Tag Archives: uae

internet security uae

Phone numbers as default eLife WiFi keys

antsThe UAE’s internet is pretty much provided by two ISP’s: Etisalat and Du who provide broadband services to its customers.

Focusing on the largest of the two, Etisalat, they provide a eLife program that allows triple play services into the homes of their customer base, which include a WiFi network. The problem though is that many of these wireless access points are setup by Etisalat’s technicians themselves, sporting a certain convention for encryption keys; the client’s mobile phone number.

This mobile number convention is a limited keyspace, with just a few numbers short of 36 million possibilities. (8999999 * 4 prefixes). Knowing a possible key, helps tremendously in brute forcing the keys of a Wireless network. To create a list that creates all these numbers in a list, one could write that in Perl:

#!/usr/bin/perl
# generates 05[0256][1-9][0-9]{6} numbers
$| = 1;
foreach my $a (0, 2, 5, 6){
  foreach my $b (1000000..9999999){ print "05".$a.$b."\n"; }
}

*Note: this script can be optimized of course, since it will be unlikely that you’ll have networks with several repetitive numbers having a default eLife installation.

Another handy fact is that “default” eLife setups have their SSID configured as etisalat-XXXXX where XXXXX is a “random” number.

Aside from “having free Internet access” to load balance your torrent web surfing traffic, there’s a much greater risk here.

eLife is delivered with a Aztech HW550 3G wireless router. These devices have an embedded version of Linux available, and Aztech was so kind to have make the source code available. Alternatively, you can resort to OpenWRT’s efforts, but the latter might raise some suspicion if the original owners decide to change something about their WiFi network.

Now, the danger lies in the following scenario:

  • Attacker adds a backdoor into the HW550’s firmware.
  • Attacker cracks your wireless keys and accesses your network
  • Attacker accesses your wireless router (assuming you didn’t change the admin password)
  • Attacker uploads the new firmware
  • Attacker has access to your connection at all times, can use it to launch attacks and tunnel connections

Since the HW550 has a MIPS CPU of “only” 384 Mhz, and only 32 Megabytes of RAM, it can’t be used for heavy load network traffic, but you get the basic idea. Aside from creating “AP zombies”, one could redirect your traffic to do a MITM attack, etc …

So, to prevent this scenario from happening, choose a strong Wireless encryption key and change it regularly. Or, install OpenWRT yourself, or just get an other (better) Access Point.
That, and living inside a Faraday cage, so nobody picks up your wireless signals.

uae

VoIP unblocked in the UAE, the UAE way.

skype remains blocked in the UAEAll hail, newspapers and radio’s stated that VoIP calls are now allowed in the UAE, but.. -and there’s a catch always- only “through licensed operators”.

In layman terms, VoIP calls will be billed and the prices will be set by those operators. So we’d have to wait and see if there will be big savings on VoIP calles, if any at all. The licensed operators would be:

  • Du
  • Etisalat
  • Thuraya
  • Yahsat

Of course, skype and vonage and the likes remains blocked, as they don’t generate revenue for the local market. Normal for a country with a large number of expatriates, whereby the telco’s main revenue is from overseas calls.

Thank you,
Michael

misc

Dubai Twestival 2009 #2

twestival
Hi all,
Just got back from the second Dubai Twestival that took place today at 8 PM. Organized by a wonderful team (PK, Woo, esperanca, Stephanie and Baher and Abhamalpani – please let me know who I missed), it was a success.

Thanks all,
Michael

uae

Dubai Credit Card Fraudsters arrested

Dubai Police arrested a gang of Arab men, who stole over 200 million dirhams using credit cards doing online shopping, Gulf News said.

They were tipped off in August about the guys, and caught most of them now (one out of four is out of the country).

security uae

Dubai jails yahoo email account hacker

An Egyptian secretary guessed the password of a yahoo account of an Emirati UN employee, and was sentenced to three months in jail and deportation.

The “hacker” emailed the victim that he broke into her email account, and was going to release pictures and “other secrets” of her, according to GulfNews.

Not the cybercrime caliber of russian extremist webmasters being “accidentially” executed, but still.