Physical Security: How to cause mayhem!

I have a number of rules I use in a professional and sometimes personal capacity. This is number 1: Always assume the worst about everything. You’ll rarely be disappointed. When you apply it in a security context, it means given a choice, users will always choose the stupid option. Take passwords, if you don’t mandate a certain password quality, then they’ll choose crap passwords (No, Pa55w0rd does not could as a good one!) If you make the password rules too difficult, well… With a little patience and technical expertise though, it is possible to secure your systems effectively. Password policies,…
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Review: Ubiquiti UAP-Pro

As I mentioned previously, I’ve said goodbye to Cisco and so has my partner-in-crime when it comes to all things technical. The only problem is where do you go from there with regards to wireless networking? Around the same time, Ars Technica did a review of the Ubiquiti UAP-AC range of access points. The AC range has two main problems though. Firstly, it’s not available in the UK at the moment. Secondly, it doesn’t yet support zero handoff roaming, which allows you to move between two separate access points without needing to reconnect. Given 802.11ac wasn’t a pressing requirement though,…
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Review: Toshiba Satellite Click Mini

The big thing in computers between 2007 and 2010 was the rise of the Netbook: Small, low powered, low cost computers, running either Linux or Windows. The first Netbooks had a mere 7-inch screen at a stupidly low resolution of 1024×600. Then came 9-inch models, same poor resolution, but a more useful screen. Then came 10 and 11-inch variants. The price also started to rise as more powerful processors and components were installed. Then, just as quickly as they burst onto the scene, the Netbooks fizzled away. Until recently, the smallest you could go was 11-inches, which is a shame…
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SEO, and why it’s stupid

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Its sole purpose for existing is to push content to the top of Google and the like. Some feel SEO to be a grubby industry, while others have built a living out of it. Some practitioners treat SEO as a religion that must be obeyed. This website makes use of an automated SEO tool to help ensure articles are of a high quality. The picture below shows what the tool displays at the start of the article writing process. The biggest criticism of SEO though is that it prioritises well promoted crap at the…
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Networking 2015: Hello pfSense

Having spoken previously about how I’m done with using Cisco for my networks, I now need a replacement. This has come in the form of pfSense. Given that it doesn’t have the name recognition of a brand like Cisco, perhaps some explanation is necessary. The fundamental element of networking is moving packets of information across physical networks. Once upon a time, this required specialist hardware that could move these packets quickly enough, giving companies such as Cisco their market. Today, commodity hardware is cheap and powerful enough that it can act as a network router. This is where software such…
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Networking 2015: Saying goodbye to Cisco

For the past five years I’ve been in a relationship that I’ve had no business getting involved with. That is, with Cisco networking equipment. Back in 2010, a friend decided to begin learning Cisco and to obtain his CCNA with a view to becoming a network engineer. Because I can’t resist fiddling with technology, I soon picked up enough to build networks, and eventually had built four of them using Cisco routers and switches. Unfortunately, there’s a  few downsides to using Cisco, which I’ll cover below. In part two of the Networking 2015 series, I’ll introduce the technology I’m replacing…
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TalkTalk: Words fail me

On Friday, as the whole TalkTalk hacking was blowing up in a big way, I sat down to write an article about the fiasco, if fiasco is a strong enough word to describe the mess TalkTalk find themselves in. The problem is that every time I managed to write a bit the story had once again changed. As with many things however, the more you sit and watch it, the more you recognise patterns. Two such patterns that have come out of this debacle are: Here’s another company that has failed to invest in Information Security; The CEO – Dido…
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The technology has become a tool, and I’m not sad

I would like to say a big thank you to Facebook. The other day it thought it would be nice to remind me of a photo I took at university, something I still think of as being not that long ago, But no, Facebook had other ideas, and helpfully depressingly reminded me that it was in fact five years ago. The photo is from my lab in my final year. I was working on a project around home automation, so I had lots of fancy electronics kit, a couple of computers and a whole bunch of time on my hands. It…
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Oh no! I’m using WordPress (and I quite like it!)

When I bought this domain eight years ago, I looked at a few CMS platforms, but none of them did what I wanted at the time, so I built my own. Since then I’ve always looked at WordPress and it’s ilk as being the lazy way to build a website, and if I’m honest, I still do. Why then you might ask is this site proudly using WordPress to display content? That’s simple, I no longer have the time. When I was at university, I had virtually unlimited free time, and developing a website was a useful application of what…
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Apple… It’s Happened

When the first iPhone came along, it was a pretty revolutionary device. Nothing else was quite like it. Since then, every release of the iPhone has been accompanied by a crowd of drooling fans, eager to give Apple their money for the latest shiny toy. Something interesting is beginning to happen though. People are getting wise to the fact that the new iPhone isn’t that much better than the last one. By Apple’s standards, the 5c was a bit of a disappointment, and Android is growing its market share like an unstoppable juggernaut. With the release of the iPhone 6,…
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