Matthew J. Harmon: Minneapolis, Minnesota, États-Unis, Earth

Action and Adventure on the High Seas of Information Security

EXP: Have you tried turning it off and on again? (Seriously)

May 03, 2014, Posted in sosb, infosec, featured

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Forever being the advocate of resilient and high quality Information Technology (IT) infrastructure (a geek), I frequently get pulled into not-so-uber-sexy-cyber-security projects for friends and neighbors.

This one time, a friend asked me to look at his fancy house wireless setup that was professionally installed by a lowest bidder. Three access points spread around his house on separate SSIDs with a fancy aggregate switched router, and no documentation.

After searching for the docs, trying default passwords and grabbing device versions (just in case) I ask a simple question

"Did you lose power during the big storm last year?"

"I don't think so, why?"

"Have you lost power since these were installed?"

"Probably, again, why?"

"We forgot the first troubleshooting step."

"What's that?"

"First rule of troubleshooting, start by turning it off and back on again"

"Shouldn't we..."


So we proceeded to walk around the house, unplug all the APs and router, and then coordinated plugging them back in. After the network settled, about 10 min later, everything works, crisis averted.

Next up... exploiting the access points to recover the admin passcodes and upgrade the firmware.

Matthew J. Harmon
Matthew J. Harmon -

Passionate security researcher, entrepreneur, consultant. Owner, founder, maker, mentor, teacher.

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