Software

Hardening OS X with Bastille

I know a lot about security, but rarely ever practice it (I leave my WiFi open, I just turn off the SSID :P). With Shmoocon coming up I decided I should at least try to lockdown a little. I’m just hoping my EVDO Rev A card shows up so I don’t have to use any of the local networks. Bastille is a long standing *nix project that guides you through turning off services, setting security policies, and securing your firewall. Last fall Jay Beale released a beta version for OS X users after this Defcon talk pointing out that the OS X firewall doesn’t really do what it says. The install is pretty easy: Download and install instructions can be found here. You’ll need to install Tk following these directions. The only possible slip is that you need to run ‘bastille -b’ to apply the changes as noted here.

I found this talk on FileVault cracking while I was searching. I love all of the little accelerated cracking projects David Hulton has been doing with FPGAs lately.

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Software

… or maybe Rails

I joked to Blaine how my idea of holiday fun was learning PHP. He suggested if I was starting from scratch anyway I might as well learn Ruby on Rails. That sounded like a grand idea to me and reminded me of a great blog post I read last year:

Cory and many others from Rackspace put in an incredible amount of work helping with the Katrina relief efforts. Here is his story: “Shelter Famous”, or, How To Build Disaster Relief Software (with Rails)

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Software

PHP MySQL OSX

If you can’t tell from the title, my Christmas has been a blast :-). I kid, but I decided to take on a coding project (something more than duct tape). I decided to get Apache, MySQL, PHP, and Xcode installed on my MacBook Pro to facilitate this. Here are some links to make this easier on the next person.

I haven’t played with Xcode yet. I figure I’ll use TextWrangler till I get into something big. For the curious: I’m starting at the very beginning.

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nUbuntu

nubuntu logo
All the cool kids these days are running Ubuntu. I’ve avoided it for a while since it’s Debian based and I was a Gentoo ricer (Jackass is hardcore). Well, since I’ve gotten my Macs the Gentoo systems have rotted and I decided to install nUbuntu on my laptop.

nUbuntu is a live security CD and features one of my favorite things: Fluxbox. I’ve avoided Ubuntu because it featured Gnome. Learning Linux on a Playstation 2 taught me something very important: keep it fat free. That means no heavy desktop enviroment. Everything on a Linux system can be changed with a text editor so a lightweight windowing system is all you need. A bloated desktop enviroment just leads to mediocrity in its individual tools. It’s the individual programs that really shine on Linux anyway. Like mplayer, a media player that you can throw anything at and it will play. Continue reading

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