Paul and I turned in pretty early on Day 2 and managed to make the first talk on Day 3, though not without the assistance of Club Mate and Starbucks. Day 3 was where things started to get really hairy in terms of being able to get into rooms to see the talks I wanted to see; I ended up missing the RFID talk I really wanted to see in favor of getting to the room for the Storm talk half an hour early. But that’s what conference recordings are for, isn’t it!
Continuing on from my post from a couple of days ago, here are my notes from Day 2 of the 25th Chaos Communications Congress in Berlin. I’ve been slow with getting these posted – Day 2 was December 28th. Better late than never, right?
Finally, if you’re particularly interested in anything I’ve written about, you should check out the official recordings here. Most of the talks have been posted both as direct downloads and torrents. I can’t even begin to say how amazing this is given that the conference is barely over. From what I hear as well the live streams coming from the conference while it was running were also totally solid.
And now for the actual comments about this day’s talks!
attack has been fully weaponized to USB keys (or functional iPods) and PXE boot
Jake has found a somewhat unrelated bug in Mac OSX’s Login.app which results in logged-in users’ passwords being stored in RAM; Apple is aware of the issue and not fixing it. Same for FileVault keys [o_0]
Linux dm_crypt is vulnerable
loop_aes devs thought they weren’t vulnerable because of some key-shifting stuff they do, turns out it just means that they store twice the keydata 🙂
Co-author of USENIX paper Nadia wrote an awesome keyfinding tool which can grab keys from RAM even with something like 75% corruption
Bitlocker default / simple mode is totally pwned
Even with TPM in use Bitlocker is still vulnerable if precise timings are used
Since the demise of Twitter’s Jabber server, I’ve been frustrated with pretty much every client I’ve tried. And I’ve used a few:
twhirl – doesn’t stop scrolling up when it’s out of focus
twibble – random crappiness, memory leaks, poor recovery from posting failures
tweetdeck – doesn’t remember the groups you set up so if you accidentally close them you’re screwed, and also doesn’t work on 64-bit linux (same applies to twhirl – it’s an Adobe Air issue)
a couple of console clients, all just sort of generally crap. Mainly frustrated by their inability to scroll backwards – I like being able to not look at twitter for a few hours without missing out on stuff 🙂
So here’s my ideal client. I’m going to start writing it on Wednesday, once school’s done.
works with an irc client. I ❤ irc, and I can keep it running on my shell server, accessible from anywhere.
search functionality: I want to be able to join a channel and have that act as the search term on summize / twitter search such that /join #search-25C3 shows me the results for this search in real(ish) time.
groups functionality (like tweetdeck) – I’d like to be able to set up groups of followees to see only their tweets. There are a couple of reasons for this: wanting to have a “quiet” group containing just the people I care most about, avoiding what on LiveJournal is termed “unfriending drama”, grouping friends geographically, or whatever. But it’s been sorely lacking in my Twitter experience so far.
keyword exclusion – if I don’t want to hear any more about #AnnoyingVendorCon, I want to be able to exclude it from the tweets I’m getting.
proper IRC direct message functionality: dm’s should show up as /msg windows.
following and unfollowing from within the client – this hasn’t worked properly in twibble for a while.
I’m going to start working off Mike Verdone’s existing Python Twitter Tools – should be a good start.
My browser was behaving strangely when I tried to log in to the TD Canada Trust online banking server, so just to be paranoid I decided to change my password using another machine. I then realized that it was just me being dumb – my user agent was set to IE as I had been testing something earlier. Oops!
However, it did all lead me to discover this gemepic failboat of a password policy:
When changing your password, please remember that it must be between 5 and 8 characters in length and should contain both letters and numbers. Special characters (e.g. #, &, @) must not be used as they will not be accepted by the system. Passwords consisting of all letters or all numbers are not recommended. Although TD Canada Trust does not require you to change your password, we recommend that for security purposes you change your password every 90 days.
Okay, wtf people. 5-8 characters seems awfully permissive, and doesn’t let me put in a nice long password… but not requiring numbers and letters? Just recommending it? And their system doesn’t support punctuation in passwords? Yeesh.
It gets worse. I decided to play around with it, and was able to change my password to the following:
the first 5 characters of my bank card number (which is the username when one logs in, and is common to many TD customers).
Obviously I’ve changed the password to one which is as secure as I can make it given their crappy constraints, but it really angers me that I’m paying through the fees I pay them for this kind of asinine security policy. It almost makes me want to go through the hassle of switching banks… but I’m sure the others all have similar issues on one level or another.
Some days, though, this industry just makes me want to set things on fire – today is one of those days.
Not quite as far along as I want to be, but definitely getting there. Refreshed my rpm and general sysadminning memories in the process. Still a lot to get done to have anything interesting…
A bit of background is in order to understand what I’ve been up to. I’ve been working this week on getting the hang of working with the Planet-Lab infrastructure, and can mostly find my way around it manually now. I haven’t figured out how to automate the interactions with it in the way that will be needed for this project, but it’s a start.
Planet-Lab is a network of computers around the world which researchers can obtain access to (eventually). As a user, one gets a “slice”, which as far as I can tell is just a project-specific username. The user can assign virtual machines on the “nodes”, which are the actual machines. Users have limited root access on the nodes, and can install software, set up cron jobs (scheduled tasks), and run scripts.
I’ve been searching for a while for a way to extract cookies from Firefox 3.x in order to use them with stuff like wget and Perl’s libwwwperl, which I have been using for a bunch of scripting. Firefox 3.x uses sqlite to store cookies, whereas apps which let you load cookies files are looking for IE or Netscape formatted ones. The latter were used up to Firefox 2, but I’ve had trouble keeping FF2 and 3 happy on the same machine… And going back to FF2 feels really painful without the magical search bar of awesomeness.
There’s now a beta extension up to save your FF3 cookies to the right format, which makes me a very happy camper! It’s on the official addons.mozilla.org site but you need to sign in to the site to download it here as it’s still experimental. Super useful though!