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PIN-Cracking Robot To Be Showed Off At Defcon

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the brute-force dept.

Security 114

Sparrowvsrevolution writes "At the Def Con hacker conference in Las Vegas early next month, security researchers Justin Engler and Paul Vines plan to show off the R2B2, or Robotic Reconfigurable Button Basher, a piece of hardware they built for around $200 that can automatically punch PIN numbers at a rate of about one four-digit guess per second, fast enough to crack a typical Android phone's lock screen in 20 hours or less. Engler and Vines built their bot, shown briefly in a preview video, from three $10 servomotors, a plastic stylus, an open-source Arduino microcontroller, a collection of plastic parts 3D-printed on their local hackerspace's Makerbot 3D printer, and a five dollar webcam that watches the phone's screen to detect if it's successfully guessed the password. The device can be controlled via USB, connecting to a Mac or Windows PC that runs a simple code-cracking program. The researchers plan to release both the free software and the blueprints for their 3D-printable parts at the time of their Def Con talk."

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114 comments

lock out? (1)

entirely_fluffy (756018) | about 9 months ago | (#44360081)

surely you are locked out after 3 unsuccessful attempts on Android?

Re:lock out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360135)

I would think so, though I'm not gonna try it just now.

Re:lock out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360163)

Get it wrong 10 times in a row (assuming you answer the "please enter BlackBerry to continue" questions as well) and the BlackBerry will wipe itself.

Seems like a pricey way to do a factory reset.

Re:lock out? (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#44360271)

The fuck? It's that easy to cause hassle?

Yes, I know a destructive colleague could just smash the 'phone, but there's a psychological barrier between causing mischief by swiping your hand across a screen, and being a physical vandal.

Re:lock out? (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 9 months ago | (#44360817)

With newer phones being synced to the cloud, wiping my phone is less of an issue today than it was a few years ago......

Re:lock out? (1)

Bigby (659157) | about 9 months ago | (#44361019)

And that since it is a blackberry, which I would think would be connected to a BES, it is only wiping corporate "cloud" stored information. BTW, this feature is why BB has been so strong for the enterprise.

Re:lock out? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360165)

"But every Android phone that Engler and Vines tested was set by default to use a much less stringent safeguard, delaying the user just 30 seconds after every five guesses. At that rate, the robot can still guess five PINs every 35 seconds, or all 10,000 possibilities in 19 hours and 24 minutes."

Not by default.

Re:lock out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360447)

I don't think pins are a set number of digits, mine is 8 for example, but I don't recall any sort of limit when I set it up.

Re:lock out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361209)

On my Galaxy Nexus, the limit is 16.

Re:lock out? (2)

jodosh (1260096) | about 9 months ago | (#44360467)

Both my nexus 4 and my wife's note 2 lock me out for 30 seconds after 5 incorrect guesses. After the time out I am free to make 5 more guesses before I hit another 30 second delay. So android users who use PINs to lock their phone do seem to be vulnerable to this brute-force attack. Seems easy enough for google to fix, double the timeout each time, maybe even have the option of having the phone email you with its location and a time stamp after 15 incorrect guesses.

Re:lock out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361109)

That's why I use a passphrase instead of a pin. I think it's a standard option on any 4.0+ Android build. If this thing can only use numbers (I'm not familiar with Android's PIN system, is it like iOS's?) then my phone is already immune, as the robot would have to figure out how to type advanced ASCII glyphs.

Re:lock out? (1)

jodosh (1260096) | about 9 months ago | (#44362213)

I agree a PIN system that is all numbers has significant problems. (neither I or my wife use the PIN on our phones, but I enabled it to see how android dealt with repeated attemps.) http://www.datagenetics.com/blog/september32012/ [datagenetics.com] gets to the problem that people are bad at picking secure PINs (especially a 4-digit PIN.) This device has value however because a great many people who will enable a PIN will choose a 4 digit PIN.

