Edward Snowden made an app to protect your stuff

Haven is an app that does just that. Installed on a cheap burner Android device, Haven sends notifications to your  main phone in the event that your laptop has been tampered with. If you leave your laptop at home or at an office or in a hotel room, you can place your Haven phone on top of the laptop, and when Haven detects motion, light, sound or movement — essentially, anything that might be someone messing with your stuff — it logs what happened. It takes photos, records sound, even takes down changes in light or acceleration, and then sends notifications to your main phone. None of this logging is stored in the cloud, and the notifications you receive on your main phone are end-to-end encrypted over Signal.

I have been testing the beta version of Haven over the past several days and it works as advertised! I installed it on my Android burner and it sent alerts for both movement and sensing audio to my iPhone.  It will even let you to  access the app remotely using a Onion service address from Orbot. If you are concerned about security like I am download Haven today from Google’s Play Store. For more information on Haven visit http://havenapp.org.

Encrypt files in Dropbox Folder

Putting sensitive files on a cloud drive like Dropbox can be dangerous no matter how secure they claim their systems are. The basic fact is that any system can be hacked, it happens every day. If you are using Dropbox to backup and share critical files like I am the first thing you want to do is to setup two factor authentication. In Dropbox the 2nd factor authentication sends a six digit access code in the form of a text message to your mobile phone. While this extends your security it alone will not totally protect your files. In this article I will take you step by step in setting up a encrypted Dropbox folder using EncFS and Ubuntu. 

Step 1:

Install EncFS in Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install encfs

install gnome-encfs-manager

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gencfsm/ppa

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gnome-encfs-manager

Step 2:

Create a directory inside your Dropbox folder. For this example I created a folder called crypt.

Start gnome-encfs-manager and set up a new stash by clicking the + sign.

Set the directory to encrypt to a folder inside your Dropbox folder.

Set the mount directory wherever you want, the default is fine just don't put it in your Dropbox folder. 

nter a strong password with at least 20 characters and click "Create".

Edit the new stash by selecting "Stash" and then "Configure" from the menu and check "Mount on Startup" and "Save Password in keyring" to save the password in the gnome keyring.

You should now have your encrypted drive mounted, it will be displayed like a mounted usb-drive.


Importing the drive on other computers:

1. Wait for all files to sync on Dropbox.
2. Start gnome-encfs-manager and set up a new stash.
3. encfs-manager will detect the drive and import it.
4.  Set the mount directory wherever you want (default is fine) and click "Import"
5. Edit the new stash as described above.
6. You will be asked for your password on first mount.

Hagelin BC-52 Simulator

This software is an accurate simulation of the Hagelin BC-52, one of the most famous Cold War era crypto machines. After the success of the C-38 and M-209 as tactical cipher devices, Hagelin developed a cipher machine for high level military and diplomatic encryption. In 1952 Hagelin Cryptos (Crypto AG) introduced the C-52 and, as Devours and Kruh wrote, ’caused ripples throughout the cryptanalytic community’. The C-52 raised the security of pin-and-lug devices to another level. The machine had 6 irregular moving pinwheels, selected from a set of 12, and the number of drum bars was extended to 32, of which 5 where also used to advance the wheels. When lugs and pins are selected carefully the C-52 provides even in this computer era a powerful encryption. The combination of C-52 and the keyboard, denoted B-52, was named BC-52. Within short time the BC-52 was purchased by more than 60 countries and remains popular until today.

This very realistic Hagelin BC-52 Cipher Machine Simulator enables you to encipher and decipher messages, and apply the key settings as you would with an actual machine. You can select between the C-52 and CX-52 model, and customize the machine in various ways. There’s also a formatted clipboard and an Autotyping function. The program includes a detailed help file containing the enciphering procedures, how to set the machine and all technical details .

Runs on Windows™ 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/Win7/Win 8 and on MAC with CrossOver, Parallels Desktop or WINE (open source).

Download BC-52 Simulator

For more detailed information on the BC-52 and other encryption machines visit the Cipher Machines and Cryptology page.

KL-7 Cipher Machine

This software is an accurate simulation of the KL-7 Cipher Machine. The KL-7, codenamed ADONIS or POLLUX, was an off-line rotor cipher machine, developed in the late 1940’s by the American Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) and introduced by the newly formed National Security Agency (NSA) in 1952. The KL-7 served in the United States and several NATO countries until 1983.

The KL-7 simulator provides authentic handling with its hands-on approach. All switches, buttons and even the sound function exactly like the real KL-7. Its rotor and cage wiring are fully customizable. With most surviving KL-7’s sanitized, this simulator is the only remaining way to actually work with this beautiful machine and the simulator serves as an attempt to keep this machine and its history alive. The simulator comes with an extensive 20 page manual (view here ) that includes the use of the simulator, the KL-7’s technical details, its history and sample messages.

