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Postage Machine Hacking


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#1 Freed.Info

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 06:56 PM

I noticed that at a lot of the offices that I frequent they have a machine that I guess 'stamps' their mail. I also noticed that they are usually connected to their network directly. I was wondering if anyone has any info on these machines since I also found out that they contain the money inside them from which they deduct per stamped item. I wonder what OS or whatever they run and if you can connect to them like a Remote host. They obviously run the TCP/IP stack.

#2 chaostic

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 08:19 PM

I noticed that at a lot of the offices that I frequent they have a machine that I guess 'stamps' their mail. I also noticed that they are usually connected to their network directly. I was wondering if anyone has any info on these machines since I also found out that they contain the money inside them from which they deduct per stamped item. I wonder what OS or whatever they run and if you can connect to them like a Remote host. They obviously run the TCP/IP stack.


Trying to Hack Government property
Trying to defraud a Government organization
Messing with the Postal Police

All federal pmita prison offenses.

Word to the weary, those machines tend to stamp the unique machine ID as well as the postage paid stamp. They do audit usage. You or the company that owns the machine would be caught eventually.

#3 Freed.Info

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 08:27 PM

Calm down, calm down. Christ.

Geez...this is a hacking site right?

I'm asking if anyone knows anything about them. I figured there would be a wealth of info and security around them BECAUSE they hold the money. I am a White Hat. I just don't know crap about them. Please don't assume my intentions; ask first.

For instance you mentioned that they hold the info for the machine that it was printed by...well how do you know that? Where did you get that info? What else do you know? Or are you speculating?

#4 PurpleJesus

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 07:00 PM

...
For instance you mentioned that they hold the info for the machine that it was printed by...well how do you know that? Where did you get that info? What else do you know? Or are you speculating?


You might want to read this:
http://w2.eff.org/Pr...ters/docucolor/

Edited by PurpleJesus, 20 August 2009 - 07:02 PM.


#5 WaMu

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 08:55 PM

All federal pmita prison offenses.


Not to mention that mail fraud is incredibly lame.

But, Freed asked the question in a respectable way, and I assume he's only curious.

But, on a side note, the Postal Service is going bankrupt. I have a feeling letters will be a thing of that past, a few years from now...

#6 PurpleJesus

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 09:24 PM

...

But, Freed asked the question in a respectable way, and I assume he's only curious.

...


Agreed. Must be something to it, ever notice how junk mail or bills never seem to be post-marked anymore?

An interesting experiment might be to take some BS mail you get, drop it off in a drop box across town, and see if it makes it's way back to you. If it does, it would have some interesting implications.

#7 lattera

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 09:55 PM

So if pen-testing something may involve federal crime, we should automatically assume it's secure so that we can save our own bums? I'm not sure that's the right attitude.

I'd be interested in learning about the security of protocols used within mail systems. If anyone has anything to share... share!

#8 Phail_Saph

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 01:02 AM

Posted Image

The above is the 'offical' Postal Regulation for an IBI or Information Based Indicia. All this information is contained in the 2-D barcode to the upper left of a piece of metered mail. Look at some of your junk mail and it will be very clear what I mean. It's that box that looks like Lattera's avatar. The column that says barcode are all of the data items in that 2-D barcode that I'm talking about and the Human Readable is what you can decipher when you look at it...date, time, etc.

The information is digitally signed so that when the Post Office reads the mail it can be fairly certain that it came from a particular licensed meter.

What's crazy is that the meter internally communicates with 'itself' using an asymetric key system...public/private. That is the meter contains a postal security device which is tamper resistant (of course resistance is a relative term) that sends out commands to create and sign the indicia with all the signals being encrypted. Think of it like an HTTPS setup for internal communications or more appropriately like each command being digitally signed. Digital signatures use the public/private key system so this is closer to what is happening.

The whole postage meter industry is so wacky. What I mean is that to actually attack the meter directly is incredibly hard but not impossible;however, there are far easier ways to 'hack' a meter. The meter itself and access thereof is fairly easy due to primitive security. If you have physical control of a meter and a system that can interface with it you can do pretty much whatever you want. But not to be too much of a worry wort...printing postage is printing money; stamps are a legal form of tender so if you play games with this stuff the penalties are insanely harsh because of that. I know some smartass is saying to himself, "Oh then I can use it to buy my groceries?" Not exactly...unclaimed stamps can and must be refunded by the post office. If you show up with a stamp that is legally yours or if you can 'somehow' prove that that is a stamp of yours the post office refunds the amount on the stamp. Of course it isn't an immediate refund. You can't just show up with a meter label for a hundred bucks and walk away with a c-note.


