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Posts from the ‘General’ Category

8
Jun

Steve Jobs Presents New Apple Campus to Cupertino Council [Updated]

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.

[Updated 9/06/2011] Steve has made his coucil presentation slides available (PDF). Details have emerged that the architect will probably be Norman Foster.

Hit the jump for a video of Steve’s pitch to the council. Read moreRead more

6
Jun

My Favorite Top 10 Best #Protolol Jokes

No idea where it came from, but today the techno-geek community of Twitter woke up and decided en-masse that it was a good day to make pun-esque jokes about protocols and other computer technology. You probably need to be a geek to understand these, let alone find them funny. The following is a compilation of my favourite #protolols:

@yoz: order best is tell that The you thing can about jokes BitTorrent them in any
@eigenrick: The problem with TCP jokes is that people keep retelling them slower until you get them
@RichGibson: DHCP jokes only work when there is only one person telling them
: The problem with token ring jokes is you need to wait your turn to laugh
@dasfiregod: The worst part about token ring jokes is that if someone starts telling one while you are telling yours, all joking stops
@KippiHax: I was promised a three way and all I got was a TCP handshake
@xntrik: The problem with git jokes is everyone has their own version
@thornmaker: I would tweet a joke about CSRF if you hadn’t just done so yourself
@zhov: I tried to come up with an IPv4 joke, but the good ones were all already exhausted
@akujobi: My HEAD hurts because I don’t GET all the HTTP jokes y’all PUT on my timeline. I have to DELETE some of them POST-haste
And here are a few of my own:
@securitygen: I received a Tor joke from someone… have no idea who they are though…

@securitygen: I’d make a joke about UDP, but I don’t know if anyone’s actually listening…

@securitygen: Let me speak out in the open: Telnet IS a joke!
There’s a bunch more archived by Attrition.org. Does anyone else have any good ones?
: The problem with token ring jokes is you need to wait your turn to laugh
3
Mar

The Slippery Slope of Civil and Human Rights at Toronto’s G20 Protests

Every year, representatives from the G20 (top 20 economic countries) get together to discuss issues pertaining to international finance. Every year, people from all political and sociological beliefs get together to protest (most of them peacefully) for their particular cause. Last year, at Toronto’s G20 summit in June 2010, it all went horribly wrong; and for the first time that I can remember, a developed and democratic western country revealed just how easily civil and human rights can be swept away, and police be used to control innocent civilians.

The video below, entitled Under Occupation, provides real and shocking accounts of the events that transpired that week. Watch it.

25
Feb

Anonymous Deface Westboro Baptist Church Site Live On Air

Anonymous recently found themselves entangled with the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) after the homophobic religious zealots published a taunt where they dared the hacktivist group to ‘bring it’. Anonymous quickly announced that they had never threatened the church in any way. I’m inclined to believe them because, as lame and hateful the church and their members are, Anonymous are busier fighting for freedom in North Africa and the Middle East than they are exposing ridiculous religious groups in Kansas. Instead, another hacktivist known as th3j35t3r (@th3j34t3r) joined in the fight, bringing down five of WBC’s hate-spewing websites.

Not happy to leave the matter alone, or rather perfectly happy for some more media whoring, Westboro decided to go on air and pour some fuel on the fire. In the interview Shirley Phelps-Roper, a ridiculously immature and inarticulate representative of WBC, faced off against a comparatively calm and bemused representative of Anonymous. Anon reiterated that they did not initially threaten WBC, and during the interview proceeded to deface one of the church’s sites with a message from the group. Excerpt:

Your continued biting of the Anonymous hand… has earned you a swift and emotionless bitchslap, in the form of this very message. […] For this unremitting display of overzealousness, we award you no points. Take this defacement as a simple warning: go away. The world (including Anonymous) disagrees with your hateful messages, but you have the right to voice them. This does not mean you can jump onto Anonymous for attention.

These WBC idiots really make me rage, and they make honest Christians look bad. Anonymous, th3j35t3r, I tip my hat to you on this one. Check out the video of the interview below.

24
Feb

WordPress 3.1 Released

WordPress “Reinhardt” 3.1 has been released, with the bulk of changes focused on the admin interface and functionality. Key improvements include:

  • A redesigned linking workflow
  • A funky new admin bar (hopefully it’ll be possible to customize this one)
  • A streamlined writing interface

I particularly like the new linking functionality, which simplifies linking to internal posts and pages on your site (screenshot below). No more having to find that page, and copy/paste the URL!

I was a bit apprehensive about updating, as it’s quite easy for plugins to break, and there’s no easy way to see the compatibility status of your plugins. If anyone feels up to it, I’d like to see a plugin that allows you to quickly check the compatibility status of all your installed plugins with regard to the next available version. That said, I updated, and it went flawlessly.

Other than that, this update does not have a significant impact in terms of security apart from the usual bug fixes.

10
Feb

HBGary: Security Firm Investigating ‘Anonymous’ Hacked and Exposed

“Do not meddle in the affairs of hackers, for they are subtle and quick to anger.”

