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Potential DC23 contest: the Old-School Hacking Challenge

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  • Potential DC23 contest: the Old-School Hacking Challenge

    Welcome to DEF CON; many of us were going before you were born (or not far behind). Get off our lawn, and out of the way of our Rascal scooters.

    With that out of the way, there's a question that needs to be answered: what happens when today's hacker is faced with the challenge of a quarter-century ago? Broadband in 1989 meant 9600 baud; BBSes were your network unless you were at college. Payphones were an anonymous conduit onto world-accessible systems, and the network that presented them to you was itself both beautiful and flawed, yet brilliant at the same time.

    Here's the basic idea: you get a phone jack. One, two-wire, RJ-11 jack. From there, you have to pwn. Hints will be given, and there will be clues to obtain... But you have to figure the rest out for yourself. And remember: thou shalt not phreak from thine home phone.

    That said, we're open to ideas. If you have any, feel free to mention them here. If they work in the context of the contest, we'll include them with appropriate credit.

  • #2
    Re: Potential DC23 contest: the Old-School Hacking Challenge

    I have an old laptop with Windows 3.1 on it, we can designate that older hardware be used as well. Sort of like a stone age war. You can't go back in time with today's weapons. You can code new hacks too, but only in the languages of days gone by.

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    • #3
      Re: Potential DC23 contest: the Old-School Hacking Challenge

      Originally posted by skroo View Post
      Here's the basic idea: you get a phone jack. One, two-wire, RJ-11 jack. From there, you have to pwn.
      Originally posted by astcell View Post
      I have an old laptop with Windows 3.1 on it
      Skroo - RE:PSTN/POTS, how about a steel-encased cable headed to a payphone? Bring acoustic couplers into the mix.

      Ast - On that Windows 3.1 machine, don't connect a mouse. See how many people (even those who were around) remember the old keyboard shortcuts for GUI navigation.
      Last edited by t0x0; September 5, 2014, 09:51.

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      • #4
        Re: Potential DC23 contest: the Old-School Hacking Challenge

        Originally posted by astcell View Post
        I have an old laptop with Windows 3.1 on it, we can designate that older hardware be used as well. Sort of like a stone age war. You can't go back in time with today's weapons. You can code new hacks too, but only in the languages of days gone by.
        I like the old hardware Idea and how about instead of supplying an RJ11 just have a bunch of 66 blocks that have some tip and ring hot and some not, and the contestant uses a butt set or another tool to identify lines and then a punch down tool to connect.

        Some of the younger crowd may get a kick using a punch tool, learning color code and even tapping into different types of phone wiring configurations, (pots, 1A2, an old channel bank, etc..)

        heck, if we get the local ANAC (automatic number announcement circuit ) the youngsters can see what it was like before every device had ANI.

        How about ANI spoofing for that matter.

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        • #5
          Re: Potential DC23 contest: the Old-School Hacking Challenge

          My husband and I tried to get something like this off the ground when we were at the Riv. We could run through what we tried, what we learned, etc.

          Wanna conf sometime?

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          • #6
            Re: Potential DC23 contest: the Old-School Hacking Challenge

            The "mouse" on this laptop mounts on the side and is a mini rollerball. Serial port I think.

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            • #7
              Re: Potential DC23 contest: the Old-School Hacking Challenge

              Originally posted by nous View Post
              My husband and I tried to get something like this off the ground when we were at the Riv. We could run through what we tried, what we learned, etc.

              Wanna conf sometime?
              oh, i remember seeing that... the phreaking contest, you called it, right?

              when my company runs that x-traction point live exercise game, we often incorporate a TelTone on the back end to provide real dial tones and such. participants can find a red rotary phone with a dial lock on it in the course. they have three options...

              1. pick the lock and dial a number to reach their support team
              2. find a lineman's butt pack and clip into the wires without cutting them, dial that way
              3. switchhook dial... harder than it looks to some folk! :-)
              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
              - Trent Reznor

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              • #8
                Re: Potential DC23 contest: the Old-School Hacking Challenge

                Somewhere I've got a whole BOX of this *Junk*. From RLL to DLL drive controllers, to old PULL HERE to park the heads of your HD.

                To me its junk, yet memory of the past. Seeing this thread content made me smile.

                Damn I'm old...

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                • #9
                  Re: Potential DC23 contest: the Old-School Hacking Challenge

                  Originally posted by skroo View Post
                  ...many of us were going before you were born (or not far behind). Get off our lawn...
                  Did you see OpenCTF at DefCon22? We had 96 POTS lines ran to our contest tables. The scoreboard was a "BBS" if you will. Our contest was ran on dial-up. We had phone tree adventure (press 1 to go north), phreaking requiring DTMF A,B,C, and D, and a wide variety of other phone shenanigans. I even configured our modem banks to support multi-link, but nobody playing the game tried to bundle their modems.

                  Your contest sounds like fun, and I can make an equipment donation to get you the modems banks you desire / need? I am holding on to these things for some god awful reason, and want them gone. :)

                  Subsequently the vendor, UNIX Surplus, decided to NOT sell modems last year because they never sold the past X^n defcons; Needless to say, they were pissed. :)

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                  • #10
                    I might just still remember how the hell to set up a Fidonet node and UUCP gateway if that's of any interest. It's been 20 years but I imagine I can dredge it up :).

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