Gwern Branwen asks the deceptively simple question "How many computers are in your computer?"
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Computers that are isolated from the internet and local networks are said to be "airgapped," and it's considered a best practice for securing extremely sensitive systems.
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If the Trump administration makes good on its promise to pack all potentially explosive laptops together in a blast-multiplying steel case in the plane's hold, it will be good news for would-be bombers -- and bad news for your data security. Read the rest
BadUSB is bad news: malware that targets the firmware in your USB port's embedded system, bypassing the OS, antivirus software and other countermeasures. Read the rest
Samy Kamkar has a proof-of-concept attack through which he plugs a small USB stick into an unlocked Mac OS X machine and then quickly and thoroughly compromises the machine, giving him total, stealthy control over the system in seconds, even reprogramming the built-in firewall to blind it to its actions. Read the rest
After a redditor claimed to have gotten a computer virus from factory-installed malware on an e-cig charger, the Guardian reported out the story and concluded that it's possible. Read the rest
Security experts have been haunted by the prospect of unpatchable, potent, fundamental bug in USB devices; the tension only heightened when sourcecode for an exploit went live last week. Read the rest
Last summer's Black Hat presentation on "Badusb" by Karsten Nohl alerted the world to the possibility that malware could be spread undetectably by exploiting the reprogrammable firmware in USB devices -- now, a second set of researchers have released the code to let anyone try it out for themselves. Read the rest