October 20, 2020

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2600 The Hacker Quarterly summer 2020 cover

2600 The Hacker Quarterly receives belated summer release

Finally, the summer issue of 2600 The Hacker Quarterly is out. Not wanting to wait for my copy to arrive in the mail I also purchased the digital (PDF) release for $4.99. Printing it out and reading it almost made me believe everything in this world was back to normal. Almost, for the 2600 magazine organization is also responsible for the Hacker On Planet Earth conference held every two years in New York. I was original intending to attend but COVID-19 made the trip impossible. Instead of a physical conference the organization switched gears and held a digital only version over the course of 9 days. It was a standout success with high attendance and a record number of speakers. It proves what people can do in difficult times and how that can be a catalyst for change. USB sticks of these talks can be purchased for $79.99.

2600 The Hacker Quarterly summer 2020 Tracking Wi-Fi Devices by Colombo

But it is the summer issue I want to discuss. As COVID-19 placed the magazine in more jeopardy than it already was it should be no surprise much of the issue is dedicated to that. The letters section is filled with subscribers wondering what the future of the magazine is going to be. So is the opening editorial. However, the cure appears to be simple. If more people purchase subscriptions, especially the digital version, then more will be saved. I for one don’t want to miss my quarterly dose of geek porn (term used by subscriber, not me). If 2600 The Hacker Quarterly continues to exist I won’t have to miss articles such as “Tracking Wi-Fi devices with Python and GPS” by Colombo. In this article a simple script is detailed on how to place your NIC in monitor mode and use a GPS device gather locations for Access Points.

2600 The Hacker Quarterly summer 2020 The Hacker Perspective

Some pretty good articles in this 2600 The Hacker Quarterly

It is a wonderful introduction to wardriving. I know what I will be doing in the autumn. This issues “Hacker Perspective” describes the live of a wannabe hacker who actually became a hacker. After a college education they slowly made their way into Pentesting before becoming a security consultant. Only recently have they started learning how to program using Python. It is a remarkable story. The odd reference to the movie Hackers from 1995 is also not missed. This issue of 2600 has more references than normal because it is the films 25th anniversary. How time flies, I still remember how I wrote a review for the movie on its 20th anniversary (see article). Most will remember it as a poor hacker movie, but the eclectic group of characters is amazing. They are the teenage friends we never had.

2600 The Hacker Quarterly summer 2020 Bad ISP OpSec

The article “Bad ISP OpSec” by JavinZ is interesting half-pager on how many ISP still issue default password for Wi-Fi based on access point name. In the case of Canadian ISP SaskTel the password is derived from the users telephone number, and the password is the same for the admin panel! The final article I wan to point out is “The Rise of the Machines – Learning to detect DGAs” by blodgic. It describes a technique to use machine learning tools to create an algorithm to detect DGA domains. These use random numbers, letters and characters to evade detection. Again, there is a script you can tinker with.

Do get a subscription!

And so I will say this was yet another successful issue of 2600 The Hacker Quarterly. My only gripe is that the number of practical articles is less then I hope for. Discussion on how to bypass security on 20 year old OSes are not that interesting (to me at least). Yet there is plenty for me to try out over the coming weeks. If you think this magazine is something you might like then get your own subscription. I personally prefer paper. These are $41.00 for overseas, $29.00 for US and Canada or $4.99 for a digital copy. I hope you enjoyed this review and lets hope that the COVID-19 situation will return to normal as soon as possible.