DARPA-backed Power Pwn is power strip by day, superhero hack machine by night

DARPAbacked Power Pwn is power strip by day, superhero hack machine by night

Call the Power Pwn the champion of white hat hacking. Underneath that Clark Kent power strip exterior, there's a Superman of full-scale breach testing that can push the limits of just about any company network, whether it takes 3G, Ethernet or WiFi to get there. Pwnie Express' stealthy sequel to the Pwn Plug ships with a Debian 6 instance of Linux whose handy hacking tools are as easy to launch as they are tough to detect. There's just one step needed to create a snoop-friendly Evil AP WiFi hotspot, and the box dodges around low-level NAC/802.1x/RADIUS network authentication without any help; in the same breath, it can easily leap into stealth mode and keeps an ongoing encrypted link to give do-gooders a real challenge. The hacker doesn't even need to be in the same ZIP code to crack a firewall or VPN -- the 3G link lets the Power Pwn take bash command-line instructions through SMS messages and doles out some of its feedback the same way. While the $1,295 device can theoretically be used for nefarious purposes, DARPA's blessing (and funding) should help keep the Power Pwn safely in the hands of security pros and thwart more than a few dastardly villains looking for weak networks.