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Wireless DeadDrop

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After doing the usb dead drop project i quickly thought about other deaddrop type projects. The main constraint for the usb deaddrop project was the use of having to physically plug it in. The prospect of having the ability to do this wirelessly was very intriguing. So I did a bunch of research and asked around and finally found this solution. 

The wireless deaddrop project was the solution that i was able to create for the least amount of money. There are many routers that will do this a bit easier but they cost at minimum $150. 

Why a Deaddrop?
The name comes from the old spy technique of sharing files, from wikipedia:
"A dead drop or dead letter box is a method of espionage tradecraft used to pass items between two individuals using a secret location and thus does not require them to meet directly. Using a dead drop permits a case officer and agent to exchange objects and information while maintaining operational security. The method stands in contrast to the live drop, so called because two persons meet to exchange items or information."

Deaddrop style projects seek to take information and files out of the general internet stream and make them available in a way that requires going to a physical location. This sort of file sharing is much more personable than just grabbing files from the internet. It is also a good way to share sensitive files as it can be obscured and even utilize encryption.

WARNING: This project involves flashing a router, which could break said router, and give you emotional hardship and having to learn how to telnet into a router. (FUN!) I'm not responsible for breaking your router or that you might gain experience on the linux command line that may be totally useless.
 
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Mattef6 months ago
Thank you for this nice tutorial.
I came along with it till I have to set up the samba-server.
How do I actually create the samba users and give them acces to the filesystem?

At the OpenWrt-Wiki it only says:
"Create samba users by adding them to /etc/passwd and /etc/group then using smbpasswd to set passwords and add to samba. Setup shared directories permissions according to your needs using chown and chmod. Any unknown usernames used for authentication against samba are mapped to a guest login silently by default."

Can you explain me please how I set up the samba user step by step?
That would be very nice!
claudiopolis8 months ago
Nice warning :-)
I have a TP-Link TL-ML 3020 and had some thoughts on something similar. But after reading your warning it's all clear to me. I really have to stop learning totally useless things. ;-)
Well, knowing the linux console is not totally useless. A lot of gadgets are powered by it. I personally prefer logging into the shell of my qnap NAS to change the permissions for a file instead of using its slow browser-based interface. Who knows, maybe someday you'll actually use linux as your main OS. Maybe you're aready using it in such a way.
AnthonyBriggs7 months ago
Just finished setting mine up, although I haven't set up the dead drop connection yet (I don't want people in my street leeching my internet).

I did have some trouble with the usb part in step 7, but just needed to install a couple of extra usb-related packages. I think they were kmod-usb2 and kmod-usb-storage, but don't quote me on that - I followed instructions on http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/usb.essentials and http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/usb.storage

