Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hacking the Wiley Hacker (2) DefCon Presentation suppressed

Oh I love the EFF
Even if they support folks who belive that information needs to be FREE!

The REAL Hacker Convention (DEFCON)** had a presentation suppressed today by a Boston Federal Judge, who blocked three MIT students from showing how to hack the Boston "T".
The judge ordered the three MIT students to cancel the presentation at a defcon (in LAS VEGAS) where they planned to show security flaws in the automated fare system used by Boston's subway.

BIG F#$%^ing Deal. Let me hazard a few guesses. (This is NOT the first time this topic came up in the past few years:)

I'm too lazy to google the results, (AND heaven forbid that this judge in Boston actually knew how to read this blog post, and arrested me for contempt of court!) but I can tell you that:
(I learned this from a few papers that WERE published a few years ago about fare card in general, and I think, NYC's in particular!)

* The Mag stripe on most current cards is NOT encrypted.
* The Mag Stripe encryption used, can be read using a tape cassette head
* The amount encoded in the card is a read/write field (of sorts).
* Oh Yeah, the readers and systems use Micro$oft WINDOW$. IS that bad enough?

and my general opinion of the outcome:

* It is essentially such a trivial task that if counterfeiters were interested in doing it, it would be a no-brainer to bankrupt the transit system, BUT on a nickel-dime transaction (your weekly fare-card), likelihood of getting caught is not worth the ticket/time in jail...

but tell the stupid jack-A$$ judge that. the jerk likely is a hunt and peck typist, and graduated law school before PC's were commonplace. At least in another 20 year all the luddite judges and legislators will have died or retired, and we can start having reasonable discussions about privacy, open access to networks, and WHY it is Better to have this INFORMATION in the PUBLIC, so that CHANGES are made, rather then hiding these design flaws away again!

** No, Not the BlackHat convention discussed Yesterday, but the DEFCON convention started this weekend, after BlackHat wrapped up.

OK, you wanted a Political discussion: Here goes.

The background I believe that:
* It's going to be as BAD as the last one.
* According to Robert Reich (former Sec'y of Labor under Clinton): The only number that he EVER saw, defining the
depression was that the unemployment rate hovered around 25%.
* We need a new deal.
* After 58 years of NO Health Care Reform (since 1950!) it will FINALLY be coming soon...
* We've managed to WASTE a FULL generation (from Zero to thirty) with decaying social, educational, and interpersonal skills.
* Our nation is no longer DOING (producing) anything.
SO, from these few premises, I have extrapolated a great deal of items to FIX our society...

We need to make sure that a number of issues are resolved ALL at once.
If we don't do them ALL at once, its like juggling three RUNNING chain saws, but dropping one!

Here's what I came up with:

We need to do the FOLLOWING to FIX our Society:
* Create A Living Wage
* Create a National Single payer Healthcare
* Create a National 3-4 year draft (or alternate service)
* Create a Federally paid Day Care starting at six months
* Implement Tax Reform on the ULTRA Rich
* Lobbying (Political Reform)
* Education
* Infrastructure (road /bridge/Systems repairs)
* Lack of Training/futures
* Truth and Reconcilliation Commission
* A new "Manhattan" project, focusing on Energy INDEPENDENCE

See my other blog: for more details.

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