Re:lock out? (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#44361661)

Or, just don't hand your phone to people carrying silly looking robot parts that want to borrow your device for "19 hours".

Problem solved!

Re:lock out? (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 9 months ago | (#44360545)

Why have they made the assumption that a PIN is 4 digits? Mine is 8, and you can set a password instead if you wish.

Re:lock out? (1)

Zalbik (308903) | about 9 months ago | (#44361115)

Why have they made the assumption that a PIN is 4 digits? Mine is 8, and you can set a password instead if you wish.

Oh big deal, it will only take twice as long then! I'm certain if they are willing to wait 20 hours, they are willing to wait 30.

P.S.
Please note that the above post is intended as humor and should not be taken as a serious representation of mathematical reasoning.

Re:lock out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361211)

Why have they made the assumption that a PIN is 4 digits? Mine is 8, and you can set a password instead if you wish.

Oh big deal, it will only take twice as long then! I'm certain if they are willing to wait 20 hours, they are willing to wait 30.

P.S.
Please note that the above post is intended as humor and should not be taken as a serious representation of mathematical reasoning.

Glad you added the satire flag. Until I read it, I thought my PhB had posted on /.

Re: lock out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361141)

Because most users (in the US, at least) are conditioned from ATMs and such to think PIN == 4 digit number.

Re:lock out? (1)

somersault (912633) | about 9 months ago | (#44361371)

And why not use the pattern-lock feature instead? Much more natural than typing in a PIN, and still very secure.

Re:lock out? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#44362165)

And why not use the pattern-lock feature instead? Much more natural than typing in a PIN, and still very secure.

Don't forget to wipe your finger grease off the screen every time. In my case it's only enabled because Android insisted on it when I added a VPN, and the marks come in handy if I go out in sunlight without remembering to turn up the brightness.

Re:lock out? (1)

Digicrat (973598) | about 9 months ago | (#44360963)

This just follows with the obvious: Once somebody has physical access to your device, it will be compromised sooner or later.

If you're really paranoid, you can set an Android phone (at least if it's rooted) to wipe the phone after some number of failed unlock attempts using a program such as DelayedLock.

Re:lock out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361135)

Ignore the first 3, the last two are freely downloadable from the Play store and do not require root. I think these might just be remote wipe functions, but I suspect a slightly more in depth search would find the desired functionality.

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-apps-to-wipe-data-from-your-android-phone/

Re:lock out? (1)

mercnet (691993) | about 9 months ago | (#44360255)

I thought if you forgot your pattern or pin, then it asks you to authenticate with your google account. If user remembers that, they can login to the phone. Wouldn't this prevent X number of guesses from being made?

Re: lock out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360525)

You are.
Locked after 3 wrong pin, or 3 wrong patterns if you you the pattern lock.
So they built a useless robot.

It's 270 Days to Brute Force (1)

Kagato (116051) | about 9 months ago | (#44360621)

There's 389112 possible combinations. Most phones lock for 5 minutes after 3-5 tries. That's about 270 days minimum to fully brute the unlock.

Re:It's 270 Days to Brute Force (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361031)

Min or max? Min would be 1 second... guessing the PIN on the first try.

that's great, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360095)

what about phone settings that wipe the contents after 10 wrong guesses?

i hate robots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360107)

showed off? really?

Re:i hate robots. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 9 months ago | (#44360779)

I know, you would hope that at least the headline would be correct. "Showed" is past tense, it should be "shown".

delay (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360127)

did someone forget to insert a 5 second delay on incorrect passwords or even one that increases 2 seconds every false try? Possibly disable the delay the first error if the phone is actually ringing?

Pretty standard blocks for brute forcing passwords.

Re:delay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360203)

No. Read the article. It clearly answers your question.

