Encryption on Asus Fonepad FE170CG, or how to transform your phablet in something slow as a dog

I recently fixed a problem on an Asus Fonepad FE170CG. This tablet (or technically, more a phablet, since you can also make phone calls with it) is sold in Italy at the bargain price of 99€ and is quite popular in circles where people need a cheap appliance that can stand as access point, and make the occasional phone call.

Asus FE170CG fonepad
Asus  fonepad (courtesy asus.com)

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Biometric on iPhone worse than Snakes on a Plane?

Apple has recently spur some controversy with the introduction of a biometric sensor onboard its last flagship product, the iPhone.  When it comes to this topic (governments stealing fingerprints…anyone?), I think that most people are overseeing some  other interesting issues. In my knowledge, available and affordable biometric sensors are known to be quite easy to … Leggi tutto

‘unhackable’ netbook network

“The appearance of safety was mistaken for safety itself.” (Walter Lord) It seems reasonable to me that the prefix UN- should be banned from the world of computing and technology in general. We have several examples of UN-thingies. RMS Titanic Enigma machine so why not go on with the ‘unhackable’ netbook network “There was no … Leggi tutto

Another sad XOR story: Tornado plus from Alutek

Tom Olzak from TechRepublic.com reports another sad XOR story. Whilst an indipendent confirmation would be needed, it seems that the Tornado Plus from Alutek present us with another bad XOR story: poor cryptographic knownledge and a strong target towards clueless home users. Tom says they used XOR encryption for real! OMG. More snake oil for … Leggi tutto

USB sticks and cards with fingerprint readers: another Sad XOR story

Heise-online.co.uk is reporting another sad-sad-sad XOR Story. It seems that some usb biometric pendrives are relying on the pc’software to unlock the safe partition, instead of bothering inside the chip itself. “…the controller on the stick does not decide whether to provide access to the partition; the software running on Windows does. “ It seems … Leggi tutto