I also needed to install luci-app-samba to get the fancy interface, and needed to restart samba via command line to get everything going.
I like this project. But what I would like to use it for is a free access multi-user media streaming website. If this bridges to another wireless network, I would want that only used for remote administration. All logins via the open SSID need to be redirected to a website on the internal storage. This website should be designed so that any mobile device will get full functionality without needing any special codecs or updates. Features I would like to see onsite are a media stream upfront starting out in low resolution, to play randomly from files uploaded by anyone. I would restrict file uploads to mp3, mp4 or some such thing. In the field, the user experience needs to be like this: Scanning for wifi spots this signal without password. Logging in and running any web browser, to any address will bring up the media streaming site. Music or video plays instantly with a welcome message and a suggestion to upload whatever you think should be shared with random strangers. Voting on currently playing tracks should be a integral feature because the least-liked tracks with a high number of votes will be the first to get deleted to make room for more uploads. And yeah, a solar panel with this project sealed to the underside and a directional patch antenna would allow installation in tree tops, rooftops or pole mounting for a wide area and good sun exposure. Battery charge & condition should be monitored and trigger an alert if there's any issues.
Having "every" mobile device play media without having to use additional software (I assume you mean browser based playback) may still be in the realms of fantasy for now.
Guess I'll have to go back to google on that! 'browser based playback'? on any combination of mobile OS's? There's got to be some kind of standard protocols!
sschoemann8 months ago
Nice project BUT with the Raspberry Pi and decent routers costing under thirty bucks This project pales by comparison with what can be done. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Pi also have built in Wifi, making it alone, suitable for a wireless dead drop using peer to peer networking. This would allow "mailbox" use and one at a time user access, I don't know if the software could be rewritten to use it as a router for more than one user at a time direct access...
The Pi does not have built-in WiFi, but it's still a pretty cheap add on. A WiPi is under $30 and is designed specifically for the Raspberry Pi.
What makes the WiPi any different to a $10 USB WiFi module?
It almost seems like you are paying extra for the sake of it being stamped as a Raspberry Pi specific device.
Probably just the ease of having built-in drivers and it seems to be a bit smaller than most USB adapters that I've seen. But, I agree a $10 USB WiFi stick is probably the better option.
I suppose, although I have been using a cheap WiFi module which I only had to install a single APT package to get working.
I just can't help but find that whilst the Pi is relatively cheap and good value, all of it's accessories are overpriced (not necessarily expensive), especially the camera module.
frenzy (author)  sschoemann8 months ago
That sounds awesome! please post an instructable!
keastes8 months ago
WARNING! the router you linked to is the 702, not the 703. this will not work with openWRT. i just found this out as i accidentally ordered it. reason is that this doesnt have a large enough flash to hold openWRT and its derivatives.
frenzy (author)  keastes8 months ago
jeeze, sorry about that, i just updated the link!
keastes frenzy7 months ago
rereading what i wrote, i should probably mention that i ordered this before i knew this ibile existed, turns out amazon takes any search for the 703 and puts the 702 as the first item. thus my Oh, Sh**.
XTL frenzy8 months ago
The 3020 should also work well
keastes XTL8 months ago
http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/start anything under "supported hardware" and that has a USB port should work. but it doesnt really state what form factor everything is, unless you follow every link.
REALMSMAN8 months ago
This seems like a lot of unnecessary stuff to do when you can just get an old $40 windows phone with and 8 gig micro sd card and create a virtual wifi connection that broadcasts and bridge it to the active wireless connection. Then just set the shares and permissions then give whoever the location and password and your done.It even can be connected to the free campus wifi so it can be accessed via the net as well via something like hamachi.
frenzy (author)  REALMSMAN7 months ago
Please post an instructable about that! i'd love to see easier implementations of this kind of project.
zephc8 months ago
Sry if this is a dumb question, but:

>A hacked router that is broadcasting its own wireless network from which you can access the internet without connecting an ethernet cable

Why do we want this thing to provide internet access? Shouldn't it just be a wifi accessible storage device?
frenzy (author)  zephc7 months ago
Basically i make it have internet at first so when i ran into problems i could look them up with the same computer, later you disable this.
It is a good one which will be usefull every one in the world http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/F84/GQYW/HKM949UG/F84GQYWHKM949UG.THUMB.jpg
good.jpg
I experience trouble with some cheap usb sticks. changing the order of the partition seems to fix it for now (Still testing). If anybody else experiences the same problem please respond, i like to know why.
MikeKulls7 months ago
This one. It would be worth mentioning for Windows users to get an ssh client they can download Putty for free
Oops. Meant to say nice one not this one. Damn swype :)
pabell8 months ago
This is basically your version of a Piratebox.http://daviddarts.com/piratebox/
zerode8 months ago
This is a great idea. For something comparable, check out http://daviddarts.com/piratebox/?title=PirateBox

The great thing would be to make this solar powered and hide it in a public space
cogliostro6668 months ago
Similar to PirateBOX project.
For more information (but slightly out dated) about a real hack box:
http://www.minipwner.com/index.php/minipwner-build
mcattini8 months ago
Okay this is awesome, you have my respect sir!! I had to vote for this!

Explaining this project for some users out there who couldn't see the application of such thing, say you leave this at a strategic point, you can upload files using samba to the usb drive and your friends can access the wireless point and download those files with ease, or share files of their own with you. This could be messages, word files, assignments, etc. Make it a private wireless connection (invisible) and put it in a secret location say the middle of campus!

Imagine this at a student hall!! With more storage I could see uni students sharing assignments or even having a secret message board =) and being able to use even their phones to access that storage when they come within range to the wireless signal!

I know this is wrong but it is awefully ingenious!

I'm gonna use this to share a hard drive accross the network so everybody at home can access music, movies, content, from their video games, cellphones, computers, etc.

Great tutorial!
craigthecoder8 months ago
While it might have been nice to include the same information about "what" and "why" in this project, frenzy DOES make reference to the USB dead drop which has a thorough explanation on the first page. It takes an extra click or two, but the info is available.
dwream8 months ago
The question has been asked but not answered: why a DeadDrop? This Instructable is clever, well illustrated, and clearly written. I believe that I could walk in your footsteps and make one. But why?
bremus8 months ago
So what is a DeadDrop, how would I use it?
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