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Comment: Re:usb vga dongle ? (Score 1) 64

by wierd_w (#48937179) Attached to: D-Link Routers Vulnerable To DNS Hijacking

If it is supported, YES.

There are 2 drivers that work with USB to VGA dongles. One is the SISVGA driver, the other is the DisplayLink driver.

This provides a simple framebuffer device to the system that can drive a VGA monitor. You need to custom build your openwrt image to have it turned on though, and to enable the main system console to run on the virtual console hosted by the framebuffer device (And NOT on the physical serial port usually inside most routers.)

Here's a blog detailing the process for getting the displaylink driver working.

Putting a USB2 hub on the lonely USB2.0 port on the back, putting a keyboard, mouse, and USB2VGA dongle on, you can directly hack away on the router. Even without the keyboard and mouse, the framebuffer device can be used to display data about the current status of the router in real time, and other fun things.

Comment: Re:Manual config (Score 1) 64

by wierd_w (#48936237) Attached to: D-Link Routers Vulnerable To DNS Hijacking

The WRT54G was one of the first consumer routers where the maker "Fucked up", and used FOSS software without a license, and then had to release the source code.

As a consequence, it was one of the first devices to attract major community attention, even with all its warts.

Later versions of the device were so horribly underpowered compared to the original hardware release that they just arent worth any effort. Compared to more recent SoC based home routers, they are garbage. (TINY system flash size, abysmally slow CPU. TINY system RAM, etc.)

When shopping for a consumer router, I look for one that is listed in the OpenWRT support list, with the best intersection of price and hardware inside.

Simply because it has a 50$ pricetag does not mean it is the best router. It just means that the manufacturer has set a 50$ MSRP.

Personally, I think one of those tiny "Fitlet" miniPCs that were mentioned earlier this month would make a great home router. They have a mini PCIe slot inside them, have an actual DIMM slot, and a few other perks. Sadly, I cant seem to find a price or retailer.

Comment: Re:Manual config (Score 1) 64

by wierd_w (#48936135) Attached to: D-Link Routers Vulnerable To DNS Hijacking

Yeah-- I was meaning "good for the price"

A home router is little more than a SoC these days. Does not have the robustness that an actual dedicated computer has. What it DOES have is low energy draw, small physical footprint, and "Good for the price" hardware.

Getting some quality software in there, and a little cooling, they can work quite well even under pretty heavy loads. They just aren't data center grade.

They ARE getting some pretty powerful SoC in them though in recent offerings. Some are up to 1.2ghz ARM platforms now. Probably a side effect of the android phone market.

My old WNDR3400 I use for fun projects just has a 400mhz MIPS (Little endian) SoC though. Has a USB2.0 port, which makes it a fun thing to play with all the same though. (It's BARELY enough to put a compatible USBVGA dongle on, and some USB permanent storage.)

Comment: Re:Manual config (Score 2) 64

by wierd_w (#48935995) Attached to: D-Link Routers Vulnerable To DNS Hijacking

If you dont mind taking one apart, it is pretty easy to install the missing cooling inside a home router.

Most have a 3v level based serial connector that can be tapped for driving a fan. Just getting some circulation in there helps immensely.

This has more to do with the manufacturer not wanting any moving parts than it does with poor design though.

I have a WNDR3400 that I use for various fun projects (It's running OpenWRT) that is a few years old now. I have replaced it with a more capable home router some time ago as the main workhorse. However, the logic board that drives that little silly dome light is a +5v system. I have removed the dome completely, removed the logic board with the lights on it, and used the header strip it connected to, to drive a pretty beefy fan. I can drive its little CPU at 100% nonstop and it does not get much above room temp.

If the biggest problem you have is with cooling, stop being a wimp and just drive a fan off the serial console port connector inside. Pretty much all consumer routers have one.

Comment: Re:Hey let's attack routers now! (Score 1) 64

by wierd_w (#48935899) Attached to: D-Link Routers Vulnerable To DNS Hijacking

Routers are an obvious choice to deploy payloads against.

Most are running a hackfest 2.6 era kernel with not-well-vetted hackfest drivers. Most have an autoupdate feature which silently updates the firmware when you log into them from their web interfaces.

With a combination of a DNS hijack, this autoupdater, malicious intent, and a suitable "Upgrade package"-- these routers can be zombified VERY easily.

Once pwned like this, they become willing and capable servants in a botnet.

Comment: Re:Manual config (Score 4, Interesting) 64

by wierd_w (#48935887) Attached to: D-Link Routers Vulnerable To DNS Hijacking

The hardware isnt all that bad most of the time, it's the shitty horrible firmwares they run.

Frequently, it's an old, horribly butchered hackjob of openwrt under there these days. Something unholy running a 2.6 era kernel, and with drivers with more hacked patches attached than a 4th century beggar's clothes.

Getting that old filth flushed out and replaced with something properly maintained is a GOOD thing. The router (hw wise) itself usually isnt all that bad.

Netgear tends to be a bit better, but overpriced. Belkin can go die in a fire though.

