Saturday, August 22, 2009

Case for encryption about the MCSO raid of jointly held data center by Elaine Mercer

Just posted over at Black Hat Magick.

Recently, the sheriff’s office agreed to release the passwords that they changed—the consequences of refusal would have been jail time for contempt of court. However, this entire situation would have been softened a great deal if everyone involved had been using some form of encryption on those sensitive records and privileged communications.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Maricopa County Sheriff’s office vs. Maricopa County ongoing

I haven’t heard much since last week about the armed raid promoted my the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office against a County held IT facility. I know about this because it actually managed to make it onto Slashdot, a news site for the IT and computer oriented. Basically making a laughingstock out of Maricopa County and our sheriff’s office.

I am not sure if Joe Arpaio happened a direct hand in this, but the actions of his subordinates in this case does not reflect well upon him.

Last week, a judge cited a restraining order against the MCSO and possible contempt charges coming down for an MCSO lieutenant if he did not turn over the new password of the systems. The officers who raided the facility did so in order to take control of the computers for the time necessary to change the password and lock the civilian operators out of the system.

The sheriff’s office claims this was done because they felt an intrusion as imminent. However, this either displays a gross ignorance of exactly how computer security works or is a cover for another action. Changing the password does nothing to defend the servers from civilian operators who already have physical access to the machines in question—in fact, nobody needs a password when they can physically remove the hard drive from a computer if they want to read or tamper with data.

Political ramifications aside for the sheriffmen’s actions; the excuse they’ve given themselves for what basically amounts to a powerplay coup doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny.

Elaine Mercer from Black Hat Magick Detective Agency is currently writing up her own thoughts on the mater, but insofar news on the subject is extremely sparse.

Friday, August 14, 2009

YouTUBE Series: The History of VenomFangX

Our understanding of VenomFangX has changed since we became aware of him. He has gone from just some ignorant kid, to a censorship happy prick and a habitual liar, to a crazy nut job, to a lying selfish ass. He has been one of the biggest preverbal train wrecks I have ever seen.

This video touches on the history of VenomFangX on YouTube. I have left out a few things such as his temporary suspension or his spats with TheAmazingAtheist.

This short video series (3 videos in all) is a bit biting, but it does timeline and dissect a great deal of the milestones of the career of VenomFangX. He has since left YouTUBE, but not so totally that he hasn’t given his successor videos to post from him (in fact his channel is not gone, it’s just been handed over to another person.)

Since the VenomGate scandal he has only poked his head out once to make snarky comments at Thunderf00t for having an on camera informal interview/conversation with Ray Comfort.

Link, via YouTUBE JRChadwick and djarm67.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Video game procurement

So, since Better Than Faith has become something of a ghost town when it comes to updates, I’ve stopped working on content that would otherwise be useful to Kazz. Instead, I am working on elements for Nelson Williams and Vox ex Machina.

Mostly, since this does involve playing and reviewing video games. I have bought some from Bookmans. Two games at $12 total. Nelson calls them shovelware.

Restricted Area. This isometric Diablo-clone wannabe takes place in a dystopian cyberpunk and doesn’t offer much in the way of general compensation for actual gameplay. The isometric design gives a certain amount of character control, Gauntlet-like waves of enemies to mow through, and a lot of very stiff voice acting. I picked a girl with a both who can run through cyberspace, but really the tactics seem to have fallen back to running away from everything and blowing up those ubiquitous exploding barrels.

Culpa Innata. A point-and-click adventure game with a few interesting additions, like a computer system that allows researching certain clues into useable data—although, it suffers from everywhere-at-once syndrome that a lot of adventure games do. Thus meaning that I have to look at the walkthrough a lot to get even simple plot elements out of the way. It also has a daylight issue, by this I mean that every task takes a certain amount of time and you can only do a certain amount during day before triggering nightlife events (or being forced to go to bed.)

Oh, but here I am longing to play another game of Bookworm Adventures.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wordpress and Twitter Tools 2.0

Well, it’s that time again. I am getting used to using Wordpress and all the wonderful things that come with it – for example: Twitter Tools.

Twitter, like any other social media concept, provides a method for promotion like nothing else. It also creates a huge time sync, watching people, waiting for responses, re-tweeting, and actually tweeting content that I want my followers to know. But, with the advent of this Wordpress plugin, we can see less difficulty for tweeting—a great deal less.

As it will automatically tweet blog posts for me.

I’ve already tested it out with Vox Ex Machina (@voxexmachmedia) and I have also installed it on the Pets 911 blog (@pets911com). These are setups that already get a lot of visitors to the blog (Vox especially gets almost 2k visitors a day now—granted, that’s mostly because of nude and sexy mods for things like Fallout 3.) Pets 911 not so many, but we do have 57 followers now, and that’s only two days after setting up our Twitter account.

Now if only we had a working Facebook account.

The last thing that I did was also set up Twitter for Black Hat Magick via my normal account; it will be tweeting posts as they go live with the Twitter Tools 2.0 (by the way, it’s an excellent upgrade, adding lots of excellent changes. I wholeheartedly suggest it even over the previous version and over TweetSuite.) This way I can pre-load a set of chapters, and then just have it update for my various readers—and my Facebook account—even while I’m away being sucked into book signings.

Be sure to check me out, and take a gander at all of my upcoming work.

I’m going to be out of touch for a while after Friday, but there’ll still be updates…

Follow me on twitter!