From Pine View Farm

Geek Stuff category archive

German Cops Cast Net over Botnetter 0

A British hacker is on trial in Germany for attacking Deutsche Telekom to establish a botnet.

The defendant, who was not named, was arrested in February at London’s Luton airport on a European arrest warrant for attempted computer sabotage and extradited to Germany.
German police said the goal was to infect users’ computers with a “botnet” – a network of web-connected machines that can be manipulated with malware and used to attack other online targets.

The Briton told the court he was paid $10,000 (about €8,500) by a Liberian telecom company which wanted to use the botnet to damage a rival company.

Upgrade 0

Mageia v. 6 with the Plasma Desktop and the Oxygen color scheme.
The wallpaper is from my own library.

I spent time yesterday upgrading my laptop from Mageia v. 5 to Mageia v. 6.

Read more »

In the Shadows 0

Inset:  Republican Elephant says to man holding


Click for the original image.

Twits on Twitter 0

Ill-judged twits.

Geeking Out 0

Testing SolusOS in a VirtualBox virtual machine on Slackware –Current.

Screenshot


Click for a larger image.

Solus is a nice, clean bit of work designed with the home user in mind.

Facebook Frolics 0

A college student explains why he is stepping away from the Zuckerborg.

There is hope.

Make TWUUG Your LUG 0

Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source. Use computers to do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do. Learn how to use GNU/Linux and its plethora of free and open source software to get stuff done with computers.

It’s not hard; it’s just different.

Tidewater Unix Users Group

When: Monthly TWUUG meeting at 7:30 p. m. on the first Thursday of the month (July 6, 2017). Pre-meeting dinner at Chicago Uno, JANAF shopping center, 6:00 p. m. (map)

Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.

Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room (map). (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.

Monticello Gets Pwned 0

Computer security always seems to be an afterthought in the enterprise.

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello was hit by a ransomware attack this week that hampered the historic home’s electronic systems.

The attack was discovered Tuesday, and since then, Monticello has not been able to use its computer or phone systems.

Twits on Twitter 0

Tony Norman visualizes a crisis of conscience.

Disconnected 0

Bruch Schneier reports and Amazon has patented a method to stop you from using your mobile device to comparison shop in a store.

Given that Amazon in the past has encouraged such comparison shopping, hoping that you would buy whatever it was from them, I agree with Schneier that this is all very strange.

Connected 0

Man looking down at smart phone, the screen of which displays,


Click for the original image.

Facebook Frolics 0

Self-aggrandizement run amok.

Geeking Out 0

Devuan v. 1 with the XFCE desktop environment in VirtualBox on Slackware –Current. Peeking out from behind Devuan is a virtual machine of Windows 7, on which QMMP is playing music from KCEA (KCEA doesn’t rock; it swings).


Click to see the the full image.

Devuan has reached a full release version, though the beta was a darned find piece of work. I upgraded from the beta using the commands

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get dist-upgrade
apt-get autoclean
apt-get autoremove

In case you don’t know (and there is a good chance you don’t unless you are in my Linux World), Devuan is a fork of Debian without SystemD. It still uses SystemV, because many folks have issues (mostly philosophical because SystemD, however annoying it can be, does indeed work) with SystemD.

Give it a try. It installs like butter.

H/T to SystemAU (NSFW–those Aussies swear bigly) for informing me that Devuan was out of beta.

The Sound of My Own Voice 0

Editing audio in audacity
I have a new podcast up at Hacker Public Radio.

“Surveillance Capitalism”* 0

El Reg looks at how it works. A snippet:

Among poker players, it’s commonly understood that if you look around the table and you don’t see the sucker, it’s you. The situation is the same in the knowledge economy because you can’t see anything. There’s almost no transparency into how data gets bought, sold, and used to make decisions that affect people’s lives. When people make decisions about the information they share, they seldom understand how that data will be used or how it might affect them.

For example, a person’s mobile phone usage could affect the ability to get a loan. The Cracked Labs report describes how Singapore-based Lenddo calculates credit scores based on online behavior. It assesses mobile data, browser data, application data, transactional data from telecom companies, and web and social network data.

“The company even includes computer mouse click data and data about how people fill out web forms,” the report explains. “In this vein, ‘always running out of battery’ might impact one’s credit score; conversely, an extremely well-maintained smartphone might raise a red flag in the system, too.”

________________

*What a well-turned phrase.

Meta: Site Maintenance (Sticky) 0

I am doing some site maintenance to implement SSL. Please make a note that, if http: doesn’t work, try https:. Or just wait until I fix it. (Update 2017-06-12: The cert has been issued and I hope to install it tomorrow after voting. There’s a primary. Voting is not a right; it’s a duty. Update 2017-06-14: Still working on it, being very careful and not wanting to break my site, and still learning stuff.) (Update 2017-06-25: Clearly implementing SSL is not one of my priorities. I do not find security theatre a compelling cause.)

I don’t really need an SSL cert, as this is not a commercial site and no credit card numbers or the like pass through here, but I got tired of Firefox’s nagging about it, plus I might learn something. I started this to learn stuff. The outrage came later . . . .

Computer Games 0

My local rag reports on a stock manipulator who tried to bite Fitbit by fraudulently driving its stock price up, but ended up getting bit himself.

The U .S. Postal Inspection Service linked the filing to an email account that was created Nov. 5 – four days before the filing.

Investigators were able to see what websites the user of that email account had visited and found he had checked out at least two on Nov. 8 to see whether his computer’s IP address was disguised.

Investigators also connected the email account behind the fake tender offer to Murray by researching information the user provided when it was set up. Among other things, investigators discovered there was a backup email address on file.

More on how they tracked him down at the link.

Make TWUUG Your LUG 0

Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source. Use computers to do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do. Learn how to use GNU/Linux and its plethora of free and open source software to get stuff done with computers.

It’s not hard; it’s just different.

Tidewater Unix Users Group

When: Monthly TWUUG meeting on the first Thursday of the month (June 1, 2017).

Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.

Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room. See directions below. (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.

“The Internet of Targets” 0

Bruce Schneir discusses how the ballyhooed “Internet of Things” will increase the threat of malware. A snippet:

Patching is how the computer industry maintains security in the face of rampant Internet insecurity. Microsoft, Apple and Google have teams of engineers who quickly write, test and distribute these patches, updates to the codes that fix vulnerabilities in software. Most people have set up their computers and phones to automatically apply these patches, and the whole thing works seamlessly. It isn’t a perfect system, but it’s the best we have.

But it is a system that’s going to fail in the “Internet of things”: everyday devices like smart speakers, household appliances, toys, lighting systems, even cars, that are connected to the web. Many of the embedded networked systems in these devices that will pervade our lives don’t have engineering teams on hand to write patches and may well last far longer than the companies that are supposed to keep the software safe from criminals. Some of them don’t even have the ability to be patched.

If you have or anticipate having or may already have without realizing it internet-enabled stuff (refrigerators, door locks, “digital assistants,” light switches, televisions, “fitness trackers,” medical devices, just to pluck a few devices from the news), read the rest.

No Place To Hide 0

A columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle sums up Alexa (and all those other “digital assistants”).

“C’mon Caille, we can train her and everything. And she was a gift!”

“So was the Trojan Horse.”