Late last year, a neat little device called PoisonTap surfaced. With it, anyone can easily steal passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive data from any computer – even when it’s locked. But hot on the heels of PoisonTap came its antidote: Beamgun.
PoisonTap takes advantage of Windows’ and OS X’ inherit trust in devices connecting to USB and Thunderbolt ports. A lot of different devices can be connected to these ports. Keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, storage devices, and network cards. Just to name a few. Both Windows and OS X will happily activate whatever device is connected without asking the user if it’s OK. Even if the computer is locked. Because if someone has physical access to the computer, they always have good intentions. Right? Wrong. It’s a terrible assumption to make, and one PosionTap takes advantage of. A better assumption is that everyone who has access to a computer has malicious intentions.
When connected to a USB or Thunderbolt port, PoisonTap quickly registers itself as a network card, and effectively becomes a man-in-the-middle (MitM) on the computer. As a MitM, PosionTap can intercept all inbound and outbound network traffic.
Continue reading "Defeating PoisonTap (and Other Dirty Tricks) with Beamgun."
The animals of Manor Farm are tired of living under the tyranny of the farm’s owner, Mr. Jones. One evening, the boar Old Major summons the animals of the farm to a meeting. He tells them the story of a wonderful world where farms are run by the animals themselves. Old Major also teaches them a revolutionary song called “Beasts of England“. With hope for a better life for all the animals, they revolt, and drive Mr. Jones away from the farm. From that day onward, the farm is known as “Animal Farm”. It will be run by the animals, which will all be considered equal.
George Orwell wrote Animal Farm during World War II. Being a not-so-subtle satire about the Russian revolution, the Soviet Union, and Stalin’s expulsion of Trotsky, Orwell had a hard time getting it published. Since the Soviet Union sided with the Allied powers during the war, the manuscript was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers. It was not until 1945, only weeks before the war was officially over, that the book was published. It then became a commercial success, partly to changing international relations, and the Cold War.
Continue reading "“Animal Farm” by George Orwell."
January came and went without any new one-liners. But here’s a short and early February update:
- Just because red flags are popping up all over the place doesn’t mean she’s not the girl for you.
- Being in a relationship is the exhausting practice of ceaselessly trying to be more entertaining than a smart phone.
- The best secrets are the ones you’re let in on.
- Guilt is a dish best served by mom.
- What’s the most unreliable form of communication and how do I get my relatives to start using it?
- I return to work tomorrow with a child-like belief that this is the year people will think at least twice before hitting Reply All.
- I enjoy video games because they let me live out my wildest fantasies, like being assigned a task and then completing that task.
- No matter how tough you think you are, there’s always a closed pistachio ready to mess you up.
- The longer I stay at home, the more homeless I look.
- I’ve pre-planned my funeral to include a 32 minute montage of the times I’ve accidentally waved hello to someone waving to someone behind me.
- I don’t make mistakes, I take alternative decisions.
- Don’t worry about tomorrow’s problems, handle today’s first.
- Don’t get burned twice on the same flame.
- I’m not asocial, I just don’t want to associate with idiots.
Here’s a simple guide showing how you can enable HTTP/2 in Apache on Ubuntu 16.04.
The internet is awesome. It can be used by governments to very efficiently spy on their citizens, it got Donald elected, and it’ll be mentioned in future history books as the main tool used in the second rise of fascism. There are also a few funny cat pictures.
Today’s internet connections are amazingly fast. You younglings might not believe this, but there was a time when we actually had to sit and wait for a website to appear. If you want to experience the internet speeds of the past, give 56k Emulator a try. It will give you the basic idea. And keep in mind that 56K modems were freakin’ fast when they became available.
But I digress. Sorta. Even though today’s internet connections are fast, the technology used to push propaganda around inside the tubes is old and slow. HTTP/1.1 was never intended to be used with the kind of content-heavy website we have today. Thankfully, there’s a new option available, the marvelous RFC-7540. Or HTTP/2, if you will.
HTTP/2 is a major revision of HTTP/1.1. Its main goal is to make web sites appear in your browser quicker, and with the need to send less data than with HTTP/1.1. The “number one HTTP server on the internet”, Apache 2 only has experimental support for HTTP/2. This means that it’s not available in the version Ubuntu 16.04 includes by default.
Once again, we have to turn to our PPA packaging hero Ondřej Surý for support. Not only does he maintain packages for the latest and greatest version of PHP (that we used here), he also makes sure Ubuntu users can be on the bleeding edge of Apache goodness.
Continue reading "How To Enable HTTP/2 in Apache on Ubuntu 16.04."
About half a day ago, Twitter user @paulythegun had a brilliant idea. He took an excerpt from Trump’s inaugural address, and passed in on as an almost word-by-word copy from the 2007 animated film, Bee Movie.
If the image embedded with the tweet isn’t visible, click the pic.twitter.com link. As of right now, the tweet has been retweeted over sixty
three five seven thousand times. I’ve seen it posted multiple times both in my Twitter feed and on Facebook. And of course this spreads like a wildfire. The 45th president is stealing his speech material from a children’s movie! It’s both hilarious and outrageous at the same time. This is exactly what we on the center-left in politics expected from the talking carrot.
But there’s a problem. The tweet is not true.
Continue reading "No, Donald Trump Didn’t Steal From the Bee Movie."