Following last week’s hacking of shamed LIGATT CEO Gregory D Evans, this week it was the turn of security firm HBGary to get exposed. HBGary have been aiding the FBI with their investigations into members of Anonymous. Although Anonymous isn’t a centralised ‘group’, their recent DDoS attacks and hacks of oppressive governments and anti-wikileaks organisations (including PayPal, MasterCard and VISA), have made them a target of the US Federal Government.

HBGary were allegedly preparing to hand over information about certain members of Anonymous to the FBI, who have already made several arrests in the US and UK, and obtained over 40 search warrants in an attempt to shut down Anonymous (probably not possible imo). Angered by CEO Aaron Barr and HBGary’s involvement in FBI investigations, members of Anonymous compromised a number of HBGary servers, defacing their website, gaining access to CEO Aaron Barr’s Twitter account, and obtaining a large number of emails. In what seems to be the popular punishment at the moment, over 50,000 corporate emails were released in a torrent. Anonymous also stated, on one of their many Twitter accounts, that the source code of HBGary’s security products was also obtained – although these don’t appear to have been released (yet?).

“You’ve angered the hive, and now you are being stung.”

Anonymous posted a message to HBGary on their defaced website, where they mock the firm for their lack of security and the unsubstantial ‘public’ information that was going to be handed sold to the FBI.

Hit the jump for Anonymous’ full message.

Ars Technica has a good review of how this all went down, and a step-by-step account of how the hack was possible.

[Update] Aaron Barr steps down as CEO of HBGary Federal

Read moreRead more

6
Feb

The Importance of Freedom

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.

5
Feb

Pic of the Week: Total Security Epic Fail Theater

Don’t lie, you’d want to pick the lock anyway ;)

3
Feb

LIGATT CEO Gregory D Evans Hacked and Exposed

It appears that the website (rm’d), email and Twitter account of the much disliked LIGATT CEO Gregory D Evans have been hacked, and 84,668 of his emails have been leaked in a 4.15GB torrent. Evans, self-declared “World’s Number 1 Hacker” and also a convicted felon, is frequently outed by many in the security industry for his use of plagiarism, fraud and unethical practices. This leak is probably due to his consistent harassment of security professionals who have been vocal about exposing his activities. A full and descriptive profile of Evans is available at SecurityErrata.org.

Messages were posted on Evans’ hacked Twitter account (above), pointing to a Pastebin (since removed). Here is an excerpt:

Do not meddle in the affairs of hackers, for they are subtle and quick to anger.

When one thinks of frauds in the infosec community, most people are quick to point to Gregory D Evans of LIGATT Security[…]

He’s gone after people at their home to intimidate them and their family. He’s gone after them at their work to discredit them with their employer. And as everyone knows, he recklessly sues anyone who speaks negatively of him on the internet[…]

Enough is enough. He must be stopped by any means necessary. To that end, at the end of this message is a torrent of the inbox of [email protected]

The end of the message contained a link to another pastebin (also removed), which was a Base64-encoded torrent file. The password for the archive in the torrent, as posted on his Twitter feed, is “DoomedCharlatan”. Ligattleaks (now offline), a site dedicated to leaking information about Gregory Evans’ activity (although they say they were not involved in this particular leak), have announced that they will be trawling the emails for evidence of fraud and unethical behaviour.

[Updated] Ligattleaks is back online offline online offline, for good it seems. Another security firm (HBGary) hacked and exposed for investigating Anonymous.

[Update 15/2/2011] CBS Atlanta had a news segment about LIGATT and Gregory Evans entitled “Hacker or Hoax”.  LIGATT responds to CBS Atlanta (link removed as his site was found to be distributing malware). This post debunks LIGATT’s response.

28
Jan

Egyptian Government Fighting Protesters, Shuts Down Internet

The biggest news story of this week will most probably be the recent protests currently taking place in Egypt, where the people are fighting to oust existing President Mubarak, and have the right to vote. The current Egyptian government has essentially had dictatorial powers since 1981. Since then Egypt has had a few uprisings, each quashed with the use of force by the government. The latest protests have been sparked by the Tunisian uprising that resulted in the successful ousting of President Ben Ali.

Since the start of the current protests on 25 January 2011, the government has brought in riot police, armored trucks, tear gas, and even called in the counter-terrorism unit. The government announced that all protesters would be immediately arrested, and several protesters and one police office have already been killed. The Associated Press have footage of a protester being shot down by a police sniper.

As the Internet has been the primary form of communication for protesters, Egypt has seen most popular social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter, blocked. As of this post, the Egyptian government has apparently been able to largely shut down Internet access for the entire country (apart from one network). A large number of messages are still reaching Twitter, presumably by proxy, as well as videos being posted on YouTube. Some Egyptians who manage to get online have been using Tor to get around the ISP censorship, and people are currently being urged to run Tor Exit Nodes to help out.

On Friday 28th of January, there is expected to be an even larger protest after noon prayers, and there are rumors that the government will be shutting down all landlines, mobiles and the Internet in an attempt to quell organization, as well as calling in further reinforcements. The question is being asked whether this could be the final Revolution.

[Update 11/02/2011] Mubarak removed as president by the military. Congratulations to all Egyptians for persevering in you fight for freedom. You deserve it.

[Updated] Live Al Jazeera coverage of the Egypt protests, and a full timeline of events. Definitely check out the great video below:
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