http://eprint.iacr.org/2006/136 describes the thing they're exploiting... Is this news?
The sad guy mistook a db25 rs232 for a parallel port... sigh
I've been doing this for years, since 1997... so this must be one of the oldest tricks in the book.
Here is my 4 step recipe for Ubuntu, using USB serial adapters:
1) hook up the stuff and config the terminals correctly (I used 9600 8n1 due to long cables, got weird chars at 19200+)
2) Install Ubuntu on your system
3) put the following in
# ttyUSB0 - getty
# This service maintains a getty on tty1 from the point the system is
# started until it is shut down again.
#start on stopped rc RUNLEVEL=
#stop on runlevel [!2345]
---(repeat for as many terminals you have, incrementing the 0 of ttyUSB0 to 1 to 2 etc)---
4b) sudo service ttyUSB0 start
(repeat for as many terminals you have, incrementing 0 to 1 to 2 etc)
Here is my setup with a WYSE vt420 compatible and two vt320's
Gee wiz, that was easy... So why is this on the frontpage of slashdot?
Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.