Zero Phone

ZeroPhone

Hackaday blog: There are several open source phones out there these days, but all of them have a downside. Hard to obtain parts, hard to solder, or difficult programming systems abound. [Arsenijs] is looking to change all that with ZeroPhone. ZeroPhone is based upon the popular Raspberry Pi Zero. The $5 price tag of the CPU module means that you can build this entire phone for around $50 USD.

Features:

  • Raspberry Pi Zero in a PCB sandwich
  • No proprietary connectors, hard-to-get parts or chips that are tricky to solder
  • All the specifications for making this phone yourself will be available
  • Python as the main language for developing apps (aiming to add other languages later)
  • UI toolkit making development quicker and easier
  • Numeric keypad, 1.3" 128×64 monochrome OLED screen (with screen header supporting other types of screens)
  • 2G modem for phone functions, can be replaced with a 3G modem
  • WiFi (using an ESP8266), HDMI and audio outputs, a free USB host port
  • GPIO expansion headers for customization
  • RGB LED and vibromotor – for notifications
  • Tons of Pi Zero-related hacks that were discovered along the way, that I'll share with you as the project goes =)

See also: Other posts tagged ‘Raspberry Pi’ & Phones for the people

Also, build a Raspberry Pi VPN Router w/ PIA →

Craft and creativity

ZeroPhone: a $50 Raspberry Pi smartphone

A Pi Zero-based open-source mobile phone that you can assemble for $50 in parts.

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E-115
Miscellany

Crypto is hard: The secret cryptographic features of Barbie typewriters

The Barbie Typewriters are low-cost electronic typewriters developed as a children’s toy by Mehano in Slovenia (formerly Yugoslavia) and sold worldwide by Mattel.

Crypto Museum: Apart from a range of typesetting features, such as letter-spacing and underline, this children’s toy was capable of encoding and decoding secret messages, using one of 4 built-in cipher modes. These modes were activated by entering a special key sequence on the keyboard, and was explained only in the original documentation.

E-115 interior

When the E-115 was adopted by Mattel as an addition to the Barbie™ product line, it was aimed mainly at girls with a minimum age of 5 years. For this reason the product was given a pink-and-purple case and the Barbie logo and image were printed on the body. As it was probably thought that secret writing would not appeal to girls, the coding/decoding facilities were omitted from the manual. Nevertheless, these facilities can still be accessed if you know how to activate them.

German manual for E-118

(via @mwichary)

See also

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The Art of Security

A postmodern infographic.

The Art of Security

Jack Leonard: The design of this infographic is a tribute to swiss modernism & the postmodern movement. It features Bauhaus style type & distorted illustrations and makes for heavy use of images.

I chose to incorporate pictures of faces and people to play on the stark dissonance between security and people.

See also other posts tagged ‘security’ and ‘infographics’.

Life on the Internet

The Art of Security

“This infographic distills the Art of Security. Dissimilar from the Art of War in the information security world we will never know our enemy and our battle is not one that can be won. So how can we ensure that we don’t lose that battle?”

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Conceptual rendering of a “battery case” style introspection engine, piggybacked on an iPhone6.
Shape of things to come

The Introspection Engine

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been working with hardware hacker Andrew “bunnie” Huang to develop a way for smartphone users to monitor whether their devices are making any potentially compromising radio transmissions.

“Trusting a phone that has been hacked to go into airplane mode is like trusting a drunk person to judge if they are sober enough to drive.”

The Intercept: Since a smartphone can essentially be made to lie about that state of its radios, the goal of Snowden and Huang’s research, according to their post, is to “provide field-ready tools that enable a reporter to observe and investigate the status of the phone’s radios directly and independently of the phone’s native hardware.” In other words, they want to build an entirely separate tiny computer that users can attach to a smartphone to alert them if it’s being dishonest about its radio emissions.

Snowden and Haung are calling this device an “introspection engine” because it will inspect the inner-workings of the phone. The device will be contained inside a battery case, looking similar to a smartphone with an extra bulky battery, except with its own screen to update the user on the status of the radios. Plans are for the device to be able to sound an audible alarm and possibly also to come equipped with a “kill switch” that can shut off power to the phone if any radio signals are detected. “The core principle is simple,” they wrote in the blog post. “If the reporter expects radios to be off, alert the user when they are turned on.”

