Apologies for the use in the title of a word those with learning disabilities or who care for them may find offensive and the vulgar innuendo. That’s how the group describes itself and its actions.

So this is quite entertaining. U.S. retailer GameStop is a large chain that sells physical media of video games and related products. Since physical media is going the way of the Dodo with everything moving to direct digital downloads, its revenues have been negative and its share price slumped as you would expect.

Folding@home is a distributed computing project, currently based at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, for performing molecular dynamics simulations of protein dynamics. Its initial focus was on protein folding but has shifted to more biomedical problems; such as fighting Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and Ebola. The project uses the idle processing resources of personal computers owned by volunteers who have installed the software on their systems. …

Pwnagotchi is an A2C-based AI, powered by bettercap and running on a Raspberry Pi Zero W, that learns from its surrounding Wi-Fi environment to maximize crackable WPA key material it captures (either through passive sniffing or by performing de-authentication and association attacks). This material is collected on disk as PCAP files containing any form of handshake supported by hashcat, including full and half WPA handshakes as well as PMKIDs.

It also has an adorable user interface that displays different “moods” depending on what it’s doing and echoes the Tamagotchi digital pets of the 90s. The idea is for its user…

In 1980s Cyberpunk science fiction, a cyberdeck is a device used to access the virtual representation of Cyberspace. It is a simulated, “consensual hallucination” that facilitates the handling and exchange of massive data, humanity’s extended electronic nervous system. The deck is connected to a tiara-like device that operates by using electrodes to stimulate the user’s brain while drowning out other external stimulation. A standard cyberdeck is about the size of a paperback book, is made of plastic and weighs about half a kilogram. A standard trope in the fiction was users with these devices testing and penetrating data networks via…

In cryptography, a brute-force attack consists of an attacker submitting many passwords or passphrases with the hope of eventually guessing correctly. The attacker systematically checks all possible passwords and passphrases until the correct one is found. In a standard attack, an attacker chooses a target and runs possible passwords against that username. These are known as dictionary attacks. Automated tools are also available to help with brute-force attacks, with names like Brutus, Medusa, THC Hydra, Ncrack, John the Ripper, and Aircrack-ng. Many can find a single dictionary word password within one second. …

Over the last few years, I’ve picked up the activity of barbell strength training and trained in the sport of powerlifting. Starting from being unable to correctly lift the empty 20kg/45lbs standard Olympic bar I’ve progressed to what is generally regarded as an intermediate level of strength. That is being able to overhead press 60kg/138lbs, bench press 100kg/220lbs, squat 140 kg/309lbs, and deadlift 180 kg/399lbs comfortably for 5 repetitions or so at a bodyweight of 93 kg/205 lbs; what is referred to on fitness and bodybuilding forums as 1/2/3/4 plates for reps (based on the amount of 20kg/45lb plates loaded…

A rootkit is a collection of software, typically malicious, designed to enable access to a computer or an area of its software that is not otherwise allowed (for example, to an unauthorized user) and often masks its existence or the existence of other software. It is software used by a hacker to gain constant administrator-level access to a computer or network. Today rootkits are generally associated with malware such as trojans, worms, viruses that conceal their existence and actions from users and other system processes.

Web application security is a central component of any web-based system. The global nature of the Internet exposes web properties to attack from different locations and various levels of scale and complexity. Web application security deals specifically with the security surrounding websites, web applications and web services such as APIs.

This article covers basic securing of access to your web application or service using an Nginx reverse proxy, HTTP authentication, Transport Layer Security encryption with certificates from Let’s Encrypt, and the Uncomplicated Firewall commonly used with Debian based Linux distributions.

Like most people over the years, I’ve built-up music collections from several different sources; such as MP3s ripped from my CD collection pre-online music distribution days (classic 90s hip-hop & early 00s indie rock ftw!) and online providers through their applications such as Google Play Music. Not to mention using a few different streaming services, like Spotify and SoundCloud, as well as having playlists in each. This is a pretty messy situation which we can fix with a few technical skills by aggregating all the above sources into our own personal private music streaming service.

In my previous posts, I described moving off a typical smart home or small office system reliant on public consumer cloud services from the big players such as storage services from Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive; media streaming from say Netflix; music streaming from Spotify; or book reading through the Amazon Kindle ecosystem; to a personal private distributed cloud service solution decoupled from any specific application or provider as well as outlining why you would want to. Let’s look at the implementation of such a system.

Syed R Ali

Londoner, desi, financial technologist, geek, weight training & combat sports junkie.

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