Feeds

Dubai mobe cracking demo barred by Heathrow boffin bust

Authorities impound open source radio gear

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.