Against the Law: Countering Lawful Abuses of Digital Surveillance, paper by Andrew ‘bunnie’ Huang and Edward Snowden:

Our introspection engine is designed with the following goals in mind:

  1. Completely open source and user-inspectable (“You don’t have to trust us”)
  2. Introspection operations are performed by an execution domain completely separated from the phone’s CPU (“don’t rely on those with impaired judgment to fairly judge their state”)
  3. Proper operation of introspection system can be field-verified (guard against “evil maid” attacks and hardware failures)
  4. Difficult to trigger a false positive (users ignore or disable security alerts when there are too many positives)
  5. Difficult to induce a false negative, even with signed firmware updates (“don’t trust the system vendor” – state-level adversaries with full cooperation of system vendors should not be able to craft signed firmware updates that spoof or bypass the introspection engine)
  6. As much as possible, the introspection system should be passive and difficult to detect by the phone’s operating system (prevent black-listing/targeting of users based on introspection engine signatures)
  7. Simple, intuitive user interface requiring no specialized knowledge to interpret or operate (avoid user error leading to false negatives; “journalists shouldn’t have to be cryptographers to be safe”)
  8. Final solution should be usable on a daily basis, with minimal impact on workflow (avoid forcing field reporters into the choice between their personal security and being an effective journalist)

See also

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This ‘Tor Flow’ visualization shows information flow between relay servers of the Tor network for a selected day.

The Tor network is a group of volunteer-operated servers (relays) that allows people to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. Tor’s users employ this network by connecting through a series of virtual tunnels rather than making a direct connection, thus allowing both organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.

(via Boing Boing)

See also: Drone strikes: an infographic; Edward Snowden on freedom; ‘1984’ stealth fashion for the under-surveillance society; Paranoid Android: Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2.

Life on the Internet

Tor Flow: Mapping the Tor network

“Torflow is a visualization of the vast amounts of traffic streaming between its many nodes, delineating a map of the internet as it can’t otherwise be seen.” — Rob Beschizza, Boing Boing

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Silent Circle logo

Silent Circle Blackphone 2

On the surface, the phone looks like your standard 5.5-inch screened smartphone—the same size as the iPhone 6 Plus. The original Blackphone had an odd rounded back cover and “Blackphone” embossed into its plastic, and the Blackphone 2 is almost anonymous by comparison. The Silent Circle and Blackphone logos are subtly printed on its back and easily covered by a case for those who prefer not to drop a phone that screams, “I am carrying a secure phone!” into a security checkpoint x-ray machine basket.

[…] it might not have a stylus, the fastest processor, or the most powerful graphics engine, but it will serviceably perform as a smartphone while not giving you up to surveillance. The Blackphone 2 is the phone your chief information security officer will want your CEO to carry.

See also:

Shape of things to come

Paranoid Android: Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2

“Silent Circle—founded by Phil Zimmerman (creator of PGP), former Entrust Chief Technology Officer John Calas (the man behind much of the security in Mac OS X and iOS), and former Navy SEAL and security entrepreneur Mike Janke—bought out Geeksphone and absorbed the joint venture. The company hired a new CEO (former Entrust CEO and Nortel President Bill Conner), renamed and rebuilt its Android-based operating system, upgraded the infrastructure of its encrypted voice and text communications network, and built an entirely new hardware platform based on a somewhat more industry-standard chipset. All of that has led the team toward Blackphone 2.” — Ars Technica

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ZXX_ABC

z-x-x.org – an experimental typeface designed by Sang Mun to raise awareness of surveillance issues.

The name ZXX comes from the Library of Congress’ Alpha-3 ISO 639-2 — codes for the representation of names of languages. ZXX is used to declare No linguistic content; Not applicable.

“Just like the animals we need to start adopting new ways to conceal ourselves from the autocratic predators, in this case governments and corporations.”

See also:

Shape of things to come

ZXX: A typeface to open up governments

“Over the course of a year, I researched and created ZXX, a disruptive typeface. I drew six different cuts (Sans, Bold, Camo, False, Noise and Xed) to generate endless permutations, each font designed to thwart machine intelligences in a different way. I offered the typeface as a free download in hopes that as many people as possible would use it.” – Sang Mun

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