Monday, February 13, 2012


I am headed to the RSA Conference at the end of the month, should be good also stopping in to BSidesSF.

Monday, December 12, 2011

SOPA, PIPA and the Great Firewall of the USA

I have been following the continuous debates about PIPA and SOPA, the two bills crossing the House and Senate that are supposed to protect online copyright infringement. I read a couple of articles that are supposedly the definitive guides to why these suck.

I have boiled it down to a two reasons why they suck.

1) They are easily bypassed.
2) They are too broad reaching and can lead to censorship of legitimate sites.

For part 1, The basic facts are that Congress is trying to in some way regulate the internet. Nobody with any technology background actually thinks this will work. DNS filtering can easily be bypassed by hitting foreign DNS servers. There has also been the emergence of a distributed DNS model that would bypass this. The other big issue with the filtering is it apparently kills DNSSEC which is the answer to the Kaminsky bug.

Secondly, They are too broad reaching. There is not a single concept of what constitutes a "rogue site." The phrase used was "enables or facilitates" infringement. This is very dangerous, as several have pointed out any user content submitted site would fall under this definition. eBay, Facebook and YouTube all "enable or facilitate" infringement. The real issue isn't the loss of these sites. Huge public outcry would happen if any of the big ones went away, but the issue is squashing of startups and new sites. Beyond being potentially shut down, small sites will have to implement very expansive and expensive monitoring to check for potential infringement making it nearly impossible to afford to launch.

The basic problem with this whole bill is Congress. These are the people who boldly declared that the internet is "a series of tubes." They are trying to regulate something they have no concept of (again). They haven't bothered to ask anybody that doesn't have a vested interest in shutting down sites what really needs to happen. I think most everyone would agree online infringement is an issue that should be dealt with. Perhaps enforcement of the DMCA? Or perhaps just quit trying, many have figured this out. When it comes to the internet you can't win.

Great Firewall of the USA reference? DNS MiTM filtering is basically how the Great Firewall of China works.

Shameless plug: Donate to the EFF, they are helping to fight this.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

GIAC Penetration Tester - GPEN

Back in September I took the SANS 560 - Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking class. This was an excellent class. It covers every aspect of penetration testing from defining rules of engagement, legal matters all the way down to exploitation and post exploitation and data exfiltration. While in my normal day to day work I don't do much of this I am starting down that path. The only way to double check your security procedures is to test them with the same tools that hackers will.

After starting the class I decided it might be of value to certify. I have found in my career that many members of executive management have issue with trusting and believing what their staff say. It is almost better to hire somebody at $400 per hour to say the same things employees are. Because of this I have found if staff have a certification it is almost a out side force re-affirming that this person has some knowledge. Who knows if this theory is correct but it sure seemed to be when I got my RHCE. At the very least it gives me another thing to hang on the wall.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Supine Sue

Over the last several months I have been doing research on my grandfather’s WWII service and the aircraft he served on, Z Square 42 AKA “Supine Sue”. I don’t have a date on the picture that is posted here, but my grandfather is front row third from the left. I have authored a Wikipedia article on the Supine Sue.
The most interesting thing found was hand made notations in the back of my grandfather’s Operating Manual. He had made hand written notes of each mission flown. I have transcribed those notes and put them in this blog entry.

S/Sgt Donald C. Hetrick #17120349 - Hand written notes found in the back of the B-29 Gunners Information File *Operating Manual for gunners on a B-29*

First 2 memo pages have drawings that appear to be made during gunnery training. On the top of the second page there is a notation. “Mar 24 Nag 6400ft” -- Mission listing does not include information on a mission flown on March 24, 1945.

Hand written notes on 7 pages, note a # assumed to be his mission number presented in roman numerals. There are 36 missions listed, however official records only indicate 35 missions flown by this crew.