The development of this simulator is based on publicly available information on the KL-7. It’s principles of operation and most of the technical details are known. However, the internal wiring of the ciphering rotors, which is considered part of the secret key settings, is still classified. The KL-7 simulator operates with the same cryptographic principles as the real KL-7 but consequently uses its own rotor and stepping wiring.

Runs on Windows™ 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/Win7/Win 8/Win 10 and on MAC with Parallels Desktop or WINE on Linux.

Download KL-7 Simulator
Download Manual

For more detailed information on the KL-7 and other encryption machines visit the Cipher Machines and Cryptology page.

220 Mhz Sat-Comm Antenna

Here is my  220 mhz sat-comm antenna that I recently put together so I could monitor Navy fleet satellite communication birds.  The antenna is a Arrow II hand-held portable model 220-3 yagi that I use to work my club’s local 220 repeater. I was in the Dollar store with my wife when I noticed this neat little blue wire mesh colander (two for a dollar) when the light bulb went off. Not only can I strain my pasta with it but it makes a perfect reflector for my 220 yagi. While testing it I picked up some Brazilian pirates on FLTSACOM 8 255.550 mhz using it as their own private CB. The coordinates for FLTSACOM 8 (USA 46) is as follows if you want to listen in:


NORAD ID: 20253
Int’l Code: 1989-077A
Perigee: 35,756.9 km
Apogee: 35,831.6 km
Inclination: 12.9 °
Period: 1,436.1 minutes
Semi major axis: 42165 km
Launch date: September 25, 1989
Source: United States (US)
Track the satellite in real time


M-125 Fialka Cipher Machine

The M-125, codename Fialka (Russian: ФИАЛКА), was an electromechanical wheel-based cipher machine, developed in the USSR shortly after WWII. It was first introduced in 1956 and soon became one of the favorite machines of the Warsaw Pact and some allied nations, such as Cuba. The machine is similar to the American Sigaba, the KL-7 and — to a lesser extent — the Enigma. For this reason the machine is sometimes called: the Russian Enigma. The original M-125 was succeeded by the M-125-3 in the mid-1960s and remained in use until the early 1990s.

The fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, marked the decline and finally the collapse of the Soviet Union. With the retreat of the Russians from the countries behind the Iron Curtain, the remaining Fialka machines were taken back and have subsequently been dismantled or destroyed.

Each country of the Warsaw Pact had its own customized Fialka version, adapted for the local language. This means that each country had its own keyboard and print head. Furthermore, the wiring of the coding wheels is different for each country. The rest of the machine is identical.

Each country of the Warsaw Pact had its own customized Fialka version, adapted for the local language. This means that each country had its own keyboard and print head. Furthermore, the wiring of the coding wheels is different for each country. The rest of the machine is identical. Fialka M-125-3 with open lid

Most machines were capable of communicating either in Latin or Cyrillic (Russian) writing. Although the Latin alphabet was specific for each country, the Cyrillic alphabet had no punctuation marks and was identical on all machines, making them interoperable when a mutual set of wheels was used. A standard – Russian-only – version also existed.

Ukrainian programmer Vyacheslav Chernov (Чернов) has written a beautiful graphical simulator for Windows TM, that emulates all known Fialka models and countries. It supports the old wheels as well as the later adjustable wheels, and supports different wheel-wirings for the various countries. Furthermore, the wiring cores can be installed, flipped and rotated in any of the other wheels.


Download Fialka Simulator
How to set the keys (and card)

For more detailed information on the M-125 visit the Crypto Museum.

Enigma Simulator

This software is an exact simulation of the 3-rotor Wehrmacht (Heer and Luftwaffe) Enigma, the 3-rotor Kriegsmarine M3, also called Funkschlussel M, and the famous 4-rotor Kriegsmarine M4 Enigma cipher machine, used during World War II from 1939 until 1945. The sim has a very authentic feeling with its hands-on approach: you can select between the three models, actually lift out and insert different rotors, adjust their ring setting and set up the plugboard. The internal wiring of all rotors is identical to those that were used by the Wehrmacht and Kriegsmarine. This simulator is therefore fully compatible with the various real Enigma models and you can decrypt authentic wartime messages or encrypt and decrypt your own messages.

The program comes with a very complete 22 page help file, containing the manual, some original messages, the history of Enigma and all technical details of the machine. The simulator also has a picture gallery of Enigma machines. With this software you will finally be able to work with the most intriguing machine in military cryptology and examine how it works and how it was operated. A true reference to Enigma, and an educational must!

Download EnigmaSim v7.0.6 (Zip 3.1 MB)
Download EnigmaSim Manual
Enigma Codebook Tool   Create and print your own code books.

Runs on Windows™ and with WINE on Linux or Parallels Desktop on MAC.

Wehrmacht Enigma I

Kriegsmarine M3

Kriegsmarine M4

Enigma open

For more detailed information on the Enigma visit the Cipher Machines and Cryptology page.