Category Archives: common knowledge - Page 2

Why securing devices using your fingerprint is not safe

fingerprint

Think about it: fingerprints are unique. Everybody has them and every one of them is unique, so it’s a secure way to prove your identity, right?

WRONG!

We all thought that passwords were easily hackable, if not by guessing, by brute force attacks. And we all know the “difficult” passwords: [email protected]$$w0rd123 and 3AsyD03s1T. As if hackers are stupid! They’re not! Believe it or not, but these so called encrypted, but still “readable” passwords are easy to guess, just like your dog’s name and your mother’s birthday. I mean, a dog’s name is Bello, Spot, Rex, Fluffy or a dozen other names and as for birthdays: we only have to try every date since 1-1-1900, which is roughly only 115 x 365 = 42,000 dates which are there to try.

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Tracking the FREAK Attack

Now what? Yet another vulnerability exposed?

On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, researchers announced a new SSL/TLS vulnerability called the FREAK attack. It allows an attacker to intercept HTTPS connections between vulnerable clients and servers and force them to use weakened encryption, which the attacker can break to steal or manipulate sensitive data. This site is dedicated to tracking the impact of the attack and helping users test whether they’re vulnerable.

At the moment it seems that only Firefox is safe to use! And needlessly to say that you should ALWAYS be aware of unsafe content. Try not to click anywhere unless you really trust the website!!!

The FREAK attack was discovered by Karthikeyan Bhargavan at INRIA in Paris and the miTLS team. Further disclosure was coordinated by Matthew Green. This report is maintained by computer scientists at the University of Michigan, including Zakir Durumeric, David Adrian, Ariana Mirian, Michael Bailey, and J. Alex Halderman. The team can be contacted at [email protected].

For additional details about the attack and its implications, see this post by Matt Green, this site by the discoverers, this Washington Post article, and this post by Ed Felten.

Please visit this website to find out more about the vulnerability of your browser or website: https://freakattack.com/

 

Source: https://freakattack.com/

Enhance your WiFi by using beer!

Beer can WiFi booster

Bad WiFi reception

Bad WiFi reception is one of the most common annoyances these days. Especially in residential areas where every house has at least 1 access point and each family is working hard to fill the ether with their own signals. A quick fix can solve this problem relatively easy by using an empty beer can (a soda can also works).

The aluminum of an empty beer can enhance the WiFi-signal significantly. You could buy an expensive repeater, but a beer can is immensely cheaper (and is more fun to get too). Our good friend youtube shows us this instructional video.

Step by step

  1. Go to the supermarket
  2. Buy (at least) 1 can of beer (a premium brand will do better than some random cheap brand)
  3. Empty the can (don’t throw the beer in the sink at all times! Drinking is the preferred method!)
  4. Clean the inside of the can by flushing it with some water
  5. you will need a knife or scissors to open up the can and some material to fix the empty can to your router
  6. Remove the lid, used to open the can
  7. Cut off the bottom of the can
  8. Cut off the top of the can, leaving a small piece near the old drinking opening
  9. Cut the can from top to bottom at the opposite side from the drinking opening
  10. Carefully bend the metal so it (sort of) looks like a satellite dish
  11. Place the brand new dish shaped beer can on your access point, by sticking the antenna through the old drinking opening
  12. Fix the “dish” so it doesn’t fall off

steps

This little trick should enhance the signal strength by a factor 2 or 3. This only works for access points equipped with an external antenna. For antenna-less models you could try creating a somewhat larger dish and placing the whole access point on the bigger dish, but I don’t guarantee this works. You could for example use a keg, but I doubt that you can cut it by using scissors 😉

 

The Science of ‘Interstellar’ Explained

Warning: SPOILER ALERT! This infographic contains details about the new space film “Interstellar.”

The film “Interstellar” relies on real science for many of its stunning visuals. Physicist Kip Thorne, an expert on black holes and wormholes, provided the math that the special effects artists turned into movie magic.

The spaceship Endurance’s destination is Gargantua, a fictional supermassive black hole with a mass 100 million times that of the sun. It lies 10 billion light-years from Earth and is orbited by several planets. Gargantua rotates at an astounding 99.8 percent of the speed of light.

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The endless discussion about binary versus decimal prefixes – GB vs GiB

I already wrote about this twice:

  1. My first blog post about the issue
  2. My second blog post

And to fire up the discussion once again, I found another link on the IEC website: http://www.iec.ch/si/binary.htm

Remember that scientists want to be very precise about their findings and writing G, means there’s 1,000,000,000 of whatever they were measuring. If they wanted to switch to counting in binary language, they would either switch to using 0s and 1s or use binary prefixes like Gi, Mi, Pi and Ki.

So once again:

  • 1 kB = 1,000 Bytes
  • 1 KiB = 1,024 Bytes
  • 1 GB = 1,000,000,000 Bytes
  • 1 GiB = 1,024 x 1,024 x 1,024 Bytes

 

Spread the word. Please!