I participated in the powers of tau ceremony. This was a fun one, not as cool
as radioactive material but I leave the judgment to the reader ;-)
Farraday cage used: Airbus A320 ;-)
Country of calculation: technically „none“ for a good amount of time, then
Long story short: Calculation done on airplaine tray table on an unexpteced one
day later flight and on a homestay on Bali.
So here is some background: My MacBook Air (Sierra 10.12.6) was always with me
and always destroys the filevault encryption keys after being in standbye for
more than a couple of minutes. I have been traveling for the last 10 1/2 months
around this globe, have been to South Africa, South America (Brasil, Argentina,
Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia), a little bit of central america (Panama,
Costa Rica), north america (Mexico City), Hawaii, New zZealand (3 1/2 months).
So you can say that either every national intelligence agency had chances to
have a look or none because me myself often/usually would only know 1-3 days in
advance where I would be in 1 to 3 days. (all travels usually youth hostels or
nice host families)
I have been in Australia the last 3 weeks. So I prepared the software setup
from a hostel in Cairns. I was then supposed (!) to be on the flight to Bali,
but was at the end of the luggage check-in queue and the flight had a passenger
cap for safety reasons. I originally planned to do the calculation on the
plane, so any adversary trying to follow me probably ended up sitting on the
first plane and would have had to organise a ticket for the flight the
following day. I did download the challenge file over the hotel wifi (I got
provided accommodation by the airline). Worked out nicely because Sean provided
me with the files just in time for the second, initially not expected flight.
I then boarded the flight, waited for the start and then used my physical dice
that I packed with me to get some random numbers. I also used a combination of
dice rolling to define some seconds and then count the number of clouds I could
see from ym window seat. I also counted the number of different colour
boundaries I could see in the sunset with the clouds. I meshed this numbers
into various text input fields of my system (wifi and bluetooth were disabled).
I then started the calculation using the Go implementation. I forgot that my
laptop would go into sleepmode so it went into sleep mode and into deep sleep,
but continued the calculation (might mean that a sleepimage might have been
written to disk, more on that later).
The calculation went on, at some point my laptop ran out of power. I never left
it unattended (I took it with me to the toilet!). I landed in Bali with the
empty battery, went to my stay after many tens of minutes of driving through
nightly Denpasar and then continued the computation from the room. The laptop
was then ~20cm away from my bed (but I went to sleep and set myself an alarm
clock). I woke up in the night (room was key locked from within with key in the
door and windows have steel bars). I rebooted the computer and uploaded the
Oddities that I noticed:
When setting up and playing around with my laptop in Cairns in the hostel, I
used my Bluetooth magic mouse (so bluetooth was enabled). Out of nowhere, I saw
a connection request from someone’s LG phone that popped up (that I declined).
This happened two more times in short succinction before I disabled Bluetooth
(might have been a person at the pool outside my window). What I don’t
understand is why my Macbook would be visible in Bluetooth (I checked
preferences, it shouldn’t have been visible).
The other odity that I observed (and can’t remember having seen in a very very
very long time) is my complete Bluetooth stack being „rerecognised“ à la
„unplugged and replugged USB device while sitting in the airport. I noticed
that through HardwareGrowler which shows me changes of the hardware that my
Macbook is aware of).
How I destroyed the toxic waste:
I rebooted my machine and as this machine is every 1-3 days complaining about
having too little disk space left, and me shuffling big files around very
often, the likelyhood of remnants staying on the ssd and not being overwritten
soon are very small. Encryption keys to my SSD are destroyed after some time in
standby, so obtaining them access to the SSD is rather hard. I did duplicate
some files to fill up my hard disk space so, anything that was there is almost
certain to have been overwritten at some point.
If there are any further questions, feel free to reach out.