Archive for category Technology & Home Entertainment

UPC Broadband WiFi Router susceptible to a simple brute force attack

Many Internet users in Ireland are well aware of the Eircom wireless router hack that showed just how easy it would be for someone to compromise the poor security design of some Wifi routers. In Eircom’s case, they were providing all their Broadband customers with routers that could be compromised and accessed by hackers, simply by using the digits of the routers default SSID. Hackers figured out that by using the digits set up by default when you turned on your Eircom wifi router, you could generate the routers password within seconds by compromising the poorly thought out security algorithm.

Now it seems, UPC broadband is the latest Irish broadband provider that could fall foul to potential hackers. It seems our ISPs, in an attempt I can only assume, to make the set up and install of their routers a simple task for their less tech savvy customers – does nothing but create holes for hackers to exploit.

Recently an Irish IT company, discovered that UPC’s broadband routers are susceptible to a brute force attack based on the algorithmn used to generate the passwords that they stick to the back of all their routers.

The hack is definitely not as easy to exploit as the one Eircom introduced, but it’s still very attainable to any serious hacker or even a hobbyist who just wants to leech their neighbours broadband connection.

Check out the article from PlanIT Computing on how UPC’s routers can be exploited and what you can do to prevent an attack on you.

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Jailbreak PS3 v3.55 (PlayStation 3)

In September there was a major advance in terms of “exploiting” the PlayStation 3. Up until then, hacking the PS3 seemed near impossible. There were of course some who claimed they had compromised the popular gaming system, but nothing was ever released. That was of course until GeoHot announced in September that he had Jailbroken the PS3.

A few days ago, GeoHot released a video of a Jailbroken PS3 running a homebrew application. Today, the guide on how to Jailbreak your PS3 is here:

Jailbreak your PS3 (v3.55)

What you Need:
  1. USB Stick / Drive
  2. Jailbreak File

Jailbreaking PS3:

  1. Download the Jailbreak File
  2. Create a ‘PS3′ folder on the USB Stick
  3. Create another folder inside the ‘PS3′ Folder called ‘UPDATE’
  4. Unzip the  ‘’
  5. Copy the PS3UPDAT.PUP to the UPDATE directory that you just created on the USB stick
  6. Plug USB in PS3 and go to your PS3 System Settings
  7. Choose System Update and Update via Storage Device
  8. IT will ask for v3.55 Update press OK
  9. Install the Jailbreak Update.
  10. After less than a minute your PS3 will Update then shut down
  11. Power up your PS3 by clicking the power on your PS3 (do not start with PS3 Controller)
  12. Your PS3 should now be fully Jailbroken
  1. Copy into the root of your USB stick
  2. Connect your USB to your PS3
  3. Navigate to the Game Tab
  4. Choose Install Package Files
  5. Select Test.pkg
  6. This is a splash screen test which proves your PS3 can now run Homebrew.

Here’s a video of it in action:

I’d expect to see a major firmware update by Sony in the next day or so as they seem to act on any potential security holes like this pretty quickly!

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UPC / NTL launch High Definition TV service

NTL Communications (Ireland) Limited
Image via Wikipedia

It may be many moons behind, but the UPC‘s launch of it’s new High Definition TV service is a very much welcomed addition its list of services. UPC have been doing some great deals lately, in particular their broadband, TV and phone service from as little as €49 p.m., but this is surely their greatest offer yet.

For only an extra €7.50 per month to those who already have a digital NTL subscription, you can now get a High Defintion service. So what’s the catch you might say? Well I personally rang them up to avail of the offer, but they unfortunately don’t have it in my area yet.

UPC / NTL’s lack of availability is surely one the biggest downfalls in terms of their business offering. This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to avail of one of their services only to be told it’s not yet available in my area. I’m getting closer to switching to Sky every day – I have a HD TV that I simply can’t get use out of… C’mon UPC, get your act together!

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Kryptview, IT Gate, Dbox / Dbox2, Dreambox & Starview 4 – All cracked

NTL Communications (Ireland) Limited
Image via Wikipedia

Since March, forums that discuss information related to the so called “dodgy boxes” have been a hive of activity as desperate “dodgy box” users search anxiously for a fix for their defunct boxes. In March, NTL released a new encryption on it’s network in Ireland that effectively rendered all of these boxes useless. That new encryption is now known to be Nagravision 2.

However, it wasn’t long before the elite hackers for the Kryptview box were able to release a patch to bypass this new encryption and get their boxes back up and running. Other boxes, such as the IT Gate, Eurovox and Starview weren’t as fortunate. So far, three months on, there has only been fixes released for the IT Gate and the Starview 4 (The Box Super USB). For the owners of other, older versions of these boxes, the chance of getting a fix looks slim.

The hackers don’t seem that interested in helping the “old” customers in Ireland, but will gladly help you if you purchase one of their latest and greatest machines. That makes total sense from a business perspective. This is the best opportunity they have to get people to upgrade their boxes.

This has definitely been a huge success for NTL who were determined to remove these boxes from circulation – or were they? Think of it like this, apparently they’ve only scrambled the premium channels with the new encryption. Channels such as Sky Sports, Setanta and the Adult channels were the first to go. Yet, they seem to have left other channels only available to their digital subscribers. There’s clear evidence that NTL’s subscriptions greatly improved when the dodgy boxes were in full flow. Nearly everyone you spoke to had heard of these boxes and had jumped ship or cancelled their Sky subscription. Obviously Sky and Setanta weren’t too happy about this and let NTL know.

Now though, where are they going? Are they going to roll out Nagravision 3 that will most likely kill all of these boxes for a very long time (there has yet to be a crack for Nagra 3) or will they just continue with Nagravision 2? No-one seems to know the answer to this and only time will tell.

UPDATE: Dbox, Dbox2 & Dreambox now all have fixes. A few other linux boxes have been fixed too (just not sure what they are called!)

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New PlayStation Motion Controller Demo

When Nintendo released the most innovative controller the gaming world had ever seen back in 2006, Sony said that motion controllers were just a fad.

Obviously due to the phenomenal success of the Nintendo Wii, Sony have decided to released a prototype of their next generation motion controller, aptly named the PlayStation Motion Controller. The PlayStation Motion Controller is due to be released as a peripheral to the PS3 and isn’t planned solely to be released with a new console. It’s due to be released in 2010. Here’s the demo video of the controller in action.

Of course, Nintendo are due to release an add on for their Wii controller that will make it more sensitive later this month.

In the meantime, Microsoft who also claimed the Nintendo Wii was a fad, have been working hard on the so called “Project Natal” controller for the XBOX 360.

So far it looks “way out there”, maybe they are just using it to sow up all the patents before someone else does!

Here’s their demo video for Project Natal:

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