Talk: Patching Vehicle Insecurity

René Pfeiffer/ October 1, 2011/ Conference

The good old car has turned into a high-tech computing device. Researchers of the Freie Universität Berlin have recently tested a car without a driver. Scientists sat in the back seat while the car travelled 80 km in total on roads through Berlin and Brandenburg. An advertisement of a car company proudly touts: The road is not exactly a place of intelligence.…This is why we engineered a car that analyzes real-time information, reads your handwriting, and makes 2,000 decisions every second. With 2,000 decisions per second there’s no way a human can cancel or correct decisions in time. Modern cars heavily rely on self-contained embedded controllers interfacing with an array of sensors. These controllers are connected to diagnostic systems, throttle, transmission, brakes, speedometer, climate and lighting controls, external lights, entertainment systems, navigation subsystem, and

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The BEAST SSL Attack and the postponed Digital Apocalypse

René Pfeiffer/ September 25, 2011/ Security

When it comes to security flaws of SSL/TLS (either in theory or in implementation), then a lot of people get very nervous. The past days have been full of media coverage of the BEAST SSL Attack. Since Juliano Rizzo and Thai Duong have published their results the level of speculation has dropped. Let’s replace panic by analysis of facts. Starting with the name of the BEAST, Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS Tool, it is clear that a browser and a web site is involved. If you take a look at the description of the attack, you can infer that the impact doesn’t affect all SSL/TLS deployments. The following text is taken from Bruce Schneier’s blog entry on BEAST. The tool is based on a blockwise-adaptive chosen-plaintext attack, a man-in-the-middle approach that injects segments of plain text

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27C3 and Misunderstandings about Security

René Pfeiffer/ December 27, 2010/ Conference, Security

We’ve hooked a computer to the video stream of the 27C3 conference. Currently we’re listening to the keynote speech which touches a relevant topic for security issue. Are you happy or are you unhappy? It sounds a bit strange, but usually happy people have nothing to worry about. So in turn it does make sense not to worry people. The examples given in the keynote were electronic voting machines. The process of selecting a government by anonymous voting is a cornerstone of democracies. This is exactly why electronic voting must not happen through black boxes. India has already threatened (and arrested) security researchers who analyse the security of the voting machines used in the country. Electronic voting is only one example. Another one is the publication about the broken chip and PIN design of

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In-Depth Security Conference DeepSec Tackles Mobile Data Assaults

René Pfeiffer/ July 17, 2010/ Press

Vienna – it’s the 4th time that the international IT security conference DeepSec calls the world’s elite from the sectors Network-Security and Hacking together. From the 23rd until the 26th of November 2010 the conference focuses on mobile security (for users and gadgets alike) and Next Generation Infrastructure. „After the success of DeepSec 2009 we try once again to present exciting and controversial topics.  It’s our aim as a neutral platform to bring Hacker-Community, IT- and Security companies, users, government agencies and researchers together to interact and exchange experience and thoughts in workshops and talks.”, prompts René Pfeiffer – one of DeepSec’s organisers. The call for papers is still going until the 31st of July and young security researchers can register for  special support in this year’s U21 programme (U21 means under 21 years

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