Category Archives: News

Regarding the lack of Blog updates

Freedom of speech in a litigious society can be an extremely expensive proposition. My Advocate, although extremely experienced is as one would expect as equally expensive. We have a legal fund via insurance which only pays for <15 hours of his expert time. In June, 2012 we lost our home and cat to an electrical house fire, leaving us only with some clothes, our dog and unexpected bills for replacement of necessities, rent costs for our new temporary accommodation (the Wi-Fi is horrible). JK47 had to bring me some clothes and of all things deodorant before we presented. Amazing all the stuff/crud/clutter you don’t think about until it is literally up in smoke.

As such, we cannot afford at this time to have our attorney review every single digital conversation public or private. Due to the threat of severe financial repercussions I have chosen to self-censor these past few months after JK47 and I presented in NYC for The Last H.O.P.E. This was prompted by very stern legal correspondence from the same law firm Apple uses the week of our presentation. This self-censoring unfortunately had to include personal conversations with friends and family via email, Tweets, LinkedIn, blog, conference attendance and anything regarding the IT based security domain.

The current president of the US, Obama, recently spoke to the UN regarding the continued global legality of blasphemy and the idiotically dubbed and smarmy film short “Innocence of Muslims“. I was inspired by one small piece of advice; the answer to controversial speech is not censorship but more speech.

This blog will again focus on actual IT related topics, such as correlation engines, multiple layers of OSI security, malware, bots, covert communications channels, etc…. Some things my foray into DefCon badges has taught me: I suck at photography and I love the beauty of IT security. I read RFCs for breakfast! Additionally, we have formally requested a blanket authorization in writing from Baker & McKenzie for my conference attendance so hopefully I can participate again within the community.

Thank you for your patience during this issue.

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

  

Last HOPE Number Nine Lock Picking Village

Physical Toools you can use Lock picking is a skill I have frequently required but one I thought was entirely too difficult for me to attempt. On occasion I have been known to lock my keys in my car (5-6 times a year), loose luggage keys or worse yet lock myself out of the house (I have a 24 hour locksmith card in my wallet). Since my main focus has been on the digital version of lock picking I largely ignored this useful physical skill. I was so wrong! On the morning of the last day of the conference, when most attendees where still slumbering or fuzzy headed from the previous evening’s revelry I crept towards the Lock Picking Village to try my hand on some locks. Fortunately for me JK-47, an expert lock picker and accomplished trainer on the topic took me through an overview of tools, lock types and techniques. Using a Bogota and under JK-47’s skillful direction I was able to pop my first Basic #1 lock with ease. A representative from TOOOL was also on hand to give additional guidance to the small crowd in the village which consisted of children, teens, parents, geek chics, an attorney and anyone curious. I was able to pick the locks Basic #1-5 and a Master lock. JK-47 gave a demonstration of how to unlock handcuffs with a paper clip. Short and skinny, I am now the proud owner of my own lock pick set and unlocked a luggage lock I lost the key to. I personally found practicing strangely relaxing, similar to knitting I suppose. The participants came from all walks of life and almost all ages. We laughed, struggled, assisted each other and smiled at our accomplishments. I had a fantastic time and I look forward to seeing TOOOL at DefCon next week. If you would like to know more about TOOOL or lock picking in general please check out these links and videos: Official TOOOL Slides and resources
Locks are Worthless  by JK-47 The quote on the front page of TOOOL is very relevant:

“Rogues knew a good deal about lock-picking long before locksmiths discussed it… If a lock is not so inviolable as it has hitherto been deemed to be, surely it is to the interest of honest persons to know this fact, because the dishonest are… certain to apply the knowledge practically… the spread of the knowledge is necessary to give fair play to those who might suffer by ignorance.”

 ~ A.C. Hobbs, Locks and Safes: The Construction of Locks. London, 1853.

