Saturday, September 08, 2018

Totally Random

It's here.
As far as computing goes this has to be one of the most exciting days of my life.
That's a big statement, let me explain.
Ever since I got the encryption bug, the one thing that has been the most difficult to deal with is the creation of entropy within any kind of computing equipment I own. There are plenty of ways of doing this like flipping a coin or rolling dice but they're all too time consuming when you need to test new methods. There is also crypto secure pseudo random number generation which is great for making sure stuff works, but what about putting methods into practice? There never has been nor will there be a replacement for true random.
The USB device above from OneRNG and is an:
...avalanche diode circuit and optionally an RF circuit, whitened and presented over a USB/Serial connection.
This will feed a computer's entropy pool to stop the PC from grinding to a halt trying to create entropy by itself.

As I mentioned in my previous post this will be attached to a Raspberry Pi with a thermal printer. My aim is to use the RPi as an air-gapped PC that, on boot, will print out a series of random numbers which will also be saved in on-board memory. I'll have to write a start-up script but I don't think that'll be too difficult.
I have a few more components to buy and another couple of weeks before I'm up and running but at least the major parts are here.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Getting There

I've had a bit of a dream for a while.
I've always wanted to build a hardware random number generator.

It's easy to create random numbers on my computer but they are pseudo random and that's never quite been good enough. A while ago I saw a Raspberry Pi project that had a thermal printer as one of its components. I thought it was a good idea to get a print out of the numbers without having to waste a whole sheet of A4. I've been testing a thermal printer tonight and as you can see it performs well.
In a few weeks when my hardware TRNG USB key arrives I'll build a desktop Raspberry Pi to attach the USB key and thermal printer to.
I'll then have my own hardware TRNG to mess about with.
Exciting times ahead.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Adventures In Digital

This is the Radioddity / Baofeng RD-5R.
I've been after one for a while. Not that I don't have enough radios but this one is digital. Up until now everything has been analogue with the exception of an old SDR running on SDR# years ago and that was receive only.
Things have come full circle. It was trying to update SDR# that virused my Windows PC and that's what got me into Linux. This radio, at the moment, has to be programmed on Windows so I've bought a laptop to do just that.
I've learned a lot about digital radio (DMR) over the last week. One thing I didn't know is that I need a digital ID. I've already sent an email to get hold of that. I think I can just about program the radio. The digital set up it a little more complicated than analogue. I have to get contacts, talkgroups and colour codes into the right places so that my codeplug will work. New words for a new adventure.
To be honest I just want a DMR to listen to the digital simplex channels that bounce around town. I imagine that by the time I've got all the right frequencies dialed in I'll find that they're all encrypted.
Such is life.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Twists & Turns

I think I can say that it has been a good day.
Sunday wasn't so good. The drill press that I had ordered from an online store arrived damaged. Not really their fault, the manufacturer's idea of decent packaging fell way short of what one would expect for an item of that size and weight. The online store were great. They issued a postage label for a courier and a refund.
The courier was supposed to collect today but never showed which was a waste of a day for my girlfriend. After a lengthy phone call this evening it was decided with said online store that I couldn't use my work address for the parcel pickup and it was too heavy for someone to deal with at a drop off shop. What was I going to do with it? They told me to take it to a recycling centre. Fair enough.
I've got that in writing also so the drill press will be recycled.
I'll find somewhere that deals with that kind of activity.
Shouldn't be too difficult.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


It's only taken 5 months from concept to completion but it's done.
The Poc||GTFO skateboard has finally been for a spin.
It all started in January while searching charity shops for books which is something I do a lot. In an out of the way corner was a neglected deck once owned by Alex B. I don't know who he is but his name was Sharpie'd onto the trucks. The weather had been bad for skateboarding for a long time and the goal was to make a deck for riding in bad weather.
After a lot of work and some substantial purchases I created the deck you can see in the pictures. It's worth as much as my "good" deck but I'll still ride it on wet tarmac. That's what it was made to do.

So why the PoC||GTFO name?
PoC||GTFO AKA Proof of Concept or Get The F*** Out is a hacker publication. It's something I read to keep up to date with security stuff.
My concept was can I hack a cheap Amazon skateboard into something worth riding? I think I've proven that.
Having cruised my local park yesterday I can say that it's definitely a decent deck now that it's totally transformed. It's blisteringly fast too.
And the weather now it's finished?
It's good so I'm off for a cruise.