Protect Your Internal Network With A LOW COST Honey Pot

It would appear that more and more companies and home users are becoming victim to bad actors intruding on their network. Weather it be a targeted attack or drive by malware, network security is a hot topic in today’s IT landscape. In this article I will describe how you can build a low cost Honey Pot that can help alert you to an intrusion before its too late.

What is a Honey Pot?

In simple terms a Honey Pot is a device  on your network that looks appetizing to a hacker.  Like drawing a bear to a pot of honey. This device will advertise services that appear vulnerable and maybe draw an attacker in for further investigation. At a minimum it can simply be used as an internal “trip wire” to alert you someone poking around.

Why does a honey pot work?

Stop Hackers WIth A Honey PotI’m Joe hacker and I have just installed malware on one of your employees workstations. I have quickly gained access and I am now able to execute code and commands. What is the first thing I’m going to do? If you said start poking around you would be correct. After I look for anything of value on my host computer I will quickly begin scanning the subnet looking for hosts that are alive. I will also begin mapping the network for services that are possibly vulnerable to attack. This is where the Honey Pot fits in. It has been patiently siting on your network waiting for someone to direct a packet of data in its direction and alert you to possible trouble.

I’m in! How much does a honey pot cost?

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Weekend Project – 2011-2014 Dodge Charger Backup Camera Replacement

Over the last few months the backup camera on my wife’s 2014 Dodge Charger has been intermittently failing to send picture to the console display. The radio / head unit is functioning normally for climate control functions and AM/FM/ and Satellite is working OK too, so I began to troubleshoot the wiring.

During the troubleshooting process, with the backup camera active I disconnected the unit from the cars wiring harness and then reconnected it. At that point the camera begins transmitting again. (think reboot) The next time the camera is activated it fails once again.

This leads me to believe the unit is bad and needs to be replaced. A call to the Dodge dealership quoted me a price of over $350 for parts and labor. I quickly sourced the part on Amazon for around $197

OEM – Mopar  2011-2014 Dodge Charger / Chrysler 300 Backup Camera – $197 at Amazon

 

Tools you can use:

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Fun Desk Clock From Recycled iPhone 5

Technology changes so fast, and we all want the latest gadget, but what is the cost of consuming so much? Big business wants us to keep buying devices, even if the old ones are still good. We wind up with millions of abandoned iPhones, Androids and tablets. Some are recycled responsibly while tens of thousands are just tossed in the trash or the back of your desk draw never to be seen again.   Here is a super simple way to recycle your old iPhone into a great retro looking desk clock.

Recycle Your iPhone into a clock – WHAT YOU NEED

 

I needed a stand for my clock and since my objective was to keep this project as simple and low cost as possible. I started with two 3×5 acrylic photo frames.

 

3×5 acrylic frame. Very low cost, about $5.00 at Amazon

 

You will also need 8 flat rare earth magnets (Neodymium) The stronger the magnets the better. Keep them small and flat, the actual shape round or square does not matter. $14.00 at Amazon

 

A little glue to hold it all together. I tend to like GOOP, but any strong adhesive should do. Goop at Amazon $ 11.00

 

 

The last two items you probably have around the house.

  • A colored spay paint for tinting the acrylic frames, I used black.
  • Some type of counter weight for the back of the stand to give it stability, I used a pair of hard drive spindle motors.
Putting it together

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Battery Replacement – Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

It seems like everyone on this planet likes the latest shinny new gadget, and I’m no exception. However, there are times when one of those gadgets has everything you want in it and does a good job. My Samsung Galaxy Tab S is one of them.

Its OEM battery is running on fumes and basically it needs to be tethered to the wall almost all the time. Rather than toss it in the trash or take it to the kiosk in the mall I figured I would make a run at changing the battery myself. This replacement was MUCH easier than expected. I have changed a number of iPhone batteries over the years and they are a pain to do (because of all the glue). The Galaxy was easy and only took about 15 minutes to complete.

TOOLS AND PARTS

First stop was to Amazon to check out the replacement battery choices. There was a number of different  units on sale from $17 to about $55. While scrolling through they all seem to be the same Chinese replacement so I simply picked the lowest cost kit

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Making a great home network!

Moving into a new home or simply switching Internet providers can be a daunting task. Cable companies offer so many TV, Internet and Phone packages and combination of packages it could be hard to decide. How much bandwidth do I really need? How do I protect my network from hackers? What is the best WiFi access point and how do I maximize my range?

These are a few questions I will try to answer in this blog posting and maybe save you some money in the process.

How much bandwidth do I really need?

There was a period of time during 2017 the cable companies were having their marketing departments spin how fast their internet connections could be and they would compete for your business. 50/50 MB not enough were offering 100mb.. no were offering 900mb etc and so forth. If you’re not sure how much speed you need READ THIS. Personally I have 75/75 at home and my family is your typical Netflix / Amazon / Fortnite ECT and we are doing just fine.


