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Wireless How To

Introduction

Watching the news these past few weeks, you would think that hackers have taken over our cellphones. From the Paris Hilton phone hack (which was not Bluetooth-based), to the unintentional release of Fred Durst's (from the band Limp Bizkit) sex video - Wireless security has been thrust into the limelight. The proliferation of Bluetooth devices has made wireless communications easy and the Bluetooth group wants you to believe that this technology is safe from hackers. However, the guys from Flexilis, a wireless think-tank based in Los Angeles, beg to differ and they have a big freakin gun to "voice" their opinions.

John Hering from Flexilis, with the new BlueSniper Rifle

Figure 1: John Hering from Flexilis, with the new BlueSniper Rifle
(Click image to enlarge)

The gun, which is called the BlueSniper rifle, can scan and attack Bluetooth devices from more than a mile away. The first version of the gun showed up at Defcon 2004, a hacker/computer security convention held annually in Las Vegas. You can read about it in Tom's Hardware show coverage report here.

While the early version was held together with tie-straps and rubber bands, this newest version has a much more professional look. The team at Flexilis learned a lot from making their previous gun, and have made many improvements. The gun is now bigger, stronger and more durable and the antenna is almost twice a powerful as the older model. It also has a small computer which eliminates the need for lugging around a heavy laptop just to gather data.

How hard was it to make this gun? John Hering, from Flexilis, says, "The parts are easily available for a few hundred dollars and you can make this gun in a long afternoon." In fact, in this two-part article, we will show you how to build your very own Bluetooth sniper rifle. A complete parts list is provided and we will document each step of the manufacturing process. We'll also report on our test "shoot" of some famous high-rise buildings in downtown L.A., namely the US Bank / Library Tower and the AON Tower.

US Bank / Library Tower in Downtown Los Angeles

Figure 2: US Bank / Library Tower in Downtown Los Angeles

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