Rasberry Pi, Delicious and Dangerous

There is a new computer coming out in 2012, and it’s an amazing little piece of hardware. The Rasberry Pi is a 700mhz Arm computer capable of outputting 1080p video over hdmi and composite video. The base model will retail for $25, and draw less than 1 watt of power under full load. The developers envision it as a way to get kids interested in computing, introducing them to programming and Linux at an early age on the cheap. But the device has a lot more potential than that. I can think of almost as many ways it could be used for malicious purposes as benign.

At minimum usage, the rasberry pi draws only 180 milliamps of power. Most usb ports can output up to 500mA of power. The rasberry pi is small enough to hide inside other devices, leeching off of usb power provided by the computer. That means that once someone writes a piece of software that turns it into a keylogger, you can upload that to a hundred rasberry pi’s and distribute them in a wide area on the cheap. Alternatively, you could put one inside of a computer tower, and use it as an proxy connection, file repository, or anything else your heart desires.

It doesn’t matter if the pi is discovered, only that it steals enough passwords, credit cards, or social security numbers beforehand. Another plus is that the rasberry pi is designed to be simple enough for children to use, which means that its simple enough for the dumbest criminals. Sys Admins may find themselves with a large security problem, and a larger collection of these computers in a very short time.

For more information on the rasberry pi, visit their website:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/ 

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3 thoughts on “Rasberry Pi, Delicious and Dangerous

  1. I never heard of Rasberry Pi and think it’s pretty interesting, but not exactly dangerous.

    Apparently there are two versions:
    The $25 low-end model that has 128 MB memory, one USB port and no Ethernet controller.
    Image:http://geektech.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Raspberry-Pi-Minicomputer1.jpeg

    The $35 model contains 256 MB memory, two USB ports and a 10/100 Ethernet controller.
    Image:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0e/Raspberry_Pi_board_at_TransferSummit_2011_cropped.jpg/771px-Raspberry_Pi_board_at_TransferSummit_2011_cropped.jpg

    I don’t think it’s much of a threat as a keylogger unless someone modifies one of these a lot. Obviously they only contain input USB ports and I’d find hardware keyloggers like this more dangerous: http://www.google.com/search?q=hardware+keyloggers&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1366&bih=646&prmd=imvns&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=jdy9TovGKaX20gG2yPTsBA&sqi=2&ved=0CF4QrQQ

  2. I think it’s a good product. Whatever product is produced there will always be a threat of someone misusing it but that shouldn’t stop us from developing new technology.

  3. I think that a good way to fix the problem of hackers putting the Rasberry Pi inside a computer tower is to just physically lock each of the towers. Locks are easy to set up and are efficient at keeping someone out. Even though there are still a few other ways that hackers could use the Rasberry Pi to steal information, they will have a hard time opening a computer tower if it just locked. It would somewhat noticeable if a hacker came into a public area with several tools and started messing with the backs computer towers.

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