How do I protect my network from hackers?

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Help – My 2003 – 2007 Honda Accord Trunk Won’t Open

My 18 year old son is driving a 2007 hand-me-down Honda Accord coupe and last week he came home and said, DAD – HELP! My trunk wont open. I immediately said did you overload the trunk with your hockey equipment and one of the bag straps get caught in the striker? He said no way, it opened at the hockey rink when I put my bag in the back, but now its stuck.

HOW TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE TRUNK

I initially tried pulling up on the trunk lid, even slid a crowbar in between the lid and the bumper (yes I know dumb move, but hey its a 12 year old car so its already scratched). I could here the electric solenoid trying to pull the lock open and we even pulled the manual release from up front. NO JOY. Its a good thing the back seats fold down in this car because we were able to gain access to the trunk and remove most of the contents. Finally my son was able to hit the emergency release on the latch and POP the trunk opened.


WHY DID IT FAIL?
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2014 – Dodge Charger Steering Wheel Heater & Rear Seat Heater DEAD!

Here we are in mid January and my wife informed me during a drive the other day her steering wheel heater was dead on her 2014 Dodge Charger. The car has software buttons on the touch screen to activate the heater and when pressed, it goes on and within 2 seconds turns off.

I began doing research for causes and typical issues are the clock spring in the steering column, computer control module among other items. A day later we were out with the kids and i was bummed the steering wheel heater was broken and from the back seat the kids said hey.. our rear seat heaters are dead too. It immediately dawned on me to check the fuse box!

Where are the fuses?

Like many modern cars there are multiple fuse boxes in and around the vehicle. Some are under the dash board, some in the engine bay, and in our case the seat / steering wheel heater are in the trunk.

To access the fuse box you need to remove everything from the trunk and lift the trunk floor (as if you were accessing the spare tire). Under the trunk floor you will find the spare tire, battery and a small black box next to the battery.

2014 Charger Trunk Fuse Box
Arrow indicates rear seat / steering wheel heater fuse.
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Modern twist on a retro cassette tape

Growing up in the 1980’s I was exposed to various types of analog media. I did have a record player, but they were not “cool” at that moment and I only owned a few LP’s. I even had a chance to dabble with my parents  8 track tapes, however they were on the decline when I discovered music. The medium of choice for my generation was the cassette tape. (until the compact disk came out)

Remember the old days

I can remember heading over to the local mall to shop Sam Goody’s huge assortment of cassettes, and then stopping by my local Radio Shack to purchase blanks to make copies for my friends. That was another life, when we all had high speed dubbing Dolby tape decks and “piracy” was still on the seas!

 

I was reminiscing the other day about how far we have come with digital media and was wondering how I could combine my love for cassette tapes into a digital format. I started taking apart my old tapes and trying to merge a USB drive into them, but didn’t have much luck. Then I had an ah-ha moment and decided rather than convert a cassette into a USB drive, why not make a USB drive that looks like a cassette.

The USB Cassette Was Born!

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Yesterday Radio Shack Electronics Project Kit – Today Elegoo on Amazon

I feel as if I have been a technology geek for as long as I can remember. I often wonder why as a child of the 80’s I gravitated toward electronics and not sports. I guess I would lay some of the blame on my father who seemed to push me toward electronics and would bring me all sorts of fun gadgets from Radio Shack.

Early Kits – Radio Shack Science Fair 160 in ONE

I have very fond memories of the Radio Shack Science Fair 160 in ONE Electronic Project Kit. As a kid I didn’t appreciate the components, but simply followed the instruction “cook” book and wired the circuits with the included jumpers. I can remember making a crystal radio, touch sensors,  sound generators (or color organs as they were called) It wasn’t long before I started making my own creations.

As I got older, I noticed the kits had started to vanish from Radio Shack. In my late teens and early twenties I even worked at Radio Shack for a while and the kits were all but gone!

30 Years later and WOW – These kits are amazing!

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Using your Sonicwall to make a public WiFi network

I have been a big fan of SonicWall products for the last 18 years. Even after being taken over by Dell, I still use Sonicwall in my office and at home. You may say its overkill to have one in my home, but I tend to model my home lab environment to my office environment. I like to think of my home network as a sandbox for testing things in the office.

This year we are making a big push for better security around the office and one topic that came up was the office WiFi. Currently the office Wifi shares the same LAN connection as the rest of the network. Even worse there is only one SSID for both the staff and guests. Even worse than that the SSID password has not been changed for 10+ years!

A project was commissioned to segment the WiFi network from the LAN, however it is important to allow the staff that works in the office access to the LAN via WiFi when needed.

Equipment RequireD

Sonicwall – I have a NSA2600, but any modern NSA device will do. If you’re not sure which Sonicwall to purchase, this is a great starter.

Sonicwall TZ300 Total Secure $679.99 at Amazon

 

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