Double the delay every failed attempt (5, Interesting)

grimJester (890090) | about 9 months ago | (#44360131)

I'm always amazed when passwords are locked out after just three or five attempts. Allowing a hundred would still protect against brute force, while never being a problem for an actual human being. Even better would be to start with a one second delay, doubling it every time, so a brute force attempt would take ages but a human only gets some time to think.

Re:Double the delay every failed attempt (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360213)

I think 3-5 attempts before lock out is acceptable.

Allowing ~100 provides more guesses to a would be attacker who could well be someone who is aware or able to guess various pins you use/have used or the method you use to generate such pins i.e. it may be someone who knows the birthdays of your entire family and that you use birthdays as pins.

3-5 would still present a challange of which of their educated guesses to try first.

Further, in my experience, if I've tripped a lock out it's usually because I've forgotten the key for good.

Having a timeout on an incorrect guess is a good idea if not already implemented.

Re:Double the delay every failed attempt (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#44360663)

The problem is that you can set someone up for a DoS with this approach. Want to lock a coworker out from his account and cause him to miss a deadline? Just log on as him three times, with a false password of course, and you delay him by whatever amount of time it takes IT to reset his password. Depending on their speed and skill, this may be some time, not to mention that if you do it repeatedly it might just give that coworker other problems when IT starts to complain about him and his inability to remember his own simple password.

Re:Double the delay every failed attempt (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about 9 months ago | (#44360729)

Then IT will examine the logs and discover the source of the lockout. Lockouts are clearable on most systems without resetting the password and after the 2nd or 3rd time it happens, IT will get interested.

Re:Double the delay every failed attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361525)

That is like saying that a tornado blowing away someone's house is not a problem for them, as they will just rebuild the house.

When someone is malicously locked out and his ticket is running through the IT queue, that person can do nothing. It is surely a DoS as any other means, which is the whole point.

Re:Double the delay every failed attempt (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44362855)

Tornados would be considerably less problematic if meteorologists could report God to HR for harassment when someone's house gets blown away.

Re:Double the delay every failed attempt (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#44363401)

In today's open space cubicle driven offices it's usually trivial to use a computer of a coworker who's currently at lunch. And aside of VPN (which sadly 'til today is usually only secured by user/pass and less by IP or even device) there are quite a few other options that can make it trivial to hide your actual source.

Seriously, nothing's easier than mobbing a coworker by DoS. I've had to deal with it a few times so far (yes, such a problem is part of a CISOs job and yes, my solution was simply to NOT lock an account after 3 attempts but use a very different approach, not unlike the "delay by a minute" spiel detailed above, with some goodies tacked onto it to find that asshat that tries to mob a coworker. I have exactly zero tolerance for such crap and it cost more than one ass his comfy chair).

Re:Double the delay every failed attempt (2)

havarh (1429591) | about 9 months ago | (#44360313)

Like iOS does it? Starting with 1 minute after 6 failed attempts, and then increasing the delay each time another pin code is entered.

Re:Double the delay every failed attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360347)

You mean like... how it is on an iPhone? I bet Apple has a patent on it.

Re:Double the delay every failed attempt (2)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 9 months ago | (#44360925)

So, if I watch you unlock your phone once, I can usually narrow each choice down to 4 digits based in the position of your finger (256 choices without knowing any).....if I can glimpse even one of your digits without knowing position, I can get that number down to 192. If I can identify that digit as early or late or middle, that drops to 128. If I have 100 tries, I don't really need to worry about being locked out.

If I have all but two of your digits, I don't have to worry about lockout at all.

Re:Double the delay every failed attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361057)

What you describe is called exponential backoff, and is the way that many Unix authentication mechanisms have historically protected themselves from online brute force attacks.

Re:Double the delay every failed attempt (1)

tsa (15680) | about 9 months ago | (#44361361)

2^n seconds would be better, where n is the number of attempts done.