#9 Phail_Saph

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 01:37 AM

Agreed. Must be something to it, ever notice how junk mail or bills never seem to be post-marked anymore?

An interesting experiment might be to take some BS mail you get, drop it off in a drop box across town, and see if it makes it's way back to you. If it does, it would have some interesting implications.

Good experiment...however metered mail expires one day after the date on the indicia date whether you see it or not. Sometimes the date may not be human readable but it is encrypted in the 2-D barcode. It's up to the local postmaster whether or not they accept it. If it is a day or two past the date a lot of the times they take it but they technically shouldn't. Therefore, meter mail is self-postmarkable...is that a word?

#10 Freed.Info

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 05:15 PM

Wow that chart is exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for. Thanks Phail_Saph plus one for you!

Did you have any links as well?

#11 chaostic

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:12 PM

Calm down, calm down. Christ.

Geez...this is a hacking site right?

I'm asking if anyone knows anything about them. I figured there would be a wealth of info and security around them BECAUSE they hold the money. I am a White Hat. I just don't know crap about them. Please don't assume my intentions; ask first.

For instance you mentioned that they hold the info for the machine that it was printed by...well how do you know that? Where did you get that info? What else do you know? Or are you speculating?

Just giving you a warning. White hat or not, ""hacking"" is hacking, and can land you in jail if an over-zealous prosecutor or cop gets on your ass.

And just like the chart that PS posted, some of that info is human readable. Just look at some of the mail stamped by that machine at your office, and you will see what the serial number of the machine is.

Honestly, I thought that info to be pretty common knowledge in regards to barcodes and tracking of postage use.

#12 chaostic

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:15 PM




...

But, Freed asked the question in a respectable way, and I assume he's only curious.

...


Agreed. Must be something to it, ever notice how junk mail or bills never seem to be post-marked anymore?

An interesting experiment might be to take some BS mail you get, drop it off in a drop box across town, and see if it makes it's way back to you. If it does, it would have some interesting implications.


Bulk mail is pre-sorted by the mailer, and essentially pre-paid by contract with the USPS. No need to post-mark digitally scannable mail.

#13 chilly9630

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 02:47 AM

Indicia.jpg

The above is the 'offical' Postal Regulation for an IBI or Information Based Indicia. All this information is contained in the 2-D barcode to the upper left of a piece of metered mail. Look at some of your junk mail and it will be very clear what I mean. It's that box that looks like Lattera's avatar. The column that says barcode are all of the data items in that 2-D barcode that I'm talking about and the Human Readable is what you can decipher when you look at it...date, time, etc.

The information is digitally signed so that when the Post Office reads the mail it can be fairly certain that it came from a particular licensed meter.

What's crazy is that the meter internally communicates with 'itself' using an asymetric key system...public/private. That is the meter contains a postal security device which is tamper resistant (of course resistance is a relative term) that sends out commands to create and sign the indicia with all the signals being encrypted. Think of it like an HTTPS setup for internal communications or more appropriately like each command being digitally signed. Digital signatures use the public/private key system so this is closer to what is happening.

The whole postage meter industry is so wacky. What I mean is that to actually attack the meter directly is incredibly hard but not impossible;however, there are far easier ways to 'hack' a meter. The meter itself and access thereof is fairly easy due to primitive security. If you have physical control of a meter and a system that can interface with it you can do pretty much whatever you want. But not to be too much of a worry wort...printing postage is printing money; stamps are a legal form of tender so if you play games with this stuff the penalties are insanely harsh because of that. I know some smartass is saying to himself, "Oh then I can use it to buy my groceries?" Not exactly...unclaimed stamps can and must be refunded by the post office. If you show up with a stamp that is legally yours or if you can 'somehow' prove that that is a stamp of yours the post office refunds the amount on the stamp. Of course it isn't an immediate refund. You can't just show up with a meter label for a hundred bucks and walk away with a c-note.

hi

Can Any share you contact information which can help me work with hacking postal meters.

 

 

Chilly






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