July 14

Online Anonymity Project Proxyham : REBOOT!

ProxyHam_2 ProxyHam_1

 

On July 1, 2015 Wired Magazine online printed this article about a new and unique way of achieving anonymity: Online Anonymity Project Proxyham

Here is the problem, apparently some unnamed legal entity and/or judge has issued a gag order against the company in an attempt to silence this information! Read here: Proxyham mysteriously vanishes!

So what are we going to do about it? Simple. I am going to start a series of blog posts here to show you how to build your own ProxyHam device. I invite anyone else who wants to, send me details of their similar devices and I will publish them as well!

I don’t give a (Insert bad language here) about the judges who issue such illegal, and unconstitutional orders.

I am going to repost the article here because it is possible that Wired may also get a gag order, so I am going to make sure the info gets out there:

COURTESY BEN CAUDILL

At the upcoming DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas next month, Caudill plans to unveil ProxyHam, a “hardware proxy” designed to use a radio connection to add a physical layer of obfuscation to an internet user’s location. His open-source device, which he built for $200, connects to Wi-Fi and relays a user’s Internet connection over a 900 megaherz radio connection to their faraway computer, with a range of between one and 2.5 miles depending on interference from the landscape and buildings. That means even if investigators fully trace the user’s internet connection, they’ll find only the ProxyHam box the person planted in a remote library, cafe, or other public place—and not their actual location.

Caudill, a researcher for the consultancy Rhino Security Labs, compares his tool to typical tactics to hide the source of an Internet connection, like using a neighbor’s Wi-Fi, or working from a coffee shop instead of home. But “the problem with Wi-Fi as a protocol is that you can’t get the range you need. If the FBI kicks down the door, it may not be my door, but it’ll be so close they can hear me breathe,” says Caudill. “[ProxyHam] gives you all the benefits of being able to be at a Starbucks or some other remote location, but without physically being there.”

ProxyHam, which Caudill says he’ll offer for sale at cost to DefCon attendees and will also teach users how to build with instructions on his website and ProxyHam’s Github page (both available after DefCon), is actually two devices. The first part is a box the size of a large dictionary, containing a Raspberry Pi computer connected to a Wi-Fi card and a small 900 megaherz antenna, all of which is meant to be plugged in at some inconspicuous public place—Caudill suggests a dark corner of a public library. On the other end of a radio connection, the user plugs in a 900 megaherz antenna into his or her ethernet port. (In the picture above, Caudill uses a giant Yagi antenna, but he says a much smaller $57 flat patch antenna works, too.)

Caudill intends ProxyHam to protect sensitive Internet users, such as dissidents and whistleblowers, for whom tools like VPNs and even the anonymity software Tor may not provide sufficient security. If an attacker can manage to install malware on the user’s PC, for instance, that malware can circumvent Tor and send the user’s IP address directly to the attacker. But with ProxyHam, that malware attack would only lead investigators to the ProxyHam device, not the user. “The KGB isn’t kicking in your door,” says Caudill. “They’re kicking in the door of the library 2.5 miles away.”

To avoid radio detection on the user’s end, ProxyHam’s wireless signals are designed to look indistinguishable from the many cordless telephones that use the same frequency. And Caudill says the rise of more internet-connected wireless gadgets will provide further cover for ProxyHam users over time. “There are a ton of devices jumping into that space and communicating there,” he says. “It’s not feasible to say ‘we’ll chase down everyone who has this device communicating on this frequency.’ It’s a needle in a haystack.”

No one should depend on ProxyHam alone—particularly until its security has been proven in real-world testing, says Micah Lee, a security technologist for The Intercept and occasional developer for the anonymous whistle-blowing software SecureDrop. But Lee points out that it can be used in combination with existing anonymity software like VPNs and Tor. “It seems like a thing to augment your Tor usage rather than replace it. In that sense, it seems like a good idea,” he says. Lee himself counsels anonymous leakers who use SecureDrop to send secrets to a news organization to first connect to a public Wi-Fi network. ProxyHam, he says, could accomplish something similar. “No matter how many hops over the Internet you use, if there’s someone spying on everything, they can connect all the dots. But if one of the hops isn’t over the Internet and is instead over a radio link, it’ll be a lot harder to connect those dots.”

The version of ProxyHam Caudill intends to sell at DefCon will be fairly basic. But in future versions he’s still developing, Caudill says the device will also include accelerometers designed to detect and warn users if it’s been moved from its hiding place. He’s even hoping to include a microphone that can act as a “black box” recorder to relay to the owner the last few moments of audio the ProxyHam hears before it’s disconnected. All of that, says Caudill, is intended to prevent investigators from discovering a ProxyHam and then tampering with it to eavesdrop on its communications or to trap a user who comes to fix or retrieve it.

Going to the trouble of buying and planting a ProxyHam device—one that if used safely, you may never see again—may sound like paranoia. But Caudill intends ProxyHam to protect the very most sensitive people on the internet, those for whom mere software protections aren’t good enough. “Journalists and dissidents in Arab Spring countries, for instance…these people have very high security requirements,” Caudill says. “This is that last-ditch effort to remain anonymous and keep yourself safe.”

