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Confessions of a Disk Cracker: the secrets of 4am.

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Confessions of a Disk Cracker: the secrets of 4am.



Why did you choose to start aggressively de-protecting, archiving and re-distributing Apple II software? It’s tempting to rewrite history and give myself some noble purpose for starting this hobby, but in this case the truth makes for a better story.

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June 17, 2018 at 09:38AM

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Flameeyes
19 hours ago
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Dublin, Ireland
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[$] Messiness in removing directories

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In the filesystem track at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Al Viro discussed some problems he has recently spotted in the implementation of rmdir(). He covered some of the history of that implementation and how things got to where they are now. He also described areas that needed to be checked because the problem may be present in different places in multiple filesystems.

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Flameeyes
5 days ago
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Dublin, Ireland
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Data Provided by the Estonian Central Criminal Police is Now Searchable on Have I Been Pwned

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Data Provided by the Estonian Central Criminal Police is Now Searchable on Have I Been Pwned

Running Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) has presented some fascinating insights into all sorts of aspects of how data breaches affect us; the impact on the individual victims such as you and I, of course, but also how they affect the companies involved and increasingly, the role of government and law enforcement in dealing with these incidents. Last week I had an all new situation arise related to that last point and I want to explain it properly here so it makes sense if someone finds themselves in this data breach.

I was contacted by the Cybercrime Bureau of the Estonian Central Criminal Police who were after some assistance notifying individuals impacted by a number of different breaches. They suspected that a significant volume of the credentials obtained in these incidents have been used to access mailboxes, cryptocurrency exchanges, cloud service accounts and other similar online assets. It's an ongoing investigation so they can't go into details about the incidents themselves, but they do have a strong suspicion that the accounts breached from these incidents are likely being compromised in other locations where passwords have been reused. They went on to explain what they believe the primary motivation of these attacks is:

We suspect that the main modus operandi was to log into cryptocurrency platforms or look for wallet information in mailboxes and transfer the money to perpetrators accounts

The Estonian Police elected to reach out to me and provide the data via HIBP as they can no longer be sure the legitimate owners have access to the impacted email accounts. They also don't want to set a precedent of sending emails of this nature to citizens as they would very likely be replicated in phishing attacks. With the data now loaded into HIBP, they'll be broadcasting the address of the site and suggesting people search there to assess their exposure. In total, there were 655k records affected that are now searchable.

Obviously the same fundamental security advice many of you already know applies: create strong, unique passwords (get a password manager) and enable 2 factor authentication on everything that supports it (check out twofactorauth.org for a full list). Definitely do that if you find yourself in this breach, but equally do it now if you're not already following these fundamental principles.

If you find your email address in this incident and also identify that cryptocurrency has been stolen, please contact the Cybercrime Bureau of the Estonian Central Criminal Police at cybercrime@politsei.ee.

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Flameeyes
7 days ago
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Dublin, Ireland
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Actually secure DNS over TLS in Unbound

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You’ll find quite a few blog posts and tutorials on how to configure encrypted DNS over TLS forwarding in Unbound. I’ve yet to find a single one that actually sets up TLS securely with certificate domain validation, however. Without TLS certificate domain validation your DNS can still be intercepted, monitored, or manipulated by a man-in-the-middle […]

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Flameeyes
11 days ago
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Dublin, Ireland
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City office block swapping cars for bicycle racks

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A sign of the times, as a large office in the City of London wants to get rid of most of its car parking space, and replace it with bicycle racks and cycling facilities.

Cheapside House, a fairly ordinary office block opposite the ghastly One New Change shopping centre was constructed in 1958-9 to a design by the architect Theo Birks.

As was customary for large office blocks of the time, it had lots of car parking spaces in the basement, with a ramp at the back of the building for access. Senior managers were not expected to slum it on the tube trains after all.

At the moment, there is space in the basement for 21 cars, and this will be cut down to just 5 cars. In the owners want to install a replacement 70 bike racks, clothes lockers and eight showers will be installed in the space.

That number alone gives you an idea of how much space is “wasted” by car parking spaces.

At the moment there are some cycle racks in the basement, but no other facilities, so the planned changes are a significant step to improving cycling facilities for people working in the building.

They’re also seeking permission to add a roof terrace and various other minor changes, including a more impressive pedestrian entrance on Cheapside.

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Flameeyes
22 days ago
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Dublin, Ireland
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The future starts here? Or does it?

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One thing anyone who has ever looked at visions of the future will be able to tell you, is that our predecessors were utterly wrong. So it takes some gumption for the V&A to repeat the same… mistake?

An exhibition about the future is big, bright colours and neon, in an age where most people see gadgets as white, small and austere.

Opening with a robot folding the clothes left behind by messy humans, it weaves a tale of how the future could be hyperconnected with everything monitored, and monetised.

But its also a look at a future that is smaller in a financial sense. The future has always been expensive, whether it was the industrial revolution, or investing in new tech start ups. Increasingly the future is crowd-sourced, with the public able to dip in with their own modest investments, literally buying into the future.

A large section looks at how that shrinking of the barriers to entry is also opening up dialogue, with the walls of politics falling to hashtags and crowd-sourced apps.

It’s often said that direct democracy would see the worst of mankind turned into law that oppresses the minorities of the time, but the way twitter mobs can spring up faster than a Socialist Worker protest banner is changing democracy into direct action. Will people permit politicians to remain the gatekeepers to how laws are made, or will the laws of the future be driven by clicks of the like button?

One of the weakest spots in the dark space that the future is being presented in are the cities of the future. The Apple building, lauded for its design is shown as rich, isolated and insular, much like the company, but the rest of the cities of the future is sadly just a few models thrown into the mix seemingly for want of anything else to put here.

The space that probably is closest to how the future will be, if not in how they show it, is in the medical sphere.

It’s not unreasonable to say that the next great revolution will be medical, extending lifespans and the quality of life through cures. But where the cryogenics shown here offer a chance of the resurrection, it’s akin to using a steam engine in the nuclear age — a very clumsy solution to a problem.

More realistically the bag of pills on display, to enhance life will be the future – small and expensive. And white.

The exhibition is a colourful confection of ideas, and it can be a bit overwhelming at first, but it is divided into zones. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of a narrative between the zones and the objects – it’s a cluster of items put on display more to create an exhibition than to tell a story.

The exhibition, The Future Starts Here is at the V&A Museum until 4th November. Entry is £16.

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Flameeyes
34 days ago
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Dublin, Ireland
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