Power Pwn & Darpa projects for development of hacking tool

Pierluigi Paganini July 22, 2012

We have discussed several time of the interference of governments inside our ordinary life, they try to control our network, to spy on our social network profiles, to access silently to our gaming console and every thing surround us.

The nightmare experienced by the protagonist of the movie “Enemy of the State” is now a reality, we live in the digital era and every device around us could be used to track our habits, to spy on our movements.

Government agencies have massively invested in programs to “violate” our privacy in the name of national security, world is changed from 11/9 and the risk of a new dramatic cyber attack is high.

The government supervision is a must to grant homeland security and it’s normal the law enforcement and other secret agencies are working to increase the overall control on possible threats to our security.

Among appliances that monitor our traffic and spiders that collect and correlate information on the network, what has invented by DARPA researchers to hack our networks?

Apparently it look like a surge protector, but it’s a powerful tool to infiltrate our networks allowing remote access to our machines. The new devices is called the Power Pwn, it’s the evolution of the devices that in the previous months has been presented as a little White Box to hack every network.

It’s an all in one solution that contains all necessary hacking tools used by security experts and pen-testerto exploit a network, the devices is also equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters and give the opportunity to an attacker to control it via the cellular network thanks to a “text-to-bash” feature that lets hacker to send commands to the device using SMS messages.

The device make possible to conduct a full and accurate penetration test that’s way the CEO of Pwnie Express, Dave Porcello, said:

It’s a device “you can just plug in and do a full-scale penetration test from start to finish,” Porcello says. “The enterprise can use stuff like this to do testing more often and more cheaply than they’re doing it right now.”

Following the full list of feature of the tool:

  • Onboard high-gain 802.11b/g/n wireless.
  • Onboard high-gain Bluetooth (up to 1000′).
  • Onboard dual-Ethernet.
  • Fully functional 120/240v AC outlets!.
  • Includes 16GB internal disk storage.
  • Includes external 3G/GSM adapter.
  • Includes all release 1.1 features.
  • Fully-automated NAC/802.1x/RADIUS bypass.
  • Out-of-band SSH access over 3G/GSM cell networks!.
  • Text-to-Bash: text in bash commands via SMS! .
  • Simple web-based administration with “Plug UI”.
  • One-click Evil AP, stealth mode, & passive recon.
  • Maintains persistent, covert, encrypted SSH access to your target network [Details].
  • Tunnels through application-aware firewalls & IPS.
  • Supports HTTP proxies, SSH-VPN, & OpenVPN.
  • Sends email/SMS alerts when SSH tunnels are activated.
  • Preloaded with Debian 6, Metasploit, SET, Fast-Track, w3af, Kismet, Aircrack, SSLstrip, nmap, Hydra, dsniff, Scapy, Ettercap, Bluetooth/VoIP/IPv6 tools, & more.
  • Unpingable and no listening ports in stealth mode.

The device has a reasonable cost (e.g. it is available a version sold al 295$) and it can be used by corporates to conduct security audit also remotely, but what is interesting is that the main customers of the system work for federal government, around 90%.

Power Pwn can be used to launch remotely-activated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet attacks searching for network weaknesses, it’s fully manageable via a Web interface, accessible through the unit’s built-in 3G radio, or directly to the device via text message … perform a network analysis has never been easier.

But why I have mentioned DARPA in the beginning of the article?

Because the Power Pwn was developed with funds established by Darpa program called Cyber Fast Track that promotes and help the development of a new generation of cyber-defense tools.

“It’s kind of taking the tools that the hackers are using and putting them in the hands of the people that need to defend against the hackers,” Porcello says.

The Power Pwn is currently available for pre-order, but its estimated ship date is September 30, 2012.

Similar tools certainly facilitate the task of those who oversee the security of networks, with similar devices is easier to continuously test the state of the network, however, such devices can also be used to attack networks. There are countless variations on the theme and the availability of low cost embedded devices makes it possible to create platforms of every shape and size for the intrusion into networks of others. The cyber espionage is largely diffused practiced, especially against small and medium business companies. It’s in this area that is difficult to fight cyber threats due reduced budged for security and in the same sector the effect of cyber attacks are really serious.

The availability of such devices has to demonstrate us how technology can be invasive in our daily lives … in the future It could be possible to attack our home from the TV or our refrigerator … are we ready to prevent this?

Pierluigi Paganini

you might also like

leave a comment