Gentlemen... (2)

Jawnn (445279) | about 9 months ago | (#44360133)

We can't have every clever Tom, Dick, and Harry breaking the privacy and security of people's mobile devices and whatnot. That's our job and we'll thank you to not meddle with our business. Besides, your "invention" is clearly a tool for teh terrorists and will be classified as a munition by the end of the week. See if you can "spot the fed" with a black bag over your head.
Your Friends,

The NSA

Re:Gentlemen... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44361055)

I think it's a mistake to have these events hosted in the US. First, they can arrest a guy at the drop of a hat, and then they can use the Invention Secrecy Act [wikipedia.org] to block further disclosure. Let's try not to forget our friend Dimitry..

How is this news (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360137)

When I don't even see the word - cloud - in the story?
Cloud it up man! Send those pins to the cloud!

Re:How is this news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360277)

It did mention a 3D printer, which I suspect was used to make parts that are easily available from hobby shops.

Re:How is this news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360329)

Ah, the 3D printer. The reverse CNC machine. It makes parts too, they just suck. It is however, a new paradigm in printing, especially if you can control it from THE CLOUD!

Re:How is this news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360351)

Why didn't they just use the servo horns that come with the servo?

Re:How is this news (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#44360685)

Hey, it has 3D printing, it has Arduino, it has Android, that trumps that petty "cloud" in buzzword compatibility by some leaps and bounds on /.

Get with the times, man.

Re:How is this news (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#44361799)

Yeah, sometimes it does seem like the writers who used to work on the Smurfs are now writing "tech" stories...

Papa Cloud: "Why don't you cloud on down to the store and pick up some cloud-berries?"

Brainy Cloud: "I will, right after I finish clouding up the cloud-mobile!"

Cloudette: "We'll use them to cloud up the best cloud-cakes ever!"

a bit silly (2)

platypussrex (594064) | about 9 months ago | (#44360161)

different phones have lockouts, and delays for new guesses based on wrong guesses. TFA mentions the delays, but not the data wipes. The whole thing seems a bit silly. There are easier ways to hack into most phones than brute forcing the pin with a robot.

Re:a bit silly (1)

Splab (574204) | about 9 months ago | (#44360301)

You know what? All that lock picking they practice is also stupid, you can force your way in with a crowbar a lot faster.

Or the ATM jackpot hack, whats the point when a gun and a bank gets the same result faster...

Re:a bit silly (1)

Bigby (659157) | about 9 months ago | (#44361049)

Like calling up the owner on their home/work phone and telling them you (the cell carrier) noticed that their phone was stolen. Then ask them for their pin so you can "find the location".

Done.

Re:a bit silly (1)

fermion (181285) | about 9 months ago | (#44361159)

It is interesting in the fact that someone actually built something and put it into a form that others can replicate it. This exercise,no matter how silly the actual product, is always of value.

The thing with such devices is what is the return on investment. Is there anything of value on a typical phone that would justify the average 10 hours to break in, other to just say you did it? Well yes if you want to check on the text message of a lover who you think has other partners maybe, but it seems that under such intimate contact there may be other ways than to steal the phone and set a robot on it. In other cases, as mentioned, after several tries people often have the phone set to wipe. I mean that is just cheating lover 101.

monkey method (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#44363451)

There are easier ways to hack into most phones than brute forcing the pin with a robot

For sure. Speaking in terms of a 'brute force' crack, i'd use the monkey method...

Assuming you could get past being 'locked out' after x incorrect attempts, i'd get 4-5 friends together and have one sit out and enter passwords while the rest play hold 'em or Goldeneye or w/e. You could rotate every 4 hours or whathaveyou

I know my solutions doesn't 'scale' but I don't think this robot scales any better, comparatively. That's kind of my point...they're kind of off kilter with their approach, but I am all for robots advancements...

