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Showing posts from March, 2017

Reading List, March 2017

Richard Baguley, Origin of wireless security: The Marconi radio hack of 1903, in HackADay, 2 March 2017. [Online]: https://hackaday.com/2017/03/02/great-hacks-of-history-the-marconi-radio-hack-1903/This is an interesting read that shows how the first “secure” radio transmission was hacked by a prankster. A fascinating story, but a relatively simple hack by today’s standard – a small transmitter very close to the receiver can hide the legitimate signal from a transmitter further away. The article does not touch upon how this is still an open challenge today, as most radio systems we use do not use any form of security. For instance, GPS signals can be spoofed using a pocket transmitter to perhaps move an aircraft off trajectory. ADS-B transmissions from aircraft are not encrypted, so one could easily use a transmitter to spoof actual air traffic control. Also see this DefCon20 talk for an interesting video on hacking ADS-B.Bruce Schneier, Uber uses ubiquitous surveillance to identify a…

Cornell Graduate Students United: At What Cost?

On Monday and Tuesday, we graduate students at Cornell will be voting on whether or not we want to unionise. Actually, scratch that, only graduate students who hold a TA, RA, or GRA appointment can unionise.This is a shitty arrangement, and I will be voting against it.For those of you who are not aware of how graduate school works at Cornell, you could be on one of many appointments.FellowshipA graduate student on a fellowship gets a stipend and tuition paid without associated teaching or research opportunities. Graduate students on a fellowship typically work towards their own theses, but will be excluded from the unionGraduate research assistantshipsA GRA gives a graduate student stipend and tuition without teaching responsibilities. However, this money comes out of a specific project grant, and the students typically work on their own theses. Students on GRAs magically qualify to join the union, whereas there is virtually no difference between a GRA and a fellowship for the most pa…