Cleaning Up

With the year’s end comes the time for reviews and cleanups. Reducing cruft allows your mind to be free, with it comes a sense of closure and empowerement. Otherwise all my possessions would drag me down. Stuff I really like to do at this time is: review existing bank accounts and service contracts (like phone/internet/power plans). Reduce them to maintain some sense of control. Books: I hoard them even if most of them are not exactly Pulitzer-price materiel.

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How to use FakeS3 for S3 testing

I’m contributing to a secure cloud project (well, it’s not that secure yet, but getting there..). It’s backend storage options include S3 so I want to test the S3-functionality against a locally installed S3 server. I first tried to utilize OpenStack Object Storage (Swift) or Riak, but both solutions were rather heavy-weight and cumbersome to setup. Bear in mind, that I just wanted some fake S3 storage server which would be deployed within a local network (without any internet connection).

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Indulgence Galore!

We’re living in a world of indulgence and seem not to cherish the small (or larger) daily treats anymore. As a cousin of mine once noted: we are able to go out for coffee and food daily without thinking to much of it’s costs. We’re the lucky few but somehow forgot about that. We’re privileged but we’ve got accustomed to it. Living in Austria our grand-parents and parents started with almost nothing after the second world war.

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Linux: How to force an application to use a given VPN tunnel

I’ve changed my approach and am now using a simple docker setup to achieve the same result Somehow I have to use VPN services throughout the day: when pen-testing from abroads I really need to login to my company’s network first. Otherwise my provider is kinda grumpy when I’m doing fast non-cloaked scans against large companies. also when pen-testing I like to use some cloaking VPNs to test the client’s detection capabilities if I would ever use bit-torrent I’d really like to make sure that the torrent program can only communicate through a private proxy (as pia).

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Git with transparent encryption

This is part three of a series about encrypted file storage/archive systems. My plan is to try out duplicity, git using transparent encryption, s3-based storage systems, git-annex and encfs+sshfs as alternatives to Dropbox/Wuala/Spideroak. The conclusion will be a blog post containing a comparison a.k.a. “executive summary” of my findings. Stay tuned. git was originally written by Linus Torvalds as SCM tool for the Linux Kernel. It’s decentralized approach fits well into online OSS projects, it slowly got the decentralized OSS of choice for many.

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Encrypted S3 storage filesystems

This is part two of a series about encrypted file storage/archive systems. My plan is to try out duplicity, git using transparent encryption, s3-based storage systems, git-annex and encfs+sshfs as alternatives to Dropbox/Wuala/Spideroak. The conclusion will be a blog post containing a comparison a.k.a. “executive summary” of my findings. Stay tuned. This post tries some filesystems that directly access S3. I’ll focus on Amazon’s S3 offering, but there should be many alternatives, i.

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Secure Online Data Backup using Duplicity

This is part two of a series about encrypted file storage/archive systems. My plan is to try out duplicity, git using transparent encryption, s3-based storage systems, git-annex and encfs+sshfs as alternatives to Dropbox/Wuala/Spideroak. The conclusion will be a blog post containing a comparison a.k.a. “executive summary” of my findings. Stay tuned. Duplicity is a command-line tool similar to rsync: you give it two locations and it synchronizes the first location to the second.

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Penetration testing

I am a RoR-developer gone pen-testing for the last couple of months. Clients range from smallish web portals to large multi-national financial institutions. So far I’ve a success rate well above 85%. This post reflects upon my modus operandi. It contains a high-level view of how I work: while specific techniques change the overall frame-of-mind stays the same, so I consider the latter more important than the former. Also I hope for feedback regarding techniques and tools.

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Avoiding Internet/Network Surveillance

Last week’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) brought internet surveillance into public news: one outcome of the conference was standardization of DPI technology. This infrastructure standard will make it easier for governments to implement large-scale surveillance and/or filtering. Funny thing is that governments are already having those capabilities, they only want to standardize it. The public outrage came too late. So let’s protect you from governments at home or abroad, the RIAA, MPAA, random eavesdroppers and anyone else that want to listen in on your secrets while you’re surfing the Internet.

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Linux: How to encrypt your data on hard drives, USB sticks, etc.

Imagine your Laptop (or Desktop Computer) being stolen. How long will it take and how much will it cost you to get back on track? Hardware will be easy: the cost for a new premium desktop is around $1000, for a new Laptop around $2000. Your data “should” be always be back-uped somewhere anyways. But this neglects a hidden cost: some thief has all your data, including all your online identities, photos, source for software projects and private notes/pictures that you do not want to be published.

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