Modernizing a lifebook from 2003 with Lubuntu

Lubuntu 11.04 My doc was a bit confused about the age of this computer when he gave it to me to setup.  We spoke about a 5 year old laptop. It turned out to be a beast from 2003: a Lifebook n series by Fujitsu.  I’ve always said that Fujitsu must be run by a supervillain or at the very least, a rebel billionaire.  They make industrial equipment and infrastructure, while at the same time making laptops and other select home electronics.  Like someone just wanted their ideal laptop and then as an afterthought sold it as a product.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to disparage Fujitsu in any way.  Quite the opposite in fact.  I have relied on their hard drives for my most precious data and their Lifebooks have always been some of the best out there.  The fact that this 13+ year old laptop is operating with all original parts and a working battery is testament to Fujitsu’s commitment to quality.

My first clue was the XP sticker.  I decided to go with Lubuntu, a minimized variant on the popular Ubuntu Linux.  Ubuntu is a wonderful distribution, especially for those new to Linux, but it’s built on top of Debian, so it’s not just for beginners.  For years, I’ve used some of the older (still supported) Ubuntu versions for old machines.   I hate to see workin computers fail because of a lack of software support.  Thanks to the good people at Lubuntu, Ubuntu, GNU/Linux, this is a thing of the past. This guy is running all the latest in security and cryptographic technology, a fully modern web browser and a full suite of productivity software fully compatible with the latest MS Office.

 

Played with PoisonTap network hijacking tool

Poison Tap in Action

@SamyKamkar made an impressive and terrifying tool.  This simple USB device steals your cookies, poisons your cache, and even persists a web backdoor.  On a locked machine no less!  It depends much on the trust that our computers take for granted.  Trusting a USB device is not up to no good.  Trusting the local network not trying to confuse. We must reexamine this trust going forward.  It didn’t take long to get it up and running, however once you do, you can spend hours tinkering.  (i was working to combine it with @mubix‘s work here)

I am also delighted to have my first Raspberry Pi as a USB device rather then host.  it is certainly exciting to created some new doodads using this dangerous toolkit.

UPDATE

I have since made a version without the cache attack.  I completely failed to steal the poisontap visuals, but TheCodePlayer offers a delightful matrix animation.  next step is to man in the middle ssl too.  I’m turning it into a device that logs everything while connected, but doesn’t persist.

Mac Pro takes a dive. There went my Sunday.

I return to my computer after letting it idle to this maelstrom. Pinwheel of death to 11!  Luckily I was left with at least one tool in my belt. Initial signs point to Disk I/O but with SSD??  Sometimes I feel like the cobbler with no shoes.  no such thing as a day off.

Mac Pro - Force Quit Window

UPDATE! – It was drive related, but not my boot drive. Apparently all this was caused by file system corruption on an external drive. it’s not that it wasn’t in use, but that drive was certainly not in use by all of these applications.  It was a drive that contains large files that don’t require especially high performance (like my bitcoin blockchain).  I must now give a shout out to DiskWarrior for saving my Sunday.

Does anyone remember how to destroy the Dark Portal?

I was replaying the classic Blizzard game Warcraft II and I couldn’t remember how to win.  It wasn’t this difficult to win the Orc campaign. Great game, I miss the 12+ hour games we’d play on our localtalk network.  It’s just not the same playing the computer.  #lanparty

Warcraft II - Dark Portal

Defcon 2016 photos and videos

Close ups of my much coveted badge.  Some hardware and base stations of the wifi village.  Both Information Society and Berlin played on Saturday night!  Shot a video of an amazing demo from the Car Hacking Village.  A car modified to play games instead of driving.  Also, the best of my flight home.  Some great pictures of Hoover dam and some of the solar farms and mesas as we few home.

defcon 2016 badge closedefcon 2016 badge chipdefcon 2016 wifi villagedefcon 2016 wifi village 2 
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End of an era! cydia.be3n.com shuttered after 7+ years!

In truth, I haven’t touched it in years.  I haven’t even touched cydia recently. Sadly, all this work would only be useful for someone with an original or 3g iPhone. Apple certainly doesn’t support those devices anymore.  Does anyone still use them?  Unfortunately, my ISP insists that I remove the content.  After 7 years of hosting it, they realized it violates TOS.  I should check the logs.  I wonder if it will even be missed.  People say the internet never forgets.  Sometimes it is quite the opposite. For nostalgias sake, I left the instructions site up: http://cydia.be3n.com/ (at least that does’t violate Dreamhost TOS).  For the record, much of my work continued support well into iOS 4.

cydia.be3n.com site

. . . Maybe it will rise again on S3?

Dentistry of the future…

A recent mouthpiece fitting exposed me to the latest in dental impressions. I filmed it, the tech was quite impressive. A camera takes pictures of my teeth and software stitches it into a 3D model. I only wish i could take home the model files. sure beat the molding clay in my mouth.  (though it did take a little bit longer)