Tag: Hardware

Editorial – The FNG goes to DEFCON 25

by on Oct.08, 2017, under Editorial/Opinion, Hacking in the News, Miscellaneous, Site News

Defcon 25 Title Image

Yes, it’s faded. I took this pic from a projection standing about 50ft away.

Good fortune has smiled upon me.  My company offered to send me to DEFCON 25, flight and hotel paid.  In this article, I’ll talk about DEFCON 25, the sights, the sounds, and my experiences of a hardware geek gone to the world-renowned hacker mecca. If you have ever wanted to go to DEFCON but aren’t quite sure what to expect, I have provided a summary of the trip as well as an important “FNG TIPS” list of things you want to be aware of before you leave.

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Overhauling the Battery Backup in an HP DL380

by on Jun.20, 2017, under Hardware, How-To's

Amazon's recommendation for a replacement battery pack.

Ain’t no one got that kind of cash!

Everyone knows that in most if not all devices, batteries are considered a wear item, an item that’s designed to be replaced at certain intervals of a machine’s lifetime. (Ok, unless you’re Samsung… or Apple… or any one of a bunch of stupid laptop vendors)  Enterprise level servers are no exception.  What is outrageous though is these consumables are usually stupidly expensive and can be repaired for much less than the replacement part.  In this case (and this post), I saved myself about $63 by building my own replacement battery pack for my HP SmartArray P400 raid card.

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Arduino: Basic Network Temp and Humidity monitor

by on Aug.23, 2012, under Microcontrollers, Networking

I don’t know why I can’t flip this image. It’s cursed.

The (albeit crooked) image above is a basic environmental monitor I built for the server rack that I keep my house’s servers in. This project features network connectivity via an Arduino Ethernet shield, an HTF3223 humidity sensor, a TMP36 temperature sensor and a Sparkfun serial LCD for a decent monitoring station that is self-reliant.  Read more for build details and the code to get it all working. (continue reading…)

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Networking: Installing and configuring pfSense Embedded

by on Nov.11, 2011, under Embedded devices, How-To's, Networking, Security, Software

pfSense Logo

After publishing the last post on networking and the security series, I felt it was necessary to go ahead and publish a piece on building a custom router.  I have been a fan of pfSense for the past four years and swear by it. It has the ease of use of a commercial GUI-driven router and unrivaled flexibility limited only by the hardware it is installed on.  In this howto article, we will cover installing pfSense on an embedded platform and initial configuration for getting your router up and running.

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Reviews: Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit at Mircocenter

by on Sep.09, 2011, under Hardware, Microcontrollers

Sparkfun logo

Sparkfun at Microcenter!

After reading this post on Hack-a-day, I went to the local MicroCenter to see what all they had to offer in a brick-and-mortar store.  I remember when Parallax and RadioShack had joined together and while the new availability had made it easier to get started with microcontrollers, the most common expression recalled is one of sadness at the general disarray of the parts cabinets.  Thankfully Microcenter seems to have done Sparkfun right.  Read on for my initial impressions of Microcenter’s offerings and a full review of my first Arduino kit, the Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit. (continue reading…)

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CVS Netbook Revisited

by on Jul.25, 2011, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Software

A few months ago, I posted a hardware teardown of the CVS Sylvania Netbook pictured above. After working with it and performing a lot of research on it, I promised a follow up article, and here it is.  To sum it all up, with a bit of modification to the software, a spare SD card and a lot of patience, you can actually turn this thing into a somewhat useful Linux device.  There’s also some improvements and suggestions to be had for improving the Windows CE side of things should you decide to continue using it in its default state.

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Building Snort and Nessus – Ubuntu IDS Part 3

by on May.20, 2011, under Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Security, Software

 

In this final article in the three part Ubuntu IDS series, we will go over installing, compiling and configuring Snort and Nessus on our new IDS device.  We will use Snort to analyze traffic as seen by the IDS and we will use Nessus to perform vulnerability testing on the network. The process for installing Snort will also cover installing SnortReport provided by Symmetrix Technologies so we can translate Snort’s cryptic messages into a more readable format that we can take action on.  Read on as we wrap up the installation and finish our IDS device.

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Setting up bonding networking -Ubuntu IDS Part 2

by on May.04, 2011, under Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Security, Software

In an earlier article, I demonstrated how you can build a passive monitoring device for an Ethernet network as the first part to a three part project to build a home IDS device.  In this article, the second in the series, I will describe how to set up the networking for an IDS using the passive tap that I built earlier.This setup will involve using a technique called bonding to take two physical interfaces and bond them together, creating a logical interface that we can use for Snort.  This article will also explain where is the best location to place the tap and what you can expect to see once the networking is set up using common Linux utilities like tcpdump.

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Build a Passive Ethernet Tap – Ubuntu IDS Part 1

by on Apr.06, 2011, under Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Security, Software

Image courtesy of forums.overclockers.co.uk

One of the things that the GCIA study has taught me is that being able to monitor the network your computer is on is a critical necessity to maintaining a secure network. Corporate environments can set up IDS devices to monitor traffic however monitoring doesn’t work unless you have proper connectivity to what you want to monitor. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have central wiring in our house and expensive managed switches that can set up span sessions with which to monitor traffic in transit.  In this HOWTO, I will cover how to build your own monitoring connection that you can use on your own network to monitor traffic without breaking the bank. This article is first in a three part series on how to build your own home IDS for monitoring your network traffic. Look for the other two sections soon!
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Hardware Pr0n: Sylvania “netbook” from CVS

by on Jan.08, 2011, under Embedded devices, Hardware, Hardware Pr0n, Investigative Dissassembly, Windows

cvs logo

Well, the annual gift-giving season has drawn to a close and now we are left with retailers trying to get rid of all that extra stuff that thy have left over in their inventories.  Of course as a hardware geek, I’m always on the look out for another great hack. While at my CVS I came across a Sylvania netbook device for under $100. Even better, I got mine as an open box for only $30 making it an awesome find.  Read further to discover what this little beastie’s hiding under its hood. (continue reading…)

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