Harald Welte's blog
   

RSS

Harald's Web
gnumonks.org
hmw-consulting.de
sysmocom.de

Projects
OpenBSC
OsmocomBB
OsmocomTETRA
deDECTed.org
gpl-violations.org
gpl-devices.org
OpenMoko
gnufiish
OpenEZX
OpenBeacon
OpenPCD
librfid
openmrtd
opentom.org
netfilter/iptables

Categories

Archives

Other Bloggers
David Burgess
Zecke
Dieter Spaar
Michael Lauer
Stefan Schmidt
Rusty Russell
David Miller
Martin Pool
Jeremy Kerr
Tim Pritlove (German)
fukami (German)
fefe (German)
Bradley M. Kuhn
Lawrence Lessig
Kalyan Varma

Aggregators
kernelplanet.org
planet.netfilter.org
planet.openezx.org
planet.openmoko.org
planet.foss.in

Ohloh profile for laforge
identi.ca
twitter
flattr
Linked in
Xing

Creative Commons License
Articles on this blog/journal are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.


blosxom


Contact/Impressum

       
Sun, 18 Sep 2011
I'm still alive - short update...

In the last two months I barely found time to update this blog. I'm now back on track and will try to update the blog more frequently.

The CCC Camp 2011 has been great, and the OpenBSC based camp GSM network has been a success, despite some initial problems. Thanks again to everyone helping with the build-up and operation of it, and thanks for all our volunteer users/testers.

Most of the time since I've been buried alive in work, almost exclusively related to various sub-projects surrounding the Osmocom GSM protocol implementations. We're working on every level of the protocol stack at the same time, and on network elements from BTS, BSC up well into the core network, media gateways, etc.

Most recently I've been doing some work with openembedded (OE) again, and I've had more contact with the intrinsics of GSM AMR than I ever imagined I would.

There's lots of exciting stuff ahead, but I don't want to talk about it until the respective code is public and the stuff actually works.

The only really ugly thing that I have to deal with again and again is a lawsuit related to the GPL infringement of the German vendor of the Fritz!Box DSL routers. I'll follow-up on that shortly. One of the most ridiculous things they claim is that their products are not DSL routers :)

[ /personal | permanent link ]

Ground-breaking research on APCO P25 security

While we at OsmocomTETRA have been looking only at implementing the TETRA protocols as they are (and doing a bit of sniffing on unencrypted networks), some researchers have recently published two ground-breaking papers on the (lack of) security in the APCO P25 radio system.

In case you haven't heard about APCO P25: It is a digital mobile radio system mainly used by Police in non-EU English speaking countries like the US, Australia and New Zealand.

You can find the respective papers here and here.

So apparently P25 uses either single-DES or a proprietary cipher with only 40 bit key-length. No, I'm not joking. Seems like it was developed by people who have not the slightest clue about communications security at all.

And guess what they used to receive and transmit P25 waveforms? Of course the USRP and gnuradio. This once again proves how invaluable those tools are, not just for the FOSS community, but also for the communications research community.

[ /gsm | permanent link ]

Tue, 06 Sep 2011
Ramblings on German battery law

Germany has laws for everything, including batteries (Batteriegesetz).

In order to be able to e.g. import products with batteries from outside the EU and sell them inside Germany (or the EU), you need to be registered as a battery manufacturer/importer. You also need to become member of one of the registered/accredited companies that take care of recycling the batteries (i.e. put small boxes in supermarkets where people can put their old batteries).

What's funny is that there is absolutely no lower boundary for that for small businesses. What that means for my company: I need to pay 1 Eurocent for each LiIon powered mobile phone to that recycling company.

I guess at current estimated volume, we will have to pay something like 1 to 2 EUR every year. The recycling company won't even send us an invoice if the amount is < 20 EUR total.

So all this comes down is an exercise in buerocracy. We need to send a monthly report on the quantities every month, and there's a hard deadline that needs to be followed.

Furthermore, we need to put fancy stickers on each of the battery, covering at least 3% of the battery surface. That means opening every box, removing the battery from packaging, putting the sticker on it and re-packaging the box. Modern batteries normally have the symbol printed by the manufacturer, but we're talking about Motorola C1xx phones that have been produced from 2005 to 2008 here.

I certainly don't object to manufacturers or importers having to pay for the recycling. But if recycling is actually that cheap, and we're talking about single-digit EUR amounts per year, the administrative overhead (time needed for making the monthly reports, putting stickers on the batteries, etc) costs something like 100 times the actual recycling cost. Is that really worth it? Why not have a lower threshold for small businesses?

[ /politics | permanent link ]