Breaking the Silence

Wow has it been a long time!  I was maintaining radio silence during my security clearance background investigation.  Now that its all over expect me to post more (honest).

For those of you not close to me, I was hired by the DoD (Department of Defense).  What does this mean?  Well you will never again hear the words “today at work…” uttered again.  That does not mean I will lacking topics to post about.

My security research at home is picking up again.  Expect posts on the topics of forensics, anti-forensics, malware and possibly a new pentest tool or two.

It’s nice to be back and for those of you reading this, thank you for sticking it out and visiting again.

Why Won’t Dell Stop Sucking?!

For some reason people keep buying Dells.

I remember a couple of years ago all the small form factor optiplex’s I had suffered from a bad cap on the motherboard.  Eventually all of them just die.

My whole team at work have the same model workstation and the PSU went on each of them, one by one.

I have a service tag – the “serial number” unique to each computer – and type it into their site looking for drivers.  You would think, being that this tag is unique, that they could look up your computer and give you your network card drivers, your video driver etc.  NO!  Instead they give you the choice to download every driver for every chipset that was ever used on that given model.  Why do I have this service tag?!  Why don’t I just type in the model?!  Its the same results!

After all that people still buy these pieces of crap.  They never even question why that is.

I cant speel or gramer to good.

I cant speel or gramer to good.

People poke me with pointy stiks wen I spel bad, but still I sucks.

Seriously though, I have never been able to spell and get silly words mixed up (like then and than or there, their and they’re).  Attending school in a time before computers were common made this more problimatic.  Spell and grammer check have helped me a great deal but have become dependant on them.

My thinking and research are sound, and I enjoy publishing my work, but if I only had a secretary. 🙂

Conn. Teacher Cleared of Felony Endangerment in Pop-Up Case

The case against Connecticut substitute teacher Julie Amero has finally
come to a close.  Prosecutors dropped the felony charges against her,
but the agreement called for a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of
disorderly conduct and surrender of her state teaching credential.
Amero had previously been convicted of endangering minors and faced 40
years in prison.  Prosecutors alleged that in 2004 she had surfed to
dubious websites that displayed pornographic pop-ups on a computer in
the classroom; when security specialists caught wind of the case, they
pushed to examine the computer in question and found that the school
district had inadequate anti-malware protection on that computer and the
pop-ups were not Amero’s fault.

This is easily one of the most frustrating InfoSec stories of recent years.  In case you are unaware, some poor substitute teacher in Conn was using a computer in a classroom when a flood of pornographic pop-ups (induced by malware) came on the screen.  She found herself in court facing Child Endangerment charges and up to 40 years in prison.

This highlights how scary our legal system can get.  If you have no idea what a case is about do not try to render a verdict.  Defer it to another judge, a jury or call in some experts.  For gods sake, don’t sentence someone for not doing anything wrong.

Vote… seriosly… vote.

I don’t need to lecture everyone on why this is so important… your reading this so you are obviously literate and therefor fully aware of why you need to vote today.

I also don’t need to beat the dead horse of vote fraud alarmism, although its still something you need to be very aware of.  In the past I have posted links to different voting awareness sites in posts like “Mid-Term Elections” and “e-voteing“.  All of the information contained in these posts (sadly) still holds true today.

Be aware of your voter rights, and what to look for to ensure voter fraud isn’t happening.

Visit Black Box voting article “What to expect and look for…

f00 Brewery Kegging

As I mentioned previosly, Missy and I have started brewing our own beer.  We are starting to produce some respectable ales and are cranking out many diverse batches.

Last weekend we kicked it up to the next level and purchased an Oster 5cubic foot fridge, 4 corny kegs and all the CO2 gear to keg our brews.

Its amazing to be able to skip the botteling step and have draft beer on tap in my ‘man cave’.

Bottling involves de-labeling and sanitizing 52 12oz beer bottles, cooking a batch of ‘priming sugar’, sticking the beer in the bottles and capping them.  Then you wait at least 2 weeks for ‘bottle conditioning’ and you drink.

With kegging you transfer from your secondary fermentation vessel to the keg, pressurize it, roll it around a bit and wait a few hours.  You are drinking your beer in less than a day as opposed to two weeks.

I will post pictures and tutorials for the kegging project once its finished.