Episode 414 — Build a web enabled Linux based USB missile launcher and defend your hacker space! Plus smart phone emulators, custom Linux command GUIs and more.

Take physical security to the next step by building a web enabled, linux powered USB missile launcher and defend your hacker space (or use the laser to remotely annoy your cat). Plus smart phone emulators, custom Linux command GUIs using Usermin, USB booting and more.
[ MP4 | XviD | WMV ]

Show Notes

The hacker zombies are back with failcocktails. Matt gets excited about the VMware ESX 4 beta screenshots. Shannon and pizza delivery? HakHouse gets a facelift including an adobe air app.

Our next deathmatch will be HalfLife 2 Deathmatch on Saturday, December 13 at game.hak5.wpengine.com. Prepare to get smack in the face with a flying toilet!

Mad props to TheX1le, Post_break, applecrisp and Codedninja

Web Controlled USB Missile Launcher

Can a hacker crowd source annoying their cat with frickin lasers? Darren invesigates. The Striker II USB Missile Launcher seems like the perfect platform for flying foam mayhem. After pulling his hair out trying six different control applications including Roy Solberg’s Java implementation, David Wilson’s mac app, mfire, Scott Weston’s Python version and Luke Cole’s simple C implementation, Darren finally settles on Alex Suzuki’s Striker-II C++ code as the base for the soon to be web enabled app. As it turns out there is a difference in control protocol between the Striker and the Striker-II which was the root of much frustration. Jason came to Darren’s aid and whipped up a sexy java client/server for the Striker-II. We’ll have him on the show shortly! Until then Darren shows off some of the Java applet code in Eclipse and the sweet plugin JFormDesigner. You can play with the Hak5 USB Missile launcher right now over at HakHouse.com or head over to the Hak5 Forums (Look for the USB Missile Launcher board) and get involved in the development, testing, or find out how to build your own.


Cell Phone Emulators

Perfect for the holidays are cell phone emulators. Try your choice of mobile OS before you actually buy them in store so you dont get stuck with your new smartphone and a two year contract with your wireless company. Using these emulators can introduce you to many, many different smart phone OS. You can compare and choose your favorite and your least favorite easily.
The ones I tried were Windows Mobile 5, Palm Centro, and Blackberry Storm emulators. All three run on different programs made by completely different people, and take a little bit of practice to learn each emulator. via Hak5 forums.


Congrats to SWFu and KirbyPPC who correctly answered last week’s trivia. Answer: Death-ray.

Custom Linux commands using Webmin and Usermin

Talking about making your life easier if you’re a linux system admin I demonstratred the great and free tools Webmin and Usermin available from http://webmin.com/

Installing the package is as easy as RPM -i webmin-1.441-1.noarch.rpm
Once installed goto https://yourserver.com:10000 and login with a user like root. After you’ve logged in you can just start clicking through the menus and see what you can do with this great piece of software.

During the show I explained how to create custom commands and deploy them to users with the webmin addon (http://webmin.com/usermin.html).

If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment or send me an email: [email protected].



Ustreamer-28589 (if that is your real name) asks if there is a way to burn ISOs to USB drives and boot off them. The answer is a beautiful little cross platform application called UNetbootin — the Universal Netboot Installer. This little guy rocks. It’ll download the latest live ISO of many popular linux distros (including our favorites Backtrack, Gparted, and Ubuntu) and “burn” them to your removable media. Best of all you can specify your own disk images (ISO or Floppy) or specify a custom kernel! Darren swears by this app.

JennyGo asks if there is a way to put her PC into some sort of Kiosk mode running only an SNES emulator for a party she’s having. She doesn’t want noobs effing with her rig. Matt suggests Windows Steady State to lock down the system state but the guys turn up empty when it comes to making the machine run ONLY the SNES emulator. Darren recalls some experimental hacks like replacing shell=explorer.exe in win.ini with shell=snes9x.exe but hasn’t tested this. We’re looking for your input on this one so if you’ve got a great idea on how to lock down this box hit up at [email protected].

Until next week we welcome your feedback and remind you to Trust your Technolust


  • goarilla

    your xvid and wmv links are wrong they should be swapped
    the xvid link links to a wmv file
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  • freegnu

    You should really think about cutting your framerate for the video downloads in half to 14.99 fps or just to 10 fps. You’d save a lot of bandwidth for you and your viewers with little discernible difference in quality.

  • bob

    Guys, get on with it already, all the chatter is BORING. Im more than eight minutes in and the most interesting thing so far is the netflix advert.

    I like that your informal but I dont want to have grown a beard before you get to the point.

    Forget the Margarita – its just not cool and more Progression and lest Procrastination.


  • Luke Cole

    Ya should of tried changing the USB Vendor/Product ID of my driver lads. What is the vendor/product ID of your USB missile launcher? Please send me the lsusb output and I’ll update my driver to support it.. Keep up the hacking boi’s…

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    Hey this is one of the best articles that I have read till date. I m really very much impressed with your work. It has been a pleasure reading this article of yours. I never knew that there was so much to learn in this subject. I am glad to have read your article.

  • Derick Jones

    Love videos like these. But like a few people who commented already suggested, reduction in bandwidth please? ‘Cell Phone Emulators’ was a great read. Glad to learn about it. I will definitely be doing this in the future, before I head out to buy a new cellular device.

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