Comment: Re:How is maintenance performed? (Score 3, Interesting) 147

by wierd_w (#48933767) Attached to: Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center

S-F6 is 6x heavier than normal air.

Pure nitrogen is not anywhere near that level of disparity. Also, pure nitrogen does not have the same electrical insulation properties. You could put a tesla coil in a S-F6 atmosphere, and it would not discharge until a VERY significant voltage had been achieved.

This means that even if an electrical failure occurs in the datacenter, sparking would not be a source of secondary ignition.

Pure nitrogen would also be harder to determine when the atmosphere in the datacenter was safe for human respiration. With the S-F6, if you inhale it, it makes you sound like a steroid pusher. You could immediately tell if the atmosphere had not been vented, long before you became woozy and light headed from O2 deprivation.

Comment: Re:How is maintenance performed? (Score 2) 147

by wierd_w (#48933557) Attached to: Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center

Of course it is. So is water vapor.

Unlike CO2, Methane, Water vapor, and several others, Sulfur hexafluoride is SIGNIFICANTLY heavier than normal air. Inside an enclosed space, where it wont be diluted through mechanical agitation (wind), it will happily remain pooled.

You know, places like this underground data center.

The reason it has such a high rating is because it is a fully inert fluoride complex. The energy needed to break it down is crazy high. That's kinda important here, because it's used for fire suppression and electrical spark suppression. Normal UV exposure in the atmosphere is enough to break down methane, and plants break down CO2. Weather temperature equilibrium keeps water vapor under control. Something like S-F6 would stay in the atmosphere a VERY VERY long time if just irrationally released. Used properly, it shouldnt escape.

Comment: Re:How is maintenance performed? (Score 5, Interesting) 147

by wierd_w (#48933461) Attached to: Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center

This may or may not be a serious problem, depending on how they designed the data center.

Because it is heavier than air (REALLY heavier than air-- you can float a tinfoil boat on it!), all you need to do to evacuate it is add pressurized normal air above it, and have an openable floor drain reservoir to allow the displaced sulfur hexafluoride to exit through. The normal air will displace the gas.

Additionally, the heaviness of the gas will cause it to stay pooled in the datacenter, meaning you wont have to keep adding gas to the datacenter as often to maintain the low O2 environment.

Additionally, it is "safe" to breathe sulfur hexafluoride. (About as safe as huffing helium)-- it just displaces the oxygen. it does not itself cause any choking or inhalation hazard other than asphyxiation from low O2. It makes your voice very deep sounding.

If done right, "draining" the gas could be an extremely cost effective solution. (When done, open the vents at the top of the datacenter, then just pump the gas back into the room from the reservoir under the floor.)

So, it being heavier than air may or may not be a problem, depending on how they designed the system.

Comment: Re:How is maintenance performed? (Score 2) 147

by wierd_w (#48933025) Attached to: Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center

sulfur hexafluoride makes more sense.

In addition to being chemically inert, heavier than air, and available in large industrial quantities-- it also is highly resistive, and makes electrical sparking nearly impossible.

It is also less environmentally dangerous than halon.

Comment: Re:Not really. (Score 0) 236

by wierd_w (#48920143) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

No. 6000 years. Not 4000. (This isn't helping your argument to authority btw.)

It is now currently 2015AD. The earliest true written language examples come from 3200BC.

That's 6000 years. Not 4000.

The major breakthrough that fed the industrial revolution was the discovery of easily manufactured steel using the bessemer process. Prior to this, steel was too inconsistent and too expensive to create the industrial equipment needed for rapid technological advancement. (other metals are too soft, too brittle, too heavy, or too expensive.) The materials required to produce mass manufactured steel are not very rare, and the properties of them were well known well prior. Most were known at the time language was first being put down in permanent form. (In fact, fired clay tablets-- requiring kilns-- are the best surviving examples of such early literature, and many such texts discuss the shipment of smithable ores, indicating that the humans knew the properties of those metals in sufficient detail to be able to construct a bessemer reactor if they had the idea for it. That idea came about in the western world in less than 120 years-- Human understanding of those metals went from simple metalurgical formulae and psudo-religious hogwash in the dark ages to structured science after the renaissance during that time, permitting the creation of the theory behind the bessemer reactor.)

The big factor was probably a population requirement not being met previously-- a situation exacerbated by warring over resources and over gods and politics. You need sufficient population numbers to sustain a boom in technological growth, and the ancient world lacked the workforce.

However, this has more to do with the fact that our planet had several events that nearly wiped out the human race, putting our numbers at low values initially. Things like the Toba eruption, and of course, the ice-age. Things like the black death also would have played significant roles in reaching the required number of humans needed for an industrial revolution. Humans have a surprisingly small amount of genetic diversity, indicating a prior genetic bottleneck in the past, hinting at such a catastrophe early in our history.

It is foolish to assume that all possibly intelligent creatures would have such setbacks both in nature and in culture.

As a consequence, even if we take the linked article at face value, and have 2 G type star systems with habitable planets forming at exactly the same time, there is a pretty good chance that they could have us beaten technologically by now.

Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.