blogs are incredible time sinks

When I first put together this blog I had a grand idea that I would use it to post news and relevant bits from the tech world that I found interesting.

In truth, it was not a well thought out plan.

There are simply so many news sites / news aggregators out there that there’s not really any real reason for any more to exist, especially not one that is human-curated.

So… what now?  Good question. I’ll probably clean up some of the older stuff and then try to post updates on some of the “larger events” in tech news and also tidbits on various things I’m working on and studying for. I may adjust the format too.

As always, the slack link is still up and seems to have a pretty active core group of people involved in networking, virtualization, programming, and so on.

In seconds scientists can now encode 1 Zetabyte of data in 1 gram of human DNA

dnadata

This is the kind of stuff that just blows my mind 🙂

Scientists at the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in Ireland have discovered a way to encode 1 zetabyte (1e+12 gigabytes) of data in 1 gram of DNA. Retrieval of this *massive* amount of data currently takes 3 days. It can be written in seconds.

More info here: betanews

Unimus makes config backups, auditing, and multi-level access easy

unimus.net color logo

I wanted to take a minute to promote a tool I’ve found great value in: Unimus. Unimus is a vendor agnostic config backup tool that can also be used for config auditing and control. They currently support over 70 unique vendors, and the pricing is something even small to medium business can easily afford.

Check out this quick overview:

  • easy to use
  • vendor agnostic
  • multi-platform (Windows, Linux, x86, x64, ARM, etc)
  • web based
  • modern & secure
  • supports notification via email, pushover, and slack
  • AAA auth support for SSO integration

Tomas Kirnak has been talking about all kinds of new features to be released over the next year. Head over to unimus.net to check them out!

Intel AMT Security Issue Lets Attackers Bypass BIOS and BitLocker Passwords

Intel Chip Broken

“An F-Secure security researcher has found a way to use Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT) to bypass BIOS passwords, BitLocker credentials, and TPM pins and gain access to previously-secured corporate computers.

Only laptops and computers on which Intel AMT has been provisioned (configured) are vulnerable, according to F-Secure security researcher Harry Sintonen, the one who claims to have discovered the issue last July.”

From: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/intel-amt-security-issue-lets-attackers-bypass-bios-and-bitlocker-passwords/

Mozilla has confirmed web-based attack vector for Meltdown and Spectre CPU bugs

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“Our internal experiments confirm that it is possible to use similar techniques from Web content to read private information between different origins,” said Luke Wagner, a software engineer with the Mozilla Foundation.

from: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/mozilla-confirms-web-based-execution-vector-for-meltdown-and-spectre-attacks/

The Register reports: “‘Kernel memory leaking’ Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign”

Intel Chip Broken

A security design flaw in Intel x86 chips may force users to sacrifice up to 33% of performance to mitigate the issue. More testing is required, and more info can be found with technical details on the linux kernel mailing list, postgresql page, and here: http://pythonsweetness.tumblr.com/post/169166980422/the-mysterious-case-of-the-linux-page-table

From: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/02/intel_cpu_design_flaw/, courtesy of Fredrik Korsbäck on the packetpushers.net slack community.

Password management sucks? Lasspass makes it suck far, far less.

Lastpass Logo

Now that 2018 is in full swing, I decided it was way past time to do something about my horrible password management practices.  I try not to reuse passwords.  I try to use complicated strings.  It’s not enough though… my brain can only handle so many things, and there are far too many websites and things I need to log in to.

In short, I really suck when it comes to applying secure password policies in my daily non-enterprise life.

Enter: Lastpass

Lastpass lets me simplify password management and share it between devices.  I can import my saved passwords for websites from my google account (after of which, I deleted them from there and disabled google password management on my account).  It will check to make sure I’m not reusing the same credentials, it will check the strength of those credentials, and I can rotate passwords or generate strong new credentials for “weak” logins automatically if I tell it to do so.  It’s also setup to store all kinds of other things… credit cards, bank info, drivers license information, passwords, even random notes.  I’m nervous about doing this (even with MFA), but I can see how many would find this very valuable.

What does this cost me to do all this, and to help prevent cross-site or multi-site breaches? $2/month. That’s it.

I can’t think of anything this useful for $2.00/month, can you?

Check in to their family plans as well – I’m considering enrolling mine (good for multiple devices and up to 6 users) for only $4.00/month.  It’s a great opportunity to teach my family (primarily my oldest son and wife) how important this is and to establish good practices.

Don’t forget to set up Multi-Factor-Authentication (MFA) on your main account login!

You can check their other pricing and features here: https://www.lastpass.com/pricing

(Lastpass in no way endorsed or paid for this post, I simply find their service incredible valuable and want others to understand how important this is to help protect critical personal information!)

 

CloudHealth Technology eBook – Reduce AWS Spending

AWS Logo Blue

CloudHealth Technologies has released a valuable eBook called “10 Best Practices For Reducing Spending in AWS”, which I highly advise anyone interested in moving to cloud take a look at first. To really take advantage of the cloud AND save money, your practices and applications need to be tailored for it from the “get-go”.

You can find it here (no registration required).

Cumulus Networks free O’Reilly book: BGP in the Data Center

(Edit: You’ll have to open the blog post to see the links. Sorry!)

Jeremy Austin sent me a note in our slack chat today about this free O’Reilly Media eBook by Dinesh Dutt. It’s a really good look at modern BGP unnumbered design for a scalable, portable, datacenter architecture.  I’m only about halfway through it, but I’m really liking it so far!

Check it out here.