Notes are as follows (*transcribed exactly as written*)

I.Nov-11 First mission to Truk Islands 25,000 Ft, moderate flak 3 fighters an several phosphorus bombs. exellent bombing.
II. Nov-24 First Tokyo mission 3 fighters were encountered no flak. Solid undercast did instrument bombing from 33,000 FT. Results unobserved
III. Nov-27 Mission to Tokyo no fighters were seen and no flack solid undercast. instrument bombing 34,000 FT results - unobserved.
IV. Dec-3 Mission to Tokyo saw several fighters and moderate flack visual bombing from 31,500 FT Fair results
V. Dec-13 Mission to Nagoya several fighters made poor attacks moderate and accurate flak. Visual bombing from 32,000 Ft good results.
VI. Dec-18 Mission to Nagoya 31,500 FT weak fighter opposition moderate flak visual bombing with good results.
VII. Jan-19 Mission to Akashi - 27,000 FT a few fighters and moderate flak visual bombing with excellent results
VIII. Jan-25 Mission to Tokyo - single aircraft night weather strike. Encountered approx 100 search lights light flak 27,000 FT unobserved results
IX. Feb-10 Mission to OA 27,000 FT Moderate flak several fighters visual bombing with exellent results
X. Mar-9 Night mission to Tokyo 5000 FT. inst bombing with exl. results. intense earch light directed accurate flak.
XI. Mar-11 Night mission to Nagoya 5600FT search lights + moderate flak instrument bombing with good results.
XII. Mar-13 Night mission to osaka 5400 FT. moderate search lite directed Flak. Instrument bombing good results.
XIII. Mar-16 Night mission to nagoya 5400 FT. Moderate flak + search lights. Instrument bombing good results
XIV. Mar-27 Mission to Oita day light again. 15,000 FT moderate flak and fighters. visual - bombing good results.
XV. Mar-31 Mission to Tachiaria 16,000 FT moderate fighters no flak visual bombing good results.
XVI. Apr-1 Night mission to Tokyo 5000 FT no flak instrument bombing results unobserved.
XVII. Apr-3 Night mission to Tokyo 6800 FT no opposition insturment bombing unobserved results.
XVIII. Apr-7 Mission to Mushishino 15,000 FT intense flak and fighters both were accurate visual bombing fair results
XIX. Apr-12 Mission to Tokyo 15,000 FT. Moderate flak and fighters visual bombing fair results.
XX. Apr-22 Mission to Izumi - 16,000 FT moderate flak + fighters visual bombing exellent results.
XXI. Apr-27 Another mission to Izumi 16,000 meager flak no fighters visual bombing exellent results
XXII. May-5 Mission to Kuri 24,000 FT intense accurate flak no fighters visual bombing exellent results.
XXIII. May-14 Mission to Nagoya 17,000 FT moderate flak and fighters visual bombing good results.
XXIV. May-17 Night mission to Nagoya 9000 FT Moderate flak Inst Bomb good results.
XXV. May-23 Night mission to Tokyo 10,000 FT moderate flak inst bombing exellent results.
XXVI. June-1 Mission to Osaka 19,000 FT moderate flak no fighters visual bombing exellent results
XXVII. June-7 Mission to Osaka 20,000 FT moderate flak no fighters inst bombin results unobserved
XXVIII. June-10 Mission to Hitachi 21,000 FT moderate flak no fighters visual bombing exell results.
XXIX. June-17 Navigational escort for P-47s to Okinawa
XXX. June-19 Night Mission to Fukuoka 9,000 FT No Enemy opposition inst bomb exell results.
XXXI. June-26 Night Photo recon mission to Kumumoto + Nagasaki 10,000 FT to 18,000 Ft no opposition
XXXII. July-1 Night mission to Kumumoto 10,000 FT No opposition inst bomb good results
XXXIII. July-3 Night mission to Kochi 10,000 FT no opposition inst bomb good results.
XXXIV. July-9 Night mission to Sakai 10,400 moderate opposition inst bombing with good results.
XXXV. July-19 Night mission to Hathachi 12,000 FT no enemy opposition inst bombing good results.
XXXVI. July-25 Night Photo recon mission 15,000 to the empire for my last time no opposition. END *Additional Note in Blue ink* THIS MAPPED HIROSHIMA

*July 25 recon mission was 11 days prior to the atomic bomb drop on Hiroshima, assumption was this was in preparation of that bombing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Appleseed Project