Okay, now for technical details: This is from Errata Security website: ProxyHam conspiracy is nonsense

The talk was hype to begin with. You can buy a 900 MHz bridge from Ubquiti for $125 (or MicroTik device for $129) and attach it to a Raspberry Pi. How you’d do this is obvious. It’s a good DEF CON talk, because it’s the application that important, but the technical principles here are extremely basic.

NOTE: CCE Readers, here is the link to the device at NewEgg:Buy UbiQuiTi NanoStation

If you look careful at the pic in the Wired story on ProxyHam, it appears they are indeed just using the Ubuiti device. Here is the pic from Wired:

And here is the link to Ubquiti’s website: Ubquiti. Look at the top pic at the Device and the Yagi Antenna.

Again from Errata Security:

I don’t know why the talk was canceled. One likely reason is that the stories (such as the one on Wired) sensationalized the thing, so maybe their employer got cold feet. Or maybe the FBI got scared and really did give them an NSL, though that’s incredibly implausible. The feds have other ways to encourage people to be silent (I’ve personally been threatened to cancel a talk), but it wouldn’t be an NSL.

And finally, here is another post that explains much of the technology needed to build these devices using the Rasberry Pi, 35 dollar computer.

Build your own Anonymity Device

UPDATE: 07/15/2015: Another great site with info on building your own ProxyHAM! : How to Build a Proxy Ham Device : Suck it Uncle Sam!

September 21

Building the Steampunk Lightning Detector…

The Steam-punk Lightning Detectors that I sell on Etsy (See my Etsy Store badge on the right) were created using a modified form of the lighting detectors found at the TechLib.com, designed by Charles Wenzel.

lightnew2sch

The basic circuit is shown above, However I made some changes for the Steam-punk version.

This unit contains about 100 man hours of work to produce the Victorian appearance of age in the stain, the brass, steel, leather, and glass of the detection lamp assembly and wooden base etc.  True working Steam-Punk art is not cheap and there is a good reason – it is hard to build!

But for the real Steam-Punk aficionado looking for a piece that really works, this unit is a must have.  Visit my Etsy store if you are interested. (Special note: This particular unit was sold in just a few weeks after posting, so if you want to order one, just go to the shop and send me a message.  I am currently  as of 03/13/2015 building two more detectors, one under commission, and one that I intend to sell).

Now… onto the build itself.

Lightning_Detector_4

The parts laying about before assembly…

Aging and staining the wood for the base took nearly 2 weeks of solid work to get the right look I was going for: A cherry stain that looked like it had been around for sometime. Everything else had to be in period materials from leather in the base of the Cobalt Blue Lamp assembly – the blue glass itself, all connectors and art-worked pieces had to be of brass if at all possible or other metals.

Lightning_Detector_3

The Cobalt Blue Detection Lamp Assembly…

The lamp tube is cut from a blue bottle. That took three tries with my expensive bottles… The base is a solid cast brass candle base.The top and ball are from old door-knobs and Victorian curtain assemblies. Threaded brass rod, springs, leather complete the unit.

Lightning_Detector_2

The Circuitry before insertion into the base of the Lamp Assembly…

Using “dead-bug” style circuit assembly procedure, (and after verification of the circuit) everything was encased in a wax base to keep parts from moving once assembled into the base. The small black unit is the hidden speaker that is used to announce approaching lightning or, to allow the “Voices of the Aether’s” to speak forth – in other words, if you take this unit to the northern regions when the Aurora Borealis is up, you will hear it’s weird moaning in this speaker.  Or perhaps if you take it to your local cemetery you can hear ghosts there as well… who knows?

Lightning_Detector_9

The controls Close-up

The switch allows near and far detection. The control knob changes the Q of the coil for allowing more tight tuning of the strikes.

Lightning_Detector_8

The Final Product…

And the final product is a wonder to behold! Again, about 100 man hours of work here!

Below is a video of the Detector in action…The sound you hear is the rain pounding on my castle laboratory, and my evil cat (“Kitty”*) meowing in the background! And Thunder too…

*Actually, Kitty is not evil, she just likes to lay on whatever it is you are working on. I guess that is fairly typical of a cat.

January 21

John Bedini’s “Scalar Beam” Device

Okay I will be honest with you, I believe about 99% of the free energy advocates are either ignorant of basic electrical principles, charlatans, or are just plain nut-jobs. In fact even the Guru of Weird Science, Bill Beaty agrees – read his excellent post about Free Energy and the promoters of such here.

But John Bedini is a bit different.

He actually owns a company that back in the 80’s and 90’s that made some of the best audio amplifiers in the business.  These were the kind that were found in recording studios. He designed and built them.  He is a real electrical engineer.  His company was called Bedini Electronics and here is pic of just one of his awesome amplifiers.

That, my friend, is a very nicely made amplifier!

So when he claims that he has found ways of producing “Scaler Fields” and “Longitudinal Waves”, any good scientist and experimenter should not just brush him off.  This guy has some serious street cred!

