Category Archives: hardware

If you use TAILS you should test a bit of HEADS alchemy

If you use TAILS you are certainly interested to better know HEADS because Heads isn’t simply another Linux distribution, it merges physical hardening of particular hardware platforms and flash protection attributes with a Linux boot loader in ROM as well as custom Coreboot firmware.

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The key factor in Heads is represented by its steady monitoring of the boot process that allows detecting if the firmware has been changed by malware.

If this first check certifies that all is unchanged, heads uses the TPM as a hardware key to decrypt the hard disk.

The certified integrity checking of the root filesystem is really effective against exploits but it doesn’t secure the system against each possible attack but it is able to effectively divert many types of attacks against the boot process and physical equipment that have usually been ignored in conventional setups, hopefully increasing the issue beyond what most attackers are willing to spend.

c3tv-bootstraping-a-slightly-more-secure-laptop

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http3a2f2fwww-redpill-linpro-com2fsysadvent2fassets2fimg2fbackup_disk

Image from redpill-linpro.com

Cloning block devices online using Software RAID

TrueCrypt – Try it again! Waiting for CipherShed…

truecryptlogo_256TrueCrypt is safer than we thought! A specific audit tested TrueCrypt 7.1 unmantained through a complex verification process and the results are surprising.

First of all we have to consider that TrueCrypt is not mantained since 2014 and that its “natural” fork, VeraCrypt, is directly developed by Microsoft. For this simply reason many former TrueCrypt users prefer not to use VeraCrypt.

Secondly, the bugs revealed by the testers in TrueCrypt are less worrying than that discovered using its competitors solutions.

For this reason I decide to install TrueCrypt (that I use previously it was unmantained) on my Fedora 22 laptop.

To begin, I searched for a good repository and, at the end, I opted for that mantained by GRC. So I downloaded the TrueCrypt 7.1 archive from GRC that is still storing all the others TrueCrypt versions.

I decided to use the 7.1 version because it has more features than the last 7.2 version (the last known release of TrueCrypt). In any case I am monitoring the Swiss website and I wish that the CypherShed project will be completely developed soon.

After I extracted the file and moved it to a specific folder.

Last but not least I opened Terminal and typed:

sudo ./truecrypt-7.1a-setup-x64

and the software was correctly installed into my Fedora 22 OS.

After some tests I can adfirm that TrueCrypt is still a good security solution not only for the above mentioned audit but also because it is really stable, flexible, full of useful features and simple to use.

To sum up: Try it… again!

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Memory is dirt cheap at a time when it should be expensive

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Everything You Know About the Internet of Things is Wrong — Backchannel — Medium

What about the low-cost Tablet Market?

Newcomers  are not always the happiest guy…. This because not often there is not  much room left by the first-comers that usually had the “good idea” and  consequently became the market leaders.

But sometimes things go differently. This is the case of low-cost tablet market where a  big number of semi-unknown producers from Asia have been able to create good products at a very affordable price.

If you google “tablet”  and visit some specialised, B2C, websites you can find some interesting  products. Obviously I’m not talking about the top of the production and you will not find any top level tablet but you could be interested to some of them if you consider their prices.

The middle level market wasn’t considered interesting by big players till now. But the  potential  increase of demand in this segment has changed the scenario. 

Tablets are very common devices and today many of us could be interested to have a second or third device to avoid the matter of carrying our expensive, branded tablet everywhere. Personally I am not planning to buy a second “branded” tablet to increase my comfort when in remote places but I could really consider to buy a second, not the top, device if it is really cheap. I am sure it will be a little be slower and less performant than the one I use every day but what does it matter if its price will be just a fraction of my main tablet?

For above marketing reasons Amazon is planning to sell a low-cost 50 USD tablet before the end of the year.

On one end the attended success of this marketing strategy could be read as another way to chain its customers to the brand. On the other end low-cost tablets represent a real remunerative economic niche that worths a good slice of the market (and consequently a lot of money).

Moreover the tablet market starts to be “mature” and this niche could be one of the last ones before the decline. Moreover Ubuntu is coming

In fact Ubuntu is actively working on a new generation of tablets that will run a native version of Linux. The tablet devices we are using today have enough power to smoothly run some of the main common Linux OS and overcome the main problems that were registered when some “primitive” Linux tablets were launched some years ago.

For this reason Linux enthusiasts like me hope in something new… and useful in the near future. Cross your fingers!

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References:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-release-50-tablet-as-it-struggles-to-sell-pricier-devices-1441653902