Feeds

Dubai mobe cracking demo barred by Heathrow boffin bust

Authorities impound open source radio gear

High performance access to file storage

Their undetectable method impressed by being up to 10,000 times faster than the brute force number crunching it's thought government agencies use. What's more, it requires only a laptop, open source software and a $700 USRP. The pair argued that they merely exploited a known theoretical vulnerability, and that it should prompt networks to improve encryption standards.

Neverthless aware of the potential national security implications of the new method, Mueller says he met two men from GCHQ, two weeks prior to Black Hat, and got the all-clear to speak. The details of the exploit are now public.

The Heathrow officials' choice of items to confiscate was therefore particularly confusing to him. If they genuinely thought he wanted to export any cryptanalytic technology or information then they would have taken his FPGA, laptop, and paperwork too, he argued.

"The USRP is sold all over the world," he said. A USRP can be configured as a GSM scanner using software from the GNU Radio Project. Without his, Mueller's demonstration was kneecapped, however.

When Mueller returned to the UK at the end of last week, he worried when his name was called out over the plane's passenger announcement system. "I thought, oh no," he said.

More government officials were waiting for him, but only to return his equipment. The USRP had been dismantled and poorly reassembled, Mueller claimed. "The motherboard was just rattling around." No answer was given on who had ordered the shakedown.

HMRC could not confirm that it was its customs agents that confiscated Mueller's equipment. "All our work is intelligence-based. It would be inappropriate to comment on an individual case," a spokesman said.

"We have certain powers to to stop passengers and search items going in and out of the country. We appreciate people's cooperation."

The spokesman said Mueller should contact HMRC directly if he has specific complaints. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.