Little T in the Cog my blog

Archive for November 2010



So just got back from Kiwicon, New Zealand's own hacker con "by hackers for hackers". It was a ton of fun, much beer was had, much pizza consumed and much knowledge was impressed into my feeble brain. It was pretty amazing seeing some of the live demos - seeing how to hide processes from root, how to completely pwn a kiosk, home-brewed distributed WPA crackers, hell, even how to go urban exploring! It wasn't all about teh hax0rs either - we learned about unsolvable problems and how to work around them, the law regarding search and surveillance, RFID tags (are they the best thing since sliced bread or the devils own children?), even the morals behind setting someone else up to take the fall for your nefarious deeds.

In between these talks (and many more besides - it went on over two days) we consumed beer, participated in hacking contests, tried to gain control of a radio-controlled robot and many other activities besides. To be honest I was too scared to connect to the wireless access point there - it's been described as a somewhat hostile environment and who knows who was wielding a 0day OS X exploit...

I'll definitely be back again next year and I've convinced a bunch of network security guys from work to come along - I think there's a bit of an image that only long haired pierced up cyberpunks go along to these events but the real people that should be there learning all they can are the suited up corporate security guys, after all they are the ones trying to protect against some of the guys giving the presentations...



Apparently borders aren't what they used to be. "They" tell us that with the advent of things like the internet physical boundaries are a thing of the past. Well if that's the case why can't I buy the same things here in NZ that people can get in Europe and America?

I bought an unlocked Palm Pre cell phone about 6 months ago from Spain. It works perfectly here on my carrier of choice thanks to the fact that it is a gsm device (all I had to do was insert my SIM and I was away). I can access the app store and browse and download any free apps that I desire - yet I can't purchase anything. If I go to enter my credit card details in the Palm App Catalogue I can't - I can't enter my address because my country isn't on the drop down list.

I can understand not being able to buy the phone in certain parts of the world (as annoying as it is) but to lock down the purchase of apps from certain countries? Does Palm (now HP) not want my money? I can buy books and games off, purchase pretty much anything I want on ebay, send money to random people via paypal yet can't buy something that has no physical package to ship, something that costs them nothing to get to me.

No wonder people "hack" their devices...



Thank God it's Friday.... That is all.

First Post!


So - first entry! Well, this blog is less about blogging and more about me learning html5. I owned the domain for a few years now and have been meaning to put up some content more because I can than because I actually have to. I thought I may as well learn some modern html while I was at it rather than installing some blogging framework that did it all for me as the last time I had to touch html was back in 1998 when Netscape Navigator ruled the roost and I was at Uni (ah, remember geocities?? Memories...)

So, I'm an "Open Source Engineer" (whatever that means!) currently working for a large (by New Zealand standards!) ICT company in Auckland. My daily working life consists of keeping Linux servers up and running as they should and a bunch of networking and firewalling (mostly Linux/IPTables/IPSec with a dash of Cisco and Juniper thrown in to remind me how little I know).

I hold a BE in Electrical Engineering, RHCE in RHEL5 with the Deployment and Systems Management Expertise and half of a CCNA which I really should complete one of these days.

Cheers, Andrew