Monday, July 19, 2010

The Washington Post Exposes Scope of The Intelligence Complex

A new Washington Post piece was just released which details just how large the intelligence community has become post 9-11.  We all knew that intelligence spending had increased dramatically, but this piece really sheds light on just how chaotic, unorganized, compartmentalized, and under-supervised the whole intelligence community is, despite efforts to improve it.

Pypass Password Generator

As an exercise in Python, I decided to write a random password generator.  I decided on a few features that it had to have: for one, it must produce passwords as randomly as is possible on a finite state machine.  Secondly, it must produce passwords of up to 63 characters in length.  Third, it must produce passwords in just about every logical combination of ASCII printable characters.

     The program is finished and I hope it is of use to the many Linux newcomers who need an easy to use password generator with a GUI.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

E-mail Encryption Using GnuPG

Every e-mail that you send across the Internet is sent in plain text, meaning any individual sitting at one of the many hops between you and your recipient can read the message. And sniffing e-mail is not hard to do even for amateurs. Many ISP's have data retention policies where they retain every e-mail and website visited by every subscriber for a period of months (and sometimes years). Furthermore, the FBI is lobbying Congress to pass a law making such practices mandatory and expanding the length of time ISP's must retain data to 2 years. The NSA, as we all know, was caught spying wholesale on Internet communications at the various backbones (AT&T being one culprit that helped with the spying). If you live in the UK or many other countries, you already have Orwellian laws on the books making data retention mandatory.[1] So, one must ask oneself: "Do I really want my ISP having access to all of the personal e-mails I have sent for the past couple of years?" I don't know about you, but I don't.

Therefore, I will use this post to cover e-mail encryption using the best tool for the job: GnuPG.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Encryption Options in Linux

A lot of people post to the Ubuntu forums wondering about encryption options, or, more generally, how to secure their data in a number of different scenarios. There's a lot of questions one must ask oneself: do I want asymmetric or symmetric encryption? Do I want to encrypt a whole disk, container, or a single file? How about e-mail and IM encryption? Luckily all of these things can be done in a fairly straight-forward way with software your distro came with out of the box. This post will cover only encrypting files, folders, partitions and whole disks. It will not cover e-mail (I will save that for another post since it deserves special attention).


Thursday, July 15, 2010

First Post

Just testing. I will have some stuff to post a little later on.