back to article Hackers electrocute selves in quest to turn secure doors inside out

Not every demo at security cons goes off without a hitch: Badass hackers Ryan and Jeremy electrocuted themselves when building what could have been the first device capable of wirelessly exploiting door-opening push buttons. The pair demonstrated the trial and terror process of building the box at the Kiwicon hacking event in …

Headmaster

They're still alive after electrocution?

Electrocute = electric + execute:

verb: To kill by electric shock.

52
4
Devil

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

you beat me to the same comment.

shocking.

16
1
Bronze badge

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

They're a couple of cool cats. (Useless at high voltage engineering, but cool).

6
1

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

Back in the late 19th century you would've been right. As ever though, language moves on and those of us who play with electricity occasionally get electrocuted with little more ill effects than spontaneous expletives.

(OED is in agreement - injure or kill by electric shock)

28
8
Silver badge

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

I think the proper word is "shocked".

13
0
Silver badge
Alert

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

The iee regs disagreed with the oed last time I looked.

11
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

>(OED is in agreement - injure or kill by electric shock)

It matters not - even by those lax standards, the usage was incorrect. A "tickle" is not an injury, much less death.

Not that we were hoping for death, merely for clarity.

5
2
Silver badge

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

I thought electrocution was what happened when you ran a computer program: use electricity to carry out a job.

0
1
Silver badge

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

It is for men for whom evisceration is just a flesh wound.

15
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

+1 for beating us to it...

but why do .exe's keep living? They are executable no?

1
1
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

"Electrocute = electric + execute:" Ah, our old friend the etymological fallacy. Guess what, words change their meanings over time!

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001256.html

"People maintain that "decimate" can't mean 'almost entirely wipe out' because it really means 'wipe out one-tenth of'. Or that "since" and "while" can only be used as temporal connectives, not as logical ones (meaning, roughly, 'because' and 'although'), because that was their original meaning."

11
8

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

> but why do .exe's keep living?

On the contrary, I think you'll find that .exe died in 2000.

3
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

OMG - Zombie hackers!!!

(My coat, please - I'm off to re-review the security concept for [redacted].)

2
0
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

Modern use of electrocution ( In know it annoys me as well)seems to include injury or just as shock

2
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

The OED is irrelevant as a reference and far from being the arbiter of correct usage that people think it is because it's merely a record of common usage, not the definer of it. Try Cambridge, Collins, Mirriam-Webster and you'll get a different definition.

But then "got a bit of a jolt from" doesn't sell newspapers.

7
3
Bronze badge

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

"The iee regs disagreed with the oed last time I looked."

Which IEE (now IET) regulation mentions electrocution?

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

"Try Cambridge, Collins, Mirriam-Webster and you'll get a different definition."

All those (Chambers too) define it as killing by electricity.

Maybe the researchers submitted their report by ouija board.

2
0
Bronze badge

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

Sorry Symon, but 'decimate' is misused. There is no appeal to popular use, because it explicitly states the figure. Imagine this, you ask your grocer for four apples, and he gives you three. He says in popular usage Four means Three. Do you accept that? Nope, things with numbers are absolute.

But then we have 'Ultimate' which merely means the latest in a succession, 'chronic' which means re-occuring over time, not very bad, things that people quite simply get wrong.

3
1
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

@Grunty. Yep, just like December. It's the tenth month. "There is no appeal to popular use, because it explicitly states the figure. Nope, things with numbers are absolute." Next time you go to your grocer, remember that while you're dating your cheque.

Words that you might be interested in include "manure" which was a verb meaning 'to work the land by hand'. Remind you of anything?

3
1
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

The technical term is "zapped".

I speak as a practicing EE. It can refer to you (to be avoided) or a circuit (hey, it happens), or, in this case, both.

It sounds to me like these two bozos know just enough about electricity to be a danger to themselves.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

Ah yes, July and August were inserted into the calendar due to popular demand by the plebeians.

Sorry, was this about common usage, or the ego of Caesar?

0
1
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

Elocution = eloquence + execution.

EX: "His flawless elocution slayed me."

1
0
Anonymous Coward

@HieronymusBloggs Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

They don't, which is the entire point. BS 7671 spends a great deal of time discussing "protection against electric shock" rather than electrocution, as the latter is very narrowly defined in regulatory terms.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

@Grunty, Caesars, I think! There's a myriad reasons why people fall for the etymological fallacy. And I don't mean exactly 10,000. Even though that's an appeal to popular usage, and the word's based on an absolute number.

0
0

Re: They're still alive after electrocution?

re: I think you'll find that .exe died in 2000.

RIP

0
0
Silver badge

Well, in all fairness.. they had fun, no one had permanent damage. Still, with a bit of engineering and selecting the proper parts (ones that don't let the smoke out easily) this could become a real nightmare for physical security.

11
0
Anonymous Coward

Why didn't they just use a comb?

2
0
Silver badge

There are actually guns available for this kind of thing

They are commonly used for testing devices, but obviously you can trigger them and do other things with them.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: There are actually guns available for this kind of thing

Redneck hacking. It's a thing!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Did they cross the streams then?

7
0
Silver badge

a picture of the "push to exit" button might be helpful - cos im pretty sure no electromagnet would work on the ones at my office . or my house.

( i think im saying ' i dont get it' )

7
0
Anonymous Coward

From the last picture, I'm guessing maybe these are "touch to exit" capacitive *touch* switches - rather than physcial switches.