Last HOPE #9 Keynote The Yes Men

The Million Meme March to fight online censorship and a call to boot hats! Prior to the keynote I had heard of spattering about The Yes Men. I could kick myself for not knowing more in detail about them before. The presentation was both hilarious and highly inspiring. In the first half of the talk we were given an overview of some of their previous works involving disruptive actions which brought international attention to many important yet seemingly ignored issues by the media. One of these issues is very close to my heart, the Bhopal Disaster of 1984 in India. This accident caused so much death and intense suffering but pollutants remain on-site and inadequate medical coverage for survivors continues. The Yes Men commented they didn’t see their actions as “hacking” but from the perspective of a way to protest and do something to address graver injustices currently perpetrated in the world which require media coverage to assist in remediation. The Yes Men have a new mission so to speak, to draw attention to and cease online censorship. The project is called The Million Meme March, headed by the Supreme Ruler Meme and rather fashionable Vermin Supreme. As he puts it a league of memes might be required to cease governments from further SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/CETA type treaties or legislation which adds traffic stops and rumble strips to our freedom on-line. One suggestion, everyone make memes as a form of on-line viral protests against digital censorship. The Yes Men are taking suggestions now and looking for ideas from the public. Please browse some of the videos and explore. Very few of us seem to want internet censorship yet it’s occurring worldwide on varying levels. Start exploring how to make your own Memes and check out some great video and audio: QuickMeme
MemeGenerator #millionmemes Twitter hash tag (Picture from Radio Statler ) The Yes Men Labs Link to some Vernon Supreme videos, When I am President everyone will get a pony (YouTube). Link to the video of WTO Finland Spoof, “Management Leisure Suit” (YouTube) Link to BBC video The Yes Men posing as representatives of Dow Chemical (YouTube). Link to the audio (MP3)

Volunteering at Last H.O.P.E # 9 New York City 13-15 July 2012

For years I have been trying to attend the conference but life, work, school or finances always had a way of interrupting my attendance. Life almost stopped me this year after we lost our house and hero cat Myrra to an electrical fire in June, 2012. After surviving such a life changing event I decided life is too short to waste constantly dreaming of attending and to actually attend regardless of our situation. I grew up reading the magazine 2600. Like many it had a positive influence on my curious growing mind and heavily influenced my chosen career.

Originally, I volunteered for any assistance. Unfortunately, I was not physically capable of working as hard as I wished due to smoke inhalation injuries from our house fire. However, Lindsay, the volunteer organizer was extremely sympathetic to my fiery situation and made sure I could still participate for setup and tear down. She set aside some extra swag t-shirts since we lost pretty much everything and gave me a copy of the book The Best of 2600 A Hacker Odyssey to help rebuild our library. I must admit tears welled up a bit when Lindsay was so kind and gave me the book and the newest copy of 2600 magazine after all the equipment trucks were loaded up. My emotions got the best of me and I left without expressing just how great of an experience the conference was and how thankful I am to Lindsay for all her support. Thank you so much for everything.

I never thought when flipping greedily through the pages of 2600 in my youth, scouring each page carefully for tidbits of knowledge that one day I would attend the conference much less they would help clothe me and keep me slightly sane by replacing part of my collection 2600 magazine collection. The next conference will be in two years, 2014. I look forward to volunteering again, this time more physically capable and involved if possible. Thank you to Lindsay and all the other volunteers and organizers for being so fantastic. Volunteering at Last H.O.P.E. Number Nine was memorable and I look forward to 2014.

  

Blog Status and Brief Legal Update

Great news! We have retained new legal counsel, with a wealth of experience in this area, who has advised that I can start Blogging again.


 

Under legal advisement there are no public postings on this blog

Apologies but at this time the main author of this blog is under legal advisement to not comment further on this blog at this time.

