I like to travel, f*ck with technology, and partake in the occasional tropical drink.
I am also a co-host on The NBD Show podcast.
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Another version of Windows and another hurdle for those os us using Cisco IPSec VPN clients.  Here are the steps I took to install IPSec in Windows 8.1 64bit OS, and so far it seems to be working.

  1. Uninstall completely existing VPN client SW
  2. Download and run this tool for 32-bit system:ftp://files.citrix.com/dneupdate.msi or this one for 64-bit system:ftp://files.citrix.com/dneupdate64.msi
  3. If you run into issues installing DNE software download and run this tool: ftp://files.citrix.com/winfix.exe and perform step 2 again
  4. If needed restart system
  5. Install Cisco VPN client SW again I used version
  6. Import or configure VPN profile and run software.
It should be working now...

Here is a little bit about what the Citrix DNE software is;(http://www.citrix.com/go/lp/dne.html)
Citrix supplies software to a number of software and hardware companies. When they install their products on your systems, they will often contain DNE. DNE extends operating systems and network protocol devices and stacks to introduce measurement and controls. Our customers use these extensions to build products that do things like intrusion detection, VPNs, Network Address Translation (NAT), traffic measurement, response time measurement, bandwidth control, compression, content filtering, content protection, policy management, proxies, billing, packet marking, routing, protocol translation, wireless communication, secure tunnels and much more.

Encrypting your email has always been for the geeky or super paranoid. Now with everything in the "Cloud" encrypting your email is even more crucial. Imagine every email you've ever sent or received saved across countless servers in scores data centers any where in the world. By encrypting your email you can use their infrastructure with out them monitoring your emails.

I wouldn't say I wear a tin foil hat, but I care about privacy especially my own. Steve Gibson had a listener sum it up pretty well on his podcast, "One might say I have nothing to hide from people I trust." So with that said lets dive into setting up email encryption on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Mail client.

First step is to generate a certificate. I went to Comodo and found it to be very strait forward to set up and free.

Here is a couple of Certificate Authorities (CAs) that offer free email certificates.

Click on the Free Email Certificate button

Fill out the form and Click Next

They will send you an email once you get the email click on the link and download it. 
Note forsome reason   on Mac downloading the cert using Chrome broke it.  I used Safari and it worked great.

Once you have accepted the cert on your desktop you can open keychain and export it.  During the processes it will prompt you for a password that is used to encrypt it.  This password will be needed later when you install it on your IOS device.

The final step is installing the cert on your IOS devices, and I found a post that does a very elegant job of walking you through it.

BitTorrent Sync is a recent addition from BitTorent Labs. Using Sync you can securely sync files between many users. The BitTorrent p2p protocol takes care of NAT and user discovery issues. Just launch the application and generate or type your shared key. The client will create a point to point encrypted tunnel and start syncing.  The application creates a sudo random 20 bytes that used to creates an AES 256 bit key that encrypts data during transit. For a more in depth security explanation you can visit Steve Gibson's Security now pod cast episode 402. https://www.grc.com/sn/sn-402.pdf. BitTorrent Labs has not released their encryption documentation. So Steve Gibson has not provided an in depth analysis of the security implemented in BitTorrent Sync.

Use Case:
BitTorrent Labs has an active forum and an entire thread dedicated to use cases. The one use case I didn't see and thought of immediately was a p2p secure media network.  I understand the legalities around sharing media so this would be for non copyrighted material of course.

Say you have three friends one is using Windows with Plex, the second Linux running ps3 media server, and the third a Mac running servo.   As stand alone DLNA solutions they are all capable. If each wanted to share content they would need an SFTP, or cloud solution like Dropbox. This could possibly expose their data to a third party. Because BitTorrent Sync is multi-platform you can sync these media liabraries seamlessly.

So how do you do this?
All three installs BitTorrent Sync
One user creates a folder for shared media
Selects the new folder
Creates a Key
Clicks Finish
Then shares the key among his friends
Each friend opens Sync and adds the shared key
Chooses the folder they want to share
Click Finish
Now everything starts syncing.

The elegance is in the design.  When a users adds content to their shared directory BitTorrent Sync will send that data to all systems.  So If your DNLA server is indexing that directory on a regular interval the new content automatically shows up on your TV.  Below is a high level digram of how the data sharing would propagate to your TV.

Additional tweaks can enhance the shared media network, for example. You could build your own statusnet server, and have a script monitoring the shared directory.  When a new file syncs it will generate an automated message to the group identifying what files are new.  You could also create a script that would generate an email every time a new file is uploaded.

It is also important to set a folder hierarchy so that all media uploads adheres to a standard structure.  If you had multiple people just dumping data to the shared network it would definitely get out of hand and would be almost useless.

Ever wanted to mess with those wifi leaching neighbors? Joshua Wright at willhackforsushi.com  put together an awesome tool kit that enables you to really screw with your neighbors. All you need is a virtual machine, I used it in parallels on a mac, and your everyday hacker wifi adapter like a Alfa AWUS036H.

Joshua's project plays some really fun tricks with URL rewriting and HTML content manipulation. Here is a link to his presentation at SANS Security East Jan 18, 2013.