Hence why high voltage/high frequency fields can mess with them.

5
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

"then increased the amount of electrons running through their prototype."

I doubt that. To be technically correct, which is the best kind of correct, I reckon they increased the speed of the electrons (current). They did this by pushing them harder (voltage) through the wires. You could increase the 'amount of electrons' by making the wires longer, fat lot of good that would be in this case.

Whatever, did this phrase "in reality it was something more akin to success." remind anyone else of Professor Piehead?

http://viz.co.uk/crap-joke-professor-piehead/

2
8
WTF?

Re: "then increased the amount of electrons running through their prototype."

"they increased the speed of the electrons (current)"

They did WHAT ?

1 Ampere is the flow of electric charge across a surface at the rate of 1 Coulomb per 1 second.

1 Coulomb is equivalent to the charge of approximately 6.242×10^18 protons.

To increase current to 2 A you need 2 Coulombs per second, which means you need double amount of protons. To fit all those protons you need thicker wire, not longer.

0
7
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: "then increased the amount of electrons running through their prototype."

@DainB. WHAT?! The protons are in the nucleus of the atoms. In a fixed wire, they don't move anywhere. The electrons are the things that move in a conductor. Even in a p-type semiconductor. In a given wire, if the current increases, the speed of the electrons increases. The speed of the electrons is pretty slow, maybe a millimeter per minute or so. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drift_velocity#Numerical_example The field in the wire moves much quicker of course, maybe 2/3 c.

Oh, and while I'm at it, the names of SI units aren't capitalised, unless they're at the start of a sentence. So it's coulombs and amperes. The one exception is degrees Celsius. I hope that helps.

11
0

Re: "then increased the amount of electrons running through their prototype."

Seriously, get a physics book or something.

1
3
Bronze badge
Stop

Re: "then increased the amount of electrons running through their prototype."

" increased the speed of the electrons (current). They did this by pushing them harder (voltage)"

Anyone else need a cold shower after reading that?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "then increased the amount of electrons running through their prototype."

SI units expressed as abbreviations can be and are capitalized. In fact, they MUST be capitalized if named for a person. The Coulomb (C) is named for Charles-Augustin de Coulomb. Same for the (James) Watt (W), (William Lord) Kelvin (K), (André-Marie) Ampère (A), and (Alessandro) Volt(a) (V), among others.

8
1

Re: "then increased the amount of electrons running through their prototype."

Wrong. The abbreviation is capitalized; the full unit name is not. From the SI Brochure:

Unit names are normally printed in roman (upright) type, and they are treated like ordinary nouns. In English, the names of units start with a lower-case letter (even when the symbol for the unit begins with a capital letter), except at the beginning of a sentence or in capitalized material such as a title. In keeping with this rule, the correct spelling of the name of the unit with the symbol °C is "degree Celsius" (the unit degree begins with a lower-case d and the modifier Celsius begins with an upper-case C because it is a proper name).

3
0
Silver badge

Re: "then increased the amount of electrons running through their prototype."

It's not degrees Celsius, it's Celsius.

0
3
Silver badge

Re: "then increased the amount of electrons running through their prototype."

C W A etc aren't abbreviations of SI units, they are the *SYMBOLS* of SI units.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: "then increased the amount of electrons running through their prototype."

It's degrees Celsius, shortened to Celsius.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: "then increased the amount of electrons running through their prototype."

" increased the speed of the electrons (current). They did this by pushing them harder (voltage)"

Oh, my lord!

I missed that and you just had to point it out!

1
0

When I was at school some kid died from investigating an electrical outlet, the headmaster 'told us all his family were deeply shocked.' I got detention for laughing :\

26
0
Pint

Missed opportunity, ElReg

> 'Please don't tell my wife about this' says one, as arcs thrill Kiwi crowds

Had this demo been at NZ's WETA workshop, that could have been:-

'Please don't tell my wife about this' says one, as orcs thrill Kiwi crowds

2
0
Silver badge

"Others interested in the field could leverage their work,"

Bloody management twatspeak again. What's wrong with "USE"?

23
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "Others interested in the field could leverage their work,"

The word "USE" doesnt demonstrate out of the box bluesky thinking. Obviously.

To succeed on the world of business you need to synergise your ability to not only look like a twat but sound like one as well.

Using bourgeoise simple English doesnt make you stand out during the scrum during or following a two week sprint.

You often need to stand out as a developing talent to maximise your growth potential.

Isn't it obvious?

Now you can move forward and help your team improve the deliverable to generate the desired result plus or minus 10% of the actual deliverable regardless of time or budget constraints.

Management speak...the closest thing white people have to Hip Hop.

17
0
Bronze badge
Alien

Re: "Others interested in the field could leverage their work,"

The way I'd use USE vs LEVERAGE is in how modified the resultant product/process is.

If I USEed it, then it's basically a copy, with little or no modification from the original.

If I LEVERAGED their work, then I'd be using it as the basis or as useful input into a significantly modified version.

Disclaimer: NFI if it is dictionary correct, but it is how I'd use it and what I'd take it to mean.

0
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: "Others interested in the field could leverage their work,"

"Disclaimer: NFI if it is dictionary correct, but it is how I'd use it and what I'd take it to mean."

You mean leverage?

1
1

Re: "Others interested in the field could leverage their work,"

As long as you pronounce it leeverage and not bloody American levverage.

0
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017