The first thing people think when you tell them you’re a Penetration Tester:
What people think when you tell them you’re a Pen Tester:
Protip: Go with the first one.
When people ask me about the different ways they can protect their iPhone in case it gets lost or stolen, I usually point them in the direction of my article on Protecting and Recovering Your iPhone and iPad from Loss and Theft. I just updated that article to include a tip about creating a custom lockscreen image for your iPhone that may help someone return it to you in the event it gets lost.
A tip is all good and well, but creating such a customised image may be beyond the technical abilities of your average iPhone user, so I hacked together the brand new iPhone Lockscreen Generator!
This free online tool allows anyone to create a customised lockscreen (currently with one of four background images), in less than a minute. Just enter your contact details (first name, alternate contact number), and maybe a short note for whomever finds your iPhone (reward maybe?), click generate, then tap/click on the image to download it. You can do this on your computer, and email yourself the image, or do it directly on your iPhone.
Once downloaded to your iPhone, you can set the image as your lockscreen wallpaper by going into the Photos app, tapping your image, then tap the ‘send to’ icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, select Use as wallpaper > Set > Set Lock Screen.
Don’t forget to share this with your friends! You can even use one of the share links below ;) If you have any feedback or tips, let me know.
The complexity of passwords is indeed something that has recently flipped into the realm of impossibility for us humans. In order to get any kind of decent cracking-resistant password these days you’re probably looking at having a password of at least 15 characters, making heavy use of uppercase, lowercase, symbols, etc. Very few people will be willing to commit that to memory, and if they do, they’ll be even less likely to change it on a regular basis.
The XKCD comic below shows that point pretty simply. It’s not actually that bad to use dictionary words, as long as they’re unrelated and you chain many of them together. The reason this works is because instead of picking from a character set of 26 letters, 10 digits and 20 symbols (total=56), you’re now selecting from a character set that is as large as the dictionary (~150,000 words). If you select four words of about 5 characters or more, the potential keyspace an attacker has to guess will be enormous – especially if you throw in a few symbols for good measure ;)
Just a day after his keynote at the World Wide Developer Conference, Steve was giving a different kind of presentation… to the Cupertino Council.
Five years ago Apple purchased a large chunk of land from HP, and have been planning on building a new campus to house 12,000 employees. As Steve explained (and this guy can sell anything), the new campus will feature a beautiful circular building, to be set in a massive landscaped park. The picture below shows how close it’ll be to Apple’s headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop, and a mock-up of what it will look like from space (likely the setting of Apple’s new campus in 2098).
The campus will even feature its own natural gas power station, because it seems like Steve doesn’t trust the electricity company. The entire project is pegged for completion by 2015.
Hit the jump for a video of Steve’s pitch to the council. Read more
After re-watching V for Vendetta which, on a side-note, is an excellent movie, I was struck by how topical the story was with regards to events of the past few months, from Wikileaks’ Cablegate to the ongoing Egyptian Revolution. This inspired me to throw together the image above.
Although the message is probably painfully clear to the Egyptian people, it is important that we, in the so-called ‘developed’ world, not forget that the unchallenged erosion of civil liberties, and other freedoms that we take for granted, could rapidly make this message ring true for us as well.
Don’t lie, you’d want to pick the lock anyway ;)
I’ve just stumbled across this post on the Attack Vector blog where the author, Matt, gets back at a spammer by digging up a whole bunch of personal info about him and his family, and posting it online. The post itself is from May 2010, but I felt it reflected the importance of being aware of one’s privacy on the internet.
Using only the spammer’s email address and IP address, he describes the process of gradually digging up information in WHOIS records, Google, Facebook, and other information mining sites, in order to obtain a fairly descriptive profile. I highly recommend reading it for anyone who’s interesting in online privacy or information gathering.
I also recommend using the following Venn diagram when considering the effects of the internet on your privacy:
There is no overlap. Diagram by Dave Hoffman.
In November 2009, Phil Mocek (@pmocek) was arrested by Albuquerque Police at Albuquerque Airport for not providing a piece of identification, and recording the TSA process on camera (video below). In the US, one’s right to fly is guaranteed by Federal Laws and the Constitution, and as long as you do not break any other laws, local or state police cannot legally prevent you from flying.
Mocek was charged with things like criminal trespass, refusing to obey an officer, concealing his identity, and disorderly conduct. On 21 January 2011, he was acquitted on all charges by a jury without the defense having to call any witnesses or provide any evidence. The prosecution’s case simply did not stand up.
In a previous court case against another man who refused to show ID, the TSA admitted that there is actually no law that requires travelers to present ID in order to be able to fly. In the US, it is also perfectly legal to record video in public areas of the airport, despite what signs, staff or police may claim.
This case is reminiscent of John Tyner, who was thrown out of San Diego Airport for refusing the new TSA (grope) patdown. Note that you may want to familiarise yourself with the relevant laws regarding ID and recording in your own country.
Full details are available here. Well done to Phil for protecting his rights, and in the process, all of ours as well. Speaking of TSA security measures, I thought this recent Dilbert comic was particularly fitting.
Stumbled across this picture this week, and although it’s quoting Bill Hader playing as Julian Assange in the Saturday Night Live skit below, I feel the message still makes a point. It’s probably worth reminding people that Assange was voted for Person of the Year by the readers of TIME magazine. In that same vote Zuckerberg came in at a lagging 10th place. I know… how Zuckerberg got it confused me too.
[Update] Here’s an Assange/Zuckerberg mashup picture of the quote above:
Can’t remember where I found this image, but it’s an amusing hyperbole of the sometimes limited or frustrating nature of penetration testing. Anyone who’s done pen testing/ethical hacking as a job will be able to appreciate the various points along the graph.
To the unknown author of this image: we feel your pain. ;)
There just one thing… I get M, T, W and F along the X-axis… wtf’s R ??