I stumbled across this site yesterday when looking for some FireFox plugins and i have to admit i can see me getting a lot of use out of it. The basic premise is pretty simple: BugMeNot.com was created as a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of web sites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information (such as the New York Times). The FireFox BugMeNot plugin provides nice and easy right click access to the site but while I’m at work i have to use IE so i decided to write my own version, imaginatively titled BugMeNot IE Update: The people behind BugMeNot have included a link to my version of the plugin on the FAQ page. Read on →

Author: Tony Bourke ISBN: 0596000502 Publisher: O’Reilly & Associates I like concise books, no one wants a 1500 page breeze block which has long winded examples and rambles through the subject matter (cough Wrox cough) but this book sets new standards in small. With eleven chapters and three appendixes in just under 170 pages you get a nagging suspicion that the meat of the topic is going to be left uncovered. Read on →

Is this thing on? With a little luck you’ll be seeing a spiffy UnixDaemon mosaic across the top of the screen and me blathering on underneath it. I finally decided to stop just reading blogs and start writing my own. I’m not sure how its going to go update-wise but i should be able to stretch to a couple a week. I’m using the quite excellent Blosxom so expect the site to go through a lot of small changes while i get everything just the way i like it.

I buy a lot of books, while a few of them are purchased on the strength of the authors name alone or through idle browsing i stumble upon a growing number of them via webblogs. Unlike the reviews on sites like Amazon with a blogged review i have a basis on which to decide if the authors views are going to mesh with my own. But, like everything else, there’s a downside. Read on →

My honeymoon period with Mozilla and Firefox has come to an end. Despite the popup blocking, the actual working security settings and the tabbed browsing I’ve discovered needs that Firefox can no longer meet. When i reached this point with IE i began to work on adding the small snippets of functionality i needed, such as the address bar customisations and the IE plugins but i soon reached the limit of what was easy to add to the browser. Read on →

Author: Bill McCarty ISBN: 0764524631 Publisher: redhat press (Wiley) You are in a maze of Linux Firewall books – all alike. Fortunately one stands out from the others for two reasons, the first is obvious, its an official Redhat press book, you expect Redhat books to be pretty accurate. The second, slightly more subtle one, is the authors name; Bill McCarty. Best known for his excellent articles in the American Linux Magazine and his Learning Redhat and Debian books for O’Reilly the stage is set for a good read. Read on →

Webscraping has always been, at best, a flaky way of gathering data and at worst a legal gray area. With premier sites such as Google and Amazon now offering official webservice interfaces to their data, developers can now add both respectability and reliability to their applications and drop the fragile HTML parsing. This change in focus from using these services at the provided front end to wrapping our own services around them takes a while to get your head around but once you ‘get it’ the possibilities become pretty much endless. Read on →

It was a dark and stormy night, in the corner a Postfix server threatened to buckle under the weight of the Sobig.F worm. On a mailing list not quite in a galaxy far far away an argument a discussion about sudo, history files and information disclosure raged. One of the topics that came up was the information you can glean from the process table as people use commands such as Sudo and su instead of running everything as root. Read on →

Author: Rob Flickenger ISBN: 0596004613 Publisher: O’Reilly & Associates The first time i picked this book up to read i never even made it through the first four pages to the preface, the foreword is provided by Eric Raymond and to be completely honest, does no justice to the rest of the book. While ESR focuses on the abstract details of hackers, in pretty much the same way as all his other writing, the meat of the book is pure, hands on solution. Read on →

“Its only running a single service, we’re fully patched and it has a local firewall that denies by default.” “What happens if i do Ctrl-Alt-Delete?” <h3>Introduction</h3> One of the basic premises of computer security is that it's almost impossible to fully secure any machine to which an attacker has physical access. While we cannot cover all eventualities, we can make some simple changes to catch any use of the more blatant avenues of abuse. Read on →