[ISN] DARPA-Funded Hacker's Tiny $50 Spy Computer Hides In Offices, Drops From Drones

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2012 00:06:11 -0600 (CST)

By Andy Greenberg

Even more embarrassing than a student discovering your GPS tracking 
device on his car, as the FBI found out last year, is having to ask him 
to give the expensive piece of equipment back.

So security researcher Brendan O’Connor is trying a different approach 
to spy hardware: building a sensor-equipped surveillance-capable 
computer that’s so cheap it can be sacrificed after one use, with 
off-the-shelf parts that anyone can buy and assemble for less than fifty 

At the Shmoocon security conference Friday in Washington D.C., O’Connor 
plans to present the F-BOMB, or Falling or Ballistically-launched Object 
that Makes Backdoors. Built from just the hardware in a 
commercially-available PogoPlug mini-computer, a few tiny antennae, 
eight gigabytes of flash memory and some 3D-printed plastic casing, the 
F-BOMB serves as 3.5 by 4 by 1 inch spy computer. And O’Connor has 
designed the cheap gadgets to dropped from a drone, plugged 
inconspicuously into a wall socket, thrown over a barrier, or otherwise 
put into irretrievable positions to quietly collect data and send it 
back to the owner over any available Wifi network. With PogoPlugs 
currently on sale at Amazon for $25, O’Connor built his prototypes with 
gear that added up to just $46 each.

“If some target is surrounded by bad men with guns, you don’t want to 
have to retrieve this, but you also don’t want to have to pay four or 
five hundred dollars for every use,” says O’Connor. “The idea is that 
it’s as close to free as possible. So you can throw a bunch of these 
sensors at a target and get away with losing a couple nodes in the 


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Received on Mon Jan 30 2012 - 22:06:11 PST

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