Since every time I posted my previous article people were asking questions, I wrote up the following as a Facebook comment and figured it deserved repeat posting here. Note that there’s an article in our archives which is similar but not as specific as this one. Get ready for your cryptography lesson. A hash is a one-way function. This means that given some input, it creates some seemingly random output. It is one-way in that you can’t do math on the output to get back to the input. So, “abc” -> (hash function) -> A9993E364706816ABA3E25717850C26C9CD0D89D and there’s no way to get “abc” back from that nasty string. UNLESS you have taken the time to generate what’s called a rainbow table. Hackers[…]

Around this time of year, many people receive new devices and gadgets as gifts, and some of those gadgets turn out to be smart phones. But smart phone security is very tricky to pin down, as there are multiple vendors and platforms to take into consideration, not to mention the speed at which smart phone technology is evolving. So when I came across this Top 10 iPhone Security Tips whitepaper (pdf), I knew that it was probably a good thing that it attempts to target a specific platform. However, after reading through it, I think that many of the things McAfee points out can also apply to a Droid or BlackBerry. And so, by stripping away the platform-specific details, we arrive[…]

One of the biggest complaints I’ve had with VMWare vSphere and VMWare ESX/ESXi over the last few years is that managing my virtual machines from my Mac computer was a hassle. The VMWare management utilities are all Windows-only, and even the few web-based tools either do not work or are extremely limited from a Mac. While it isn’t perfect yet, VMWare vSphere 5 has made it so you can actually do just about anything you need to using a Macintosh computer; you just need to go through a few hurdles. To enable the administration of your various virtual machines, storage, clusters, datacenters, and the like, you can now use the vSphere 5 Web Client. Before it can be used, it must[…]

A few years ago, a friend of mine served in Afghanistan. It was, as he described it, a long and mostly dull duty. When not busy with soldierly duties, he wrote on his blog and took pictures, often of the rather picturesque – to those who didn’t have to traverse it – scenery. At one point, however, he was informed that these landscape pictures were, in fact, an operational security violation. Not the ones taken in-camp, but the gorgeous panoramas of Afghani mountains and valleys. The theory was that, using those pictures, insurgents could find their position. My friend’s response was succinct: “I think they already know about the mountains, sir.” In a previous job, I was charged with creating[…]