GeneralShmooCon 2012 – Brendan O’Connor Talks about Sacrificial Computing for Land and Sky

January 27, 2012by RedQueen


Today at Shmoo, Brandon O’Connor will be making a great presentation on his evolution of disposable cyber-weaponry.  If you are in DC…  go go go…  what are you waiting for?



Sacrificial Computing for Land and Sky – Brendan O’Connor

Projects such as the incredible Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform give you the ability to monitor or attack networks far from accessible areas, but are limited by their deployment characteristics: $6000+ buys you just 10-30 minutes on target, and you have simultaneously to do your work and defend the physical plane from Bad Men With Projectile Weapons, lest they take exception to your plans. Disposable computing designed for just one use can provide massive reductions in cost and time to deployment without sacrificing flexibility; we show how $50-$75 can give you upwards of 24 hours to work on a task, while using only off-the-shelf hardware, and leaving no data onsite for an adversary to analyze after the operation. These computers can then be planted manually, or even dropped from unspecialized UAVs (such as the Parrot Drone) to allow your expensive plane to return to safety while you do your work.

Brendan is a geek of many trades: violin, ham radio, civil rights, and privacy. After growing up in Montana and finishing two degrees at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD, he did DARPA research for a time in Arlington, VA, before leaving to found his own consultancy, Malice Afterthought. More recently, after spending six months teaching information warfare for the DoD in 2011, he decided to attend law school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison; he is currently a first-year student. He lives and works with his two cats, Lysistrata and Deus Ex Machina.


Thanks for the kind words Brendan 🙂  We wish we were there to hear the talk!

Cheers from the Rabbit-Hole!

Mike & Rich