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Wireless Networking It's funny.  Laugh. Hardware Entertainment Games

Defcon 12 Running Man Contest 85

Posted by michael
from the family-feud dept.
LiveSecurity writes "Contests involving Wireless Access Points have been a staple of Defcon for a few years now. This year at Defcon 12, three reporters from WatchGuard Technologies followed contestants in the Running Man mini-contest. Five teams had one hour to find a roving, low-power AP serving up a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Add hundreds of hackers, 104-degree F. desert heat, and stir. The report on WatchGuard's Web site is officially sanctioned by the contest's designer, Frank Thornton, who mirrors the story. Long but good geeky fun!"
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Defcon 12 Running Man Contest

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  • DF for wifi (Score:3, Interesting)

    by quelrods (521005) * <quel&quelrod,net> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:02PM (#10060945) Homepage
    Are there any other similar DF events like this with wifi? I did amateur radio DF some years back and it is certainly entertaining.
  • Not bad. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by James Turpin (789479) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:08PM (#10061003)
    From the article:

    Contest designer Frank Thornton of Blackthorn Systems has added a technological wrinkle or two to this year's contest. The Running Man Web page has a secret message on it, which will require cryptographic and puzzle-solving skills to decode. Competitors can't run around the hotel simply asking everyone, "Are you the Running Man?" Instead, they have to decode the message and say it to the Running Man. The first team to do so wins.

  • That's nothing... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rorschach1 (174480) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:15PM (#10061069) Homepage
    People have been doing radio direction finding as a sport for decades. I learned a lot from weekend transmitter hunts - we'd have one team hide somewhere in the general vicinity of the city (had to be heard from the starting point), transmit a signal on the 2 meter band, and the rest of the teams would hunt them down.

    Sometimes it would be a tiny unattended transmitter. One of our favorite tricks was to bury the whole thing and use a 1/4 wave brass rod as an antenna, and insert it into a dry weed in a vacant lot. Still, a good team starting 10 miles away could often find it in 30 minutes.

    We got a lot of weird looks driving around town with big home-built quad or yagi antennas hanging out the window, but there's no better way to learn practical RDF stills. And I'm still using those skills - Sunday evening I was out DFing an ELT signal from a crashed plane. Most search and rescue folks do this infrequently, and have a textbook education in how to triangulate the source of a signal, but there's no substitute for practice. I can hunt down a transmitter using a handheld scanner and omnidirectional antenna faster than most of them can do it with an expensive DF unit.
  • Re:DF for wifi (Score:5, Interesting)

    by carbolic (616993) * on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:22PM (#10061129)
    Yes! There's several, of what I call, AP Games using wireless access points. NZWireless in New Zealand performed a treasure hunt in their home town. My pals and I designed a capture the flag game where you drive around the city trying to find an access point. And the traditional foxhunt (or RunningMan) where you seek to find a single AP moving around in an erratic fashion. I prefer using a car since I live in L.A. and don't walk.

    In Chapter 11 of my book, Wi-Fi Toys, I describe some of these DF-based AP games in great detail. I love it how these guys are breaking the rules with traditional wireless.

    Instead of using access points for boring Internet access, these guys are going extreme and creating a giant video game.

    --
    carbolic
    Wi-Fi Toys [wifi-toys.com]

  • by Speare (84249) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:25PM (#10061147) Homepage Journal

    Who will be the first to threaten a gratuitous infringement/trademark lawsuit? Stephen King (aka Richard Bachman) for the story title, "The Running Man," or Arnold Schwarzenegger who played the main character of the screen adaptation?

    By the way, read the print version of the story. The last page of the book is a very interesting parallel to the September 11 attacks of New York. You know, the attack that "nobody could have foreseen."

  • Re:That's nothing... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by josecanuc (91) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:31PM (#10061178) Homepage Journal
    Its official name is "Radio Direction Finding", but goes by several nicknames like "foxhunting", "transmitter hunting", or "t-hunting".

    The "home base" of RDF information is the "Homing In" website at http://members.aol.com/homingin/

    The author of that site has written a very good book explaining various techniques and containing plans for building various kinds of directional antennas.

    Most T-Hunters are amateur radio operators (http://www.arrl.org), but that's not a requirement, since you aren't transmitting anything while hunting.

    It's great fun. Use the ARRL website to search for any Amateur Radio clubs in your area and go to a meeting (usually boring, but some have good presentations) and ask about T-hunting in your area. If nobody knows, poke around and see if anyone there has done it in the past and is interested in starting it up again. Usually all it takes is knowledge that someone else is interested to get the whole group going.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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