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WARNING: THE LATEST WAY OF PUBLIC DESINFORMATION THROUGHT PC’S SMARTPHONES AND TABLETS IS FINALLY UNCOVERED: Hidden device distorts news on wireless networks, brews beer, is time machine

Posted on: June 2, 2011

We covered the Newstweek, a wall-wart sized box that injects fake news stories over public WiFi connections last February, but now there’s a great walk through and it seems our doubts about this project were disproved.

The Newstweek uses ARP spoofing to change the text displayed on several news sites. After doing some field research, placing and configuring the device, there’s a simple web frontend that configures the man-in-the-middle hack. Right now, the Newstweek only allows a few news sites to be targeted, but the team is working on allowing anyone to add their own targets.

Aside from the relatively simple build, we’re wondering about the social engineering aspects of the Newstweek. In our previous coverage of the Newstweek, we couldn’t decide if this was a social commentary art project, or a real device. It looks like it’s both now. Would hackaday readers succumb to injecting, “President Bacon addressed the nation last night…” or would you do the responsible thing and put the “(D)s” and “(R)s” in their proper places?

The Newstweek team posted a video of a short demonstration, but check out the video after the break for the “incredibly geeky and thorough demo.”

Imagine what will happen if a group of People, Country will be targeted with Distorted Information through Internet like Google, Yahoo, Bing sites. Guys this smells like the 21st Century Informational War!

(The impatient can just scroll through to 04:45 to see the news manipulation in action)

With hardware hidden in a small, innocuous wall plug, we demonstrate wireless alteration of news headline:

“Beijing seeks to ease US fears”

to:

“Beijing to invest in US Army”

.. on an Acer Netbook, Macbook Pro and Nokia N900 smartphone.

This is done with the following trivial packet header and payload filter:

if (ip.proto == TCP && tcp.src == 80)
{
if (search(DATA.data, “Beijing\ seeks\ to\ ease\ US\ fears”))
{
replace(“Beijing\ seeks\ to\ ease\ US\ fears”, “Beijing\ to\ invest\ in\ US\ army\ “);
}
}

This could just as equally be performed in any cafe, school, library or airport with a remote user logging in and manipulating news content read by wireless network users. No connection with – or modification of – any software on the laptops, tablets, phones affected is required.
The skeptical should view in HD video to get a closer look at those wonderfully informative terminals!

Learn More here…

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