Download and give it a try it's a great example of some man in the middle HTML goodness. http://neighbor.willhackforsushi.com/

Bluetooth Serial Adapter (set up)

Working in a data center allot of the time you are bouncing from one pice of equipment to another. Plugged into a console-port buried in a cabinet or behind cabling impossible to get to. So I thought I would share my wireless serial setup.

Most new laptops do not have the DB-9 serial ports of yesteryear,  and managing network equipment often times requires that old school 9600 Baud serial connection. So here are the components I used to set up my own bluetooth serial rig.

If you are weary as I was don't worry. I have been using mine for almost a year now and it works great. In fact it has worked on devices that my USB serial adapter wouldn't , i.e. Cisco CSS. I have used it with a MacBook Pro running OSX 10.6 & 10.7, as well as Windows 7 with no problems. I have found it to be a little bit more stable in OSX, I think because Windows 7 Bluetooth can be kind of finicky. Let me know if you have a different Bluetooth serial setup and I will add a link.

Serial Bluetooth Adapter UCBT232B

Energizer Mini-USB Portable Charger for BlackBerry - Black

C2G / Cables to Go - 02782 - DB9 M/M Mini Gender Changer

It's that time of year again, start planning for Defcon. For those of you that maybe haven't been before here is a little guide to help you plan.

When is Defcon: Defcon attendance has been growing every year, and for the first time it will be hosted at two hotels, Paris and Bally's. Its normally held towards the end of July or beginning of August. It's a good idea to get there a day early to buy SWAG and get your badge because it gets super busy the day of.

How Much is Defcon:  The registration fee has gone up a little over the last few years, but they will post the fee as we get closer to the Con. Oh ya, like most everything at Defcon - don't use the ATM.  Cash only.
  • Registration: $230
  • Hotel: Defcon room rates differ depending when you book, but Defcon usually negotiates a good price.

Where to Stay: Staying at the hosting hotel is a must.  It's nice to just head up to your room between talks, and attending the late night festivities are a breeze since you only have stumble to the elevators. Reserve your rooms early for Defcon, as some of us experienced the hotels sells out quick. 

Added bonus; If you stay at hosting hotels Defcon will stream the talks and schedules to the hotel rooms. This is not guaranteed this year since we will be in a new venue.  

What to Bring:  A few essentials I bring to Vegas.
  • Snacks because eating at the CON can get kinda pricy, plus a lot people save the money for drinking.
  • Buy a cheap throw away cooler for refreshments and ICE
  • A laptop "AT YOUR OWN RISK" If you bring your laptop do not bring it to the Con, leave it in your room and even then disable your wifi, bluetooth, and do not use the hotel internet.  Defcon's network, including the hotels, have been deemed the most hostile network in the world.  Even the cellular network is risky and it usually sucks anyway. That being said, if you have a fresh wiped laptop and you want to partake in the festivities bring it just dont use it for anything other then hacking, and reformat when you get home.
  • Cell Phone, if you have an old school flip phone bring it.  If you bring your smart phone make sure to turn off the radios, i.e. wifi, bluetooth, etc. Nothing is safe.
  • Asprin for obvious reasons
  • Your finest hacker tees, there kinda a big thing, and a comfortable pair of shoe.  You will be standing in some lines, imagine a disneyland for hackers...

Everyone interested in technology should go at least once. 

What will you need:
  • 2 tbls of Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 cup of pop corn kernels
  • 1 tsp of powdered or finely ground salt
  • Clarified butter to taste

How to make it:
  • Use a pot over Med-High 
  • Add oil and allow to heat up
  • Add salt & pop corn shake vigorously over the stove until all the kernels have popped.
  • Add popcorn and clarified butter to the bowl toss and serve

All of us can agree that from a microwave, or an air popper, popcorn at home does not taste like the movies.  So I started looking online on how to replicate that movie theater popcorn taste and I came across a couple tricks.

Popcorn popped in a microwave is a great quick snack, but the secret to movie theater taste takes a little bit more time, and is probably not quit as healthy.  Movie theater popcorn is popped in a highly saturated fat, most often coconut oil.  That is the oil I tested with and it really did taste like the real thing.

Next you will need to pop it on a stove.  This can be accomplished using a normal pot over medium high heat moving it back and forth similar to how we all cooked the old Jiffy Pop containers.  There are also stove top pop corn poppers that have a crank that turns a little blade at the bottom of the pot, I will post a link to one of these.  But i used the jiffy Pop method and it worked so well I didn't have one un-popped kernel.

Next is the salt, this is kinda important.  it is really easy to over salt popcorn and it's normally due to the use of granular salt.  A little secret that can give you better coverage using less salt is to gind it almost to a powder and put it in the oil with the popcorn.  This will evenly distribute the salt during the popping process.

Lastly, and arguably most people's favorite, is the butter.  Most movie theaters use clarified butter, it is a pure form of butter fat that does not have the liquids or solids found in normal butter.  You can find clarified butter online or in certain stores, but I made my own.  You can do this by melting butter in the microwave, do not let it boil, then let it sit, do not stir it and it will eventually separate. The clear contents that rises to the top is the clarified butter,  you can even put it in the fridge to let it solidify and make it easier to collect the contents.

Once you have your popcorn popped your clarified butter warmed up add it all to a bowl toss it a couple times and you will have a 7 dollar bowl of popcorn you made for less at home.