Update in the next android (5, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 9 months ago | (#44360209)

The screen would be locked out after every failed unlock attempt for the duration of t millisecons, t = 1 * 2^(n) , where n = nth consecutive failed unlock attempt. My quick calculation shows the 50th unlock attempt would take 35000 years. The tenth unlock attempt would take 1 sec. Ravi S

Re:Update in the next android (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | about 9 months ago | (#44361289)

A patient prankster could make your phone unusable for a good long while. Similarly, setting your phone somewhere overnight that periodically tries to unlock the phone would mean you couldn't use it for 16 hours or so.

Re:Update in the next android (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | about 9 months ago | (#44362409)

An impatient prankster can toss your phone into the loo and make your phone unusable for a good while longer.

Re:Update in the next android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44366291)

That prankster can only block your phone for the duration he had access to it.

So in order to block it for say 32 hours he'd have to have access to it for 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 + 16 hours. Because in order to enter last incorrect code that blocked the phone for 36 hours he had to wait 16 hours for it to unblock code enter screen.

Joke's On Them (5, Funny)

BobNET (119675) | about 9 months ago | (#44360233)

My PIN is 9999, it'll be the last number it could possibly try!

And I'm sure in the 20 hours it takes to get that far, someone will notice and say "hey, Bob, why is there an android trying to break into your Android phone?"

Re:Joke's On Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360299)

But that's my briefcase code you insensitive clod!

Re:Joke's On Them (2)

BForrester (946915) | about 9 months ago | (#44360381)

My PIN is 9999, it'll be the last number it could possibly try!

This alludes to a somewhat valid sidebar. A more intelligent algorithm would crack most passwords much more efficiently than a sequential brute force. E.g. prioritize
  - digits in forward or reverse sequence
  - repeated digits or repeated pairs
  - digits that can represent dates

In fact, a quick google search (!) reveals that there are quite a few shortcuts they could build into the scheme before resorting to pure brute. There's no sense giving up on efficiency just because the speed is already bottlenecked by mechanical limitations.
http://danielamitay.com/blog/2011/6/13/most-common-iphone-passcodes [danielamitay.com]

Re:Joke's On Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360825)

It looks like it to me that the video shows non-sequential input of numbers.

Re:Joke's On Them (1)

Bigby (659157) | about 9 months ago | (#44361073)

I would assume some simple optimizations would be added to the robot. Like, first try 0000, 1111, 1234, 0123, 9999, 6969, etc... Try all repeating and sequential digits first. Then try all possible dates in format MMDD and then DDMM. Then do the rest.

show, showed, shown (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360269)

to be shown

Re:show, showed, shown (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363539)

OMG how ignorant has Slashdot become?

ATM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360349)

The frst thing I thought was "ATM." How come they won't use this awesome bot to get some easy money John Connor-style, but to crack stupid smartphones??

Can it draw patterns too?

Re:ATM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360689)

The frst thing I thought was "ATM." How come they won't use this awesome bot to get some easy money John Connor-style, but to crack stupid smartphones??

Can it draw patterns too?

Because an ATM will hold the card and refuse additional attempts after you get about 10 bad PINs in. Plus a robot at an ATM for 20 hours would draw the attention of the authorities, and if not it would probably get run over by the guy in line behind it who needs a $20 to go to the fair.

R2B2 (1)

Lucas123 (935744) | about 9 months ago | (#44360395)

What a clever name /s. And what a great idea: Create a robot that can perform brute-force attacks on smart phone PINs. I wonder why someone would want to build that? At $200, I'm sure they'll be making a small fortune hawking it to every sleazy phone thief.

Re:R2B2 (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#44361907)

What a clever name /s. And what a great idea: Create a robot that can perform brute-force attacks on smart phone PINs. I wonder why someone would want to build that? At $200, I'm sure they'll be making a small fortune hawking it to every sleazy phone thief.

You could outsource this to India or China, have your employees follow exactly the same approach and save money - cheap human laborers can take care of all the intermediate steps the robots can't, and can do the robot's task as well. Seems like the robot is superfluous.

Useless gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360397)

Systems are locked after 3..5 unsuccessful attempts.