Pleased today to live in a slightly more technologically informed county

Today the Netherlands government department of Veiligheid en Justitie / Safety and Justice is holding a meeting with several information security experts, journalists and business leaders. One of the people included is Brenno de Winter who alerted his network of over 11 thousand followers via twitter of the meeting, his appearance and a link to the agenda. Earlier in the week the Dutch Parliament rejected ACTA and forbade any similar such legislation from being signed. It appears my new chosen home’s government is choosing to more carefully examine information technology related legislation and is willing to consult experts. The list of attendees today is impressive in comparison with the recent decision to un-invite Bruce Schneier from hearings as requested by the USA Transportation Security Agency. It appears that Dutch legislative and judicial bodies are willing to look past assumptions of vacuum tubes and ask someone who knows how to use a computer for more than just email how the whole thing works and how it affects their constituency. Here are today’s attendees (translated):

  • Dhr. Boonstra, Professor of Information Management
  • Dhr. De Bruijn, Director ICTU
  • Dhr. Dijkstra, Chairman of the ICT Practice Group (Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn)
  • Dhr. Heeneman, sr. Client Director Government & Defence KPN
  • Dhr. Van Holst, Senior IT-Legal Advisor at Mitopics
  • Mw. Schönfeld, Author of the book How IT Project Success and Failure: Learning from Painful Experiences
  • Dhr. Veldwijk, ICT Entrepreneur and publicist
  • Dhr. Weijman, Founder and Managing Director AET Europe
  • Dhr. Zuurmond, Kafkabrigade
  • Dhr. Broeders, Senior Research Assistant / Project Coordinator WRR
  • Dhr. Hetzscholdt, Cybercrime Specialist
  • Dhr. Kamphuis, IT-Architect & IT-Strategy Advisor
  • Dhr. Prins, Director FOX IT
  • Dhr. Verhoef, Professor Computer Science VU and Advisor IT Innovator Info Support
  • Dhr. De Winter, Investigative Journalist IT-Security and Privacy
  • Dhr. Zwenne, Professor of Law and the Information Society at the University of Leiden Attorney

Link to Brenno de Winter’s Twitter feed for updates and other related news: @brenno

On 31 March 2012 Anonymous will not shut the Internet down

There have been recent Pastebins
and postings on Reddit that Anonymous will shut down the internet on 31/03/2012 by DDoS attack against 13 ROOT DNS servers. If only it were that easy to “shut-off” the internet but it is not.    

Let me explain a bit and please post comments and review Dan Kaminsky’s Blog on this and related topics.

There are more than 13 DNS Servers at ROOT level which offer DNS services. “There are currently 13 root name servers specified, with names in the form letter.root-servers.net, where letter ranges from A to M. This does not mean there are 13 physical servers” from Wikipedia.

  1. The entire DNS infrastructure does not operate only on IP version 4. The only addresses listed in the announcement for Operation Blackout are IP version 4 addresses.
    1. We use IPv6 in most of Asia for example. The Pastebin stated the operation would utilize static IP addresses so the attack could execute unchecked yet left out the entire IPv6 Main DNS infrastructure.
    2. There are alternate DNS/internets.
  2. There are more than 13 ROOT DNS servers.
    1. Below is a map of the publically known ROOT DNS servers both IPv4 and IPv6. You might notice there are many more than 13 physical ROOT servers with letters, the DNS infrastructure had redundancy.
  3. DNS reflective attacks don’t affect DNS SEC ROOT servers in the method contained in the Pastebin.
    1. Many of the IPv4 DNS ROOT addresses have already switched over to DNS SEC. DNS SEC provides Data Origin Authentication and Data Integrity among other more secure features. In previous years the DNS protocol might have allowed such attacks to be successful, but now not really a major threat.
  4. The attack is based on a spoofed/false source IP address.
    1. There is a bevy of security applications which detect spoofed source IPv4 addresses, sometimes based on an incorrect checksum which the script provided does not “correct”. Security and other controls normally drop the packets of suspected spoofed traffic.

 

Source: Google Maps from http://root-servers.org/

I hope this helps clarify the sensationalism regarding this topic. If you have more information or a better method to describe the issue please post or comment.