feel like it's cutting right through you, and the pressure waves of cold air coming off of the Metro trains when they arrive at the station are enough to deaden one's sense of …

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