Several years ago my Dad was reading about Project Appleseed. He told me they are a group that does marksmanship training around the US. You just take a .22 and they teach you how to shoot it better. After months of discussing this I got the two of us tickets for a class on Father’s Day weekend in 2010. Like many others (I assume) I thought I was already a good shooter and this would be just a recap of things I already learned. NOT TRUE! I was amazed what I learned. After picking up what I could we agreed that we would do it again someday. I believe the best score I shot all weekend was a 180.
About a year later we got signed up for another Appleseed. Dad had been practicing off and on since the year before, easy when the range is your back yard. I was a little less optimistic that I could score the 210+ also know as a Rifleman score. After the first day I was starting to remember things and was working on getting my scores up but it really seemed like I wasn’t doing it right. My scores were worse than a year before. Finally on the start of the second day Dad scored a 221 and got his Rifleman patch. Now the pressure was on. I wasn’t about to leave without mine too.
Again on the second day I struggled. I was completely at a loss for what my problem was. First AQT (Army Qualification Test) I scored a miserable 100. I started thinking trigger control watch the front sight, breathe, etc...But I was only able to raise it to a 130. By this time I had 2 instructors watching me trying to figure out what was going on, they couldn’t see anything obvious, only a few minor adjustments. We break for lunch, by this time I am ready to call it a day and come back next time. But I stick it out and give it one more go. The first AQT of the afternoon I am setting up, and finally I realize that all this time when I thought I was getting my NPOA (natural point of aim) I was just getting close and then using muscles to adjust the sights on target. I caught this by noticing that after a shot that I muscled from left to right the shot would inevitably go back to the left. After a little bit of adjustment I noticed if I got my NPOA, meaning I could just lay there with sights on the target and even with a stiff breeze not move off the target, surprise shots went where I wanted them to. I figured this out towards the beginning of the AQT. After this massive revelation I shot a 206 (just short). The next round was all mine! 211, with a nice 49/50 on the 400yd targets.
I now have to decide if I want to be an instructor in training....hmmm, it is a big commitment.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This spring I have started yet another new hobby, I am shooting IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) shoots. Premise is very simple, stages are setup that mimic a real world like scenario (except people aren’t shooting back). Stages are timed, and scored by accuracy. Time deductions for each hit out side of a vital zone, plus procedural errors for not engaging targets in the proper order, failure to neutralize a target or striking a friendly target.
I have been shooting for fun for several years now. Initially I owned a Glock 34 which is a 5.3” competition style 9x19. After never shooting it in a competition I traded it in for a Beretta 92FS also in 9x19. Finally this year I got a little more involved in shooting sports and have started shooting with 2 different clubs. Linn County IDPA which is an official IDPA club and Wolf Creek IDPA which is a non affiliated club, but they follow the same laws and rules. Both groups have a pretty good following with some outstanding shooters. I have learned quite a bit with the two shoots (1 each) I have been involved with.
In just two shoots I have improved. Finishing 12th of 19 in my first match wasn’t disappointing. I did finish 5 in points deducted (shots out side of the vitals). This was one big bright point, I was one of the more accurate shooters, I just needed to speed up. Speed on some of the tactics used will come with time. One week later I shot with the Linn County group and did much better; finishing 9th of 30 shooters and 4th of 17 in the Stock Service Pistol (SSP) class. I dropped a bit in accuracy but was able to make up time. I figure as I continue to shoot both should improve.
On a side note I did shoot a side mach with the first IDPA event and won. Precision rifle with shots out to 900 yards, timed and scored for accuracy. I was able to strike the 600yd target. I used a 7.62x51 (.308 caliber) FN Herstal FNAR rifle. I could have shot better if I would had a scope zeroed at something more than 100yds. Bullet drop was ~300inches at 1000yds so I had to hold over quite a bit and was well off the mil-dots on the 800 yard and further targets.

I will post more on my competition results. Next match is in Traer with Wolf Creek group 4/9/2011. One stage with 18 steel targets!


Monday, December 20, 2010

CR-48: Update 1

I used the CR-48 for a better part of my day. I did have to switch to my MacBook to work on some projects for the holidays. There was one very evident thing. The multi-touch track pad on the CR-48 is terrible. Some of this I did know, I have been able to right-click one time successfully when I tried. I am guessing this can be fixed with better driver support. I know the Linux synaptics driver is buggy. Movement of the mouse seems sensitive, but the multi-touch gestures are lacking. I didn't quite realize how bad until I went back to the Mac and the glass trackpad with very good multi-touch interface.
The second thing I have noticed is poor video playback. Sometimes the video doesn't buffer, sometimes it plays choppy then the video freezes and the audio continues to play. Sometimes the video and audio play but it is really choppy. I tested one video in Chrome for Snow Leopard and it played back fine.

More to come.