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[ISN] Transparency Grenade: Detonate cyberwar weapon to leak sensitive data
By Darlene Storm
Security Is Sexy
February 21, 2012
While there's plenty of cyberwar talk and hackers hitting sites before
leaking information like a weapon, now there's grenade to aid such
exploitation. A hacker / artist who helped create Newstweek, a hidden
device that hardware hackers could use to distort or otherwise
manipulate the news at Wi-Fi hotspots, is at it again. This time with an
information weapon designed to remind us of cyber warfare.
Julian Oliver, a Critical Engineer and tech savvy Berlin-based artist,
recently created the Transparency Grenade for a Studio Weise7
exhibition. Oliver wrote, "The lack of Corporate and Governmental
transparency has been a topic of much controversy in recent years, yet
our only tool for encouraging greater openness is the slow, dreary
process of policy reform. The Transparency Grenade offers an iconic cure
to these frustrations."
This grenade is modeled after a Soviet F1 hand grenade, but it doesn't
explode after the pin is pulled. Instead the Transparency Grenade (TG)
makes "the process of leaking information from closed meetings as easy
as pulling a pin." It's actually a tiny computer, microphone and
wireless antenna that captures network traffic and audio. Then it
anonymously and securely streams to a dedicated server before being
mined for juicy details. "Email fragments, HTML pages, images and voice
extracted from this data are then presented on an online, public map,
shown at the location of the detonation."
The data collected, streamed, mined and leaked is highlighted with a
large red "detonation" dot. Below is an example of a browser-based map
interface using San Francisco as the site of the Transparency Detonation
and then a partial screenshot of images viewed on the TG Transparency
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