Delta robot design choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360399)

I wonder how their delta robot design compares to using 9 linear actuators placed on top of the phone, which would have been my first choice (something like whack a mole). I guess the disadvantage is you would need 9 actuators vs 3 servos.

Um... Pins have Changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360449)

The version of Android on my Galaxy Note uses the full android keyboard for the passcode, including letters and punctuation. I'm thinking that's gonna take a smidge longer.

Time lock (1)

diakka (2281) | about 9 months ago | (#44360507)

Just program in a lock with a progressive time interval for each failed attempt. Each failed attempt causes you to have to wait longer to try again. If you limited failed attempts to say, 50 consecutive failed attempts per day, then you could easily stretech out the time to brute force crack the key to months.

Bad design (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#44360579)

Three servomotors? They built the thing like it was a delta 3D printer. They should have used 10 solenoids instead.

Re:Bad design (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360717)

Three servomotors? They built the thing like it was a delta 3D printer. They should have used 10 solenoids instead.

If all Android phones had the same screen size and input spacing, then yes, your solution would be more elegant. But they do not, so yours is not.

$200?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360721)

I'm surprised it takes that much money to build such a contraption.
Captcha: eviller

20 hours? I wouldn't worry (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 9 months ago | (#44360859)

An Android phone will lock you out of entering a code, instead requiring email verification, after about 20-30 failed attempts. Good thing I also use a combo longer than 4 digits.

And what about most Android phones that are configured to use pattern lock? What about an Android phone that's encrypted, which uses a different entry panel and display for unlocking at boot time?

Nice toy, not really effective.

small upgrade to improve efficiency (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 9 months ago | (#44360897)

R2B2 needs to scan the phone surface for finger smuges from previous unlocks. They could eliminate 6 or more digits, leaving 256 potential combinations.

Re:small upgrade to improve efficiency (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about 9 months ago | (#44365533)

Not quite. If there are exactly four smudges then you can deduce that it's a 4 digit password with no digits repeated, this makes 4! or 24 combinations. If there are only three smudges then one digit is repeated then there's 3*(4!/2!) = 36 possible combos. But then if there's two smudges you have either each one repeated twice or one repeated three times = 2*(4!/3!) + (4!/(2!*2!)) = 8 + 6 = 14. One smudge makes 1 combo of course. Worst case is 48 though.

crack screen before pin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361485)

Fortunately not all of use use 4 digit pins. At that rate that thing will crack the screen before my pin.

Access to the hardware (1)

emddudley (1328951) | about 9 months ago | (#44361911)

If you have access to the hardware, then the software security doesn't matter. Encryption aside, of course.

Countermeasures (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about 9 months ago | (#44362749)

So, um, randomize the locations of each number (and not always on a small 4x4 grid) and possibly use captcha-like effects to frustrate OCRing the display? Of course even better might be to do something like MS research suggested, using pictures. But instead of mere pictures, use a whole host of pictures. So, your password could be cat, dog, cat, fish, airplane, or whatever (not unlike some knew captchas). I'd imagine that'd also encourage longer passwords, as every login is a new chance to see even more cute kittens, or whatever. :)

PIN number? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364493)

It's PI number. I thought we'd all figured this out by now.

Far easier method (1)

wertarbyte (811674) | about 9 months ago | (#44364953)

Many Android devices support USB input devices - both my Galaxy S3 as well as my Nexus 7 happily accept USB keyboards even when requesting the encryption PIN during bootup. I programmed an ATMEL ATMega32U4 (microcontroller with USB interface) with a simple program that iterates through every possible PIN, waiting for 30 seconds after 5 or 10 tries. If the system continues booting, the controller recognizes this by "pinging" the CAPSLOCK LED: if "hitting" CAPSLOCK does not change the LED state, the system has started to decrypt the device because of a correct PIN, which is then stored in the devices EEPROM. I created the device using an teensy development board and the LUFA framework. Not as spectacular as a robot, but effective as well.
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  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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