I plan on looking real hard a some of the stuff that has been attributed to Mr. Bedini as well as stuff he has actually said/did/designed/built in this burgeoning field of free energy and “Scaler Electrodynamics”.  Both of which are considered as nonsense by the established Science and Engineering worlds.

But the exciting discoveries in this world are never found where the “Establishment” is located, but always out on the lunatic fringe.  Unfortunately, as Mr. Beaty pointed out so eloquently, this is also where the scammers, con-men, and actual crazy people hang out as well.  Tread carefully!

Today I want to look at the so-called “Bedini Scaler Beam” Device. You can see a simple ascii drawing and description here, again by Mr. Beaty.  At this point I need to perform some clarifications…

Mr. Beaty is a great experimenter, builder, and thinker in his own right, however I have to take issue with his statement:

Here’s a suggestion for “scalar” experiments from a conversation with John Bedini.
Mr. Bedini encourages everyone to try this experiment, but warns us that this device
is patent applied for, so you should only build a single unit for your own use.
– Bill Beaty, 1/21/95

Um… I’m sorry, but with all due respect, nobody is going to be able to claim that gluing two magnets together in a bucking fashion and wrapping a coil of wire around it constitutes a “patentable” device.  Nope, sorry, but that is utter BS.  Make as many of these as you want, heck, sell them on ebay – I will (If I find out they actually do anything)!

It would be like me trying to patent the garbage can… oh wait, right, Apple already tried that.

So…anyway, I have reproduced this “Scaler Beam Device” in my own lab.

Using two Neodymium Magnets I pulled from an old disk drive I created a proto-type device.  Later, if it seems worth it, I will buy some block style magnets and build a much more robust version.

Even with the relatively small magnets I had, it was very difficult to get them to stay face to face in a “bucking” fashion (north to north or south to south).  I used a couple of zip ties to keep them together and wrapped some small diameter hookup wire around them.

Instead of using “motor noise” as shown in the original diagram, I opted to use a square wave pulse train generated from an old 7404 hex inverter hooked up as shown.

7404 hex inverter oscillator.

Breadboard Layout

I used the above general oscillator circuit with a C of 22Nf and R1 and R2 of 2200 ohms.  This gave a 25% duty cycle at approx 30Khz. Here is the circuit layout on my breadboard (Note I am using a different power supply than the one on my breadboard because I wanted a higher voltage and more power to the Bedini coil).

breadboard_3

My 1960’s era Sencore PS120 tube oscilloscope.

breadboard_5

Bedini Coil using 2 hard-drive Neodymium magnets

Here is a closeup of my “Bedini Coil” and breadboard of the circuit. As you can see I used 2 zip ties to hold these stubborn magnets together.  I wrapped the hookup wire around the assembly, and added a 100 ohm resistor in series as the coil did not have enough resistance to give a decent load to the oscillator – it acted like a dead short.  The resistor in series added enough load to actually pulse the coil.

I may actually perform the noisy motor test as well, but I think a controllable oscillator is a better lab test of this device.

Next is the waveform seen at the coil on the oscilloscope.

breadboard_4

Waveform on the Bedini coil – note there are voltage spikes at each transition of about 6 volts both positive and negative.

What can be seen here is that the coil exhibits a somewhat unusual waveform that has a 50% duty cycle and had transition voltage spikes.  I can understand the spike, but the change in duty cycle is strange.

 

Conclusions: At this point I did not notice any unusual “Scalar Field” non-sense.  No “Men in Black” came storming into my lab demanding that I stop experimentation with this stuff, and there were no changes to CDs or the taste of wine in the house as suggested by Bill Beaty.  Instead, I believe I will build a more robust version of this device with configurable frequency, and voltage levels, and of course, better measuring techniques.

What I am interested in testing is if there are indeed “longitudinal Waves” coming from this device, then they should be able to penetrate a Faraday shielded box and be detectable inside.

We shall see…

-David T. McKee

green-update-button-md

Updated on 02/10/2014

 

Hey kids… so I built a new “Bedini Scalar Beam Device”! So that means I must be “Breaking Copyright”… oh right, this is not a copyrightable device…

Moving on…

Here is an experimental schematic of what we are trying to build here – I got this picture from another on the web performing this experiment – he decided to put a xenon flash tube next to the magnet for whatever reason, I just want to give you a gist of what this device looks like.

scalarbm1-3D

The “Scalar Beamer” – or maybe a special kind of strobe light?

 

 

 

 

So here is my new Scalar Beamer – and I used both the electric motor scheme as Bill Beaty suggested as well as the DC square wave pulse oscillator I built for the initial tests.

This has 60 turns of doorbell wire wrapped around 2 ceramic rectangular magnets I got at Home Depot. I got similar waveforms as before and no immediate effects however I did note that a standard antenna coil was not picking up very much on the oscilloscope which is unusual.  I need to get some time and build a better set of enclosed detectors as well as get some magnet wire to wrap the magnets with.  There may be some strange principles with a coil like this, and it is worth another look.

Here is test coil # 2:

breadboard_6

Bedini coil # 2…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More updates to come!