Category Archives: Hardware

Cold boot attack, not a threat to Full disk encryption (FDE)

Since the new cold boot attack hack is on the news, touching most of the software encryption solutions, I have wondered if it had any chance to concern also hardware encryption.

Hardware encryption is provided by a few laptop makers, generally on high-range an business models.

It has much less performance impact than software encryption, and protect the data independently from your system configuration and its partitions.

Full disk encryption is the so called hardware encryption technology used by Lenovo on my Thinkpad.

Continue reading

How to connect to a Cisco device using the serial port on Linux

Using the serial port is still necessary to manage some devices, when it is reseted to factory defaults. It could be also a security choice…

Nowadays many computers – and especially laptops don’t have anymore a built-in serial port. Not a problem, there are many cheap serial-usb converters like this.

As an alternative to the Hyperterminal of Microsoft, there is Minicom on Linux.

It is very easy to install and configure :

$ apt-get install minicom lrzsz

Before going further, you need to know what is the corresponding Linux device for the port where you plugged the router. As I used an usb adapter, my device was /dev/ttyUSB0. Otherwise, it will probably be one of the /dev/ttyS* devices.
Checking the dmesg output while you plug the device will give you the right device to use.

Now start minicom this way to edit the configuration :

$ minicom -s

In the menu, select Serial Port Configuration and :

  • press A and update the serial port path with the one you found in dmesg
  • press E and then C to change the speed to 9600
  • press F to switch off the hardware flow control
  • select Save the configuration as… and name it as, let’s say, “cisco”

You should be able to connect right now. Next time, just start Minicom like this :

$ minicom cisco

That’s it !