You've been (mini) Pwned!
A device has been developed that is able to monitor and transfer network data to a hacker via WiFi. The MiniPwner, costs $99 and is small enough to fit into a cigarette box, writes NATALIA DAVID.
As the tech Gods relentlessly shrink the size of devices much to the euphoria of the gadget buffs, the tech devils are duly following suit, but conversely, to their horror. So while you might be carrying the entire world in your pocket, the hacking mafia is busy creating spy computers that carry all the menace in the world and are small enough to fit into a cigarette pack. Not a particularly pleasant picture for anyone who has apprehensions about their PC being monitored and their device’s defense being carved open.
The Little Beast
A security researcher from Wisconsin, Kevin Bong, has unleashed this $99 little beast that is smaller than a smart phone and can wreck havoc on a corporate network via merely an Ethernet port. This tracking humdinger measures 2-inches square and 1-inch thick and has the potential of transferring the network’s data to a hacker through the wifi signal. This is an incredibly subtle way of stealing information from a network and tracking any array of computers that one desires.
Create Your Own Demon
While the Mini Pwner costs $99, Bong has explained the method of assembling together the kit yourself on his website, with the collective cost of its components summing up to less than $40. All you need is a TP-Link router which runs the OpenWRT software, a USB thumb drive and a pack of battery. And if one were to improvise, the Mini Pwner can also be detached from the plastic case of the router to further shrink it down and reassemble it to make it small enough to fit inside an Altoids tin – a version of Mini Pwner referred to as “Minty Pwner” by Bong.
The Monster’s Menace
So now to the million dollar question: how exactly does the computer function? For starters you need to put on the nonchalance robe and access the wiring closet of the company. It can be plugged into the targeted network and linked to the hacker’s device. The Mini Pwner then runs typical scanning tools like dSniff and Nmap, which allows the hacker to trace out the targeted company’s network on a map then nosedive into the desired information. What the Mini Pwner also does is it creates a VPN connection, which ensures that the hacker can also work with deadlier tools – like the Metasploit for instance – to further unscrew the security nuts of the network. The battery pack can last up to four hours, but the Pwner can also be attached to a power supply via a USB port to increase the battery time.
Resizing the peril of tracking
While larger devices like the F-BOMB and the Pwnie Express are already present in the hacking realm, the Mini Pwner is threatening to redefine the threat of PC monitoring or network tracking by lowering the size of the spy computer by a good many notches. This in turn would make network securities a lot more vulnerable to hacking maneuvers by ensuring that accessing a company – both physically and via veiled networking – becomes easier than ever before.
* Natalia David has been a regular contributor as tech writer, expert for some time now. Her work regarding Pc and cell phone monitoring and software to secretly monitor employees has received great appreciation from readers who turn to her to keep themselves updated with the latest happenings in tech world. You can also follow her on twitter @NataliaDavid4
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