QOTW #32 – How can mini-computers (like Raspberry Pi) be applied to IT security?

2012-08-06 by . 0 comments

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This week’s question is nominated by me: How can mini-computers (like Raspberry Pi) be applied to IT security?

There are 2 parts to the question.

1) What practical applications such mini-computers have in IT security, or what role they could play in cyber-defense, network analysis, etc.

2) What risks might they introduce to a local network environment that should be considered?

The top rated answer by Tobias, suggest that mini computers like the Raspberry Pi could be used as cheap penetration testing tools, linking to the Pwnpi distribution, a specialized linux distro for the Raspberry Pi. The answer also links to the Pwnplug, a small compact penetration testing drop box that has a full suite of penetration testing tools.

The answer by Rofls reinforces the answer by Tobius, stating the mini-computers like the Raspberry Pi could be used as cheap, disposable hardware for hacking when coupled with a USB Wireless Adapter. The hacker would only lose a small amount of money if the Raspberry Pi was discovered.

The answer by Diarmaid links to IPFire, which can turn the Raspberry Pi into a cheap.firewall or IDS/IPS.

adamo also suggest that the Pi can be used to build cheap sensor networks to monitor Wifi, Ethernet or Bluetooth. He also suggest that the Pi can be used as emergency DHCP or DNS servers in situations where a quick fix is needed.

The Raspberry Pi is an example of a growing class of cheap hardware that can be used for hacking and penetration testing purposes. HakShop has a great set of cheap hardware that can perform task that used to require dedicated equipment costing thousands of dollars. This makes the threat of hacking even more prevalent as more users are able to afford the hardware needed to perform specialised task.

This is clearly going to present a new and interesting challenge for security professionals to defend against. I look forward to seeing what solutions the many bright minds in this industry can come out with.

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