Thursday, January 26, 2006

Delicious Links 2006-01-26

caskey's bookmarks for 2006-01-26

  • Argus --
    The Argus Open Project is focused on developing network activity audit strategies that can do real work for the network architect, administrator and network user.
    Tagged as: admin ip linux networking paralipsis security software sysadmin todo tools

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Delicious Links 2006-01-22

caskey's bookmarks for 2006-01-22

  • VX heavens --
    An excellent open collection of viruses, worms and trojans. Very helpful to the budding security researcher/developer.
    Tagged as: analysis article code computer documentation hacks paralipsis programming reference security tutorial

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Enabling Xinerama in Ubuntu

Configuring Xinerama in Ubuntu is straightforward and only has two real steps (if you're lucky). The first is to set up your video boards so they are identified by X11. Then you simply need to tell X11 how your screens are aranged and then that you want them to be one large virtual screen. If you have a xinerama-aware window manager, so much the better. Below is a blow-by-blow description of what you need to do in order to enable multiple displays. These instructions are not Ubuntu specific, so they'll work for any Linux distribution.

Port Knocking is Worthless

As I read about Port Knocking and whether or not it qualifies as security through obscurity, it strikes me that not only is Port Knocking useless, it's wrong minded as well. It fails to solve the very problem it purports to address, and creates the illusion of greater security. I believe this is the worst form of snake oil. In any security assessment one must produce a threat model and an construct your security system in response to that, but a system like Knocking doesn't appear to have gone through that process.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Setting Up TWM Under Ubuntu

Getting TWM, a.k.a. the Window Manager Of The Gods working under Ubuntu is actually quite easy.

  1. Install the twm package: sudo apt-get install twm

  2. Create a twm desktop config file for your display manager:
    cat > /usr/share/xsessions/twm.desktop
    [Desktop Entry]

Now, you're free to select twm from the list of display managers. I really ought to get around to submitting a mod to the twm package as this config file should be in the distribution automatically, like the other window managers are.

And yes, I use TWM every day on my quad display system. It's the best, fastest, and least intrusive window manager I've ever used.

1920x1200? not so fast

Driving a flat panel display at 1920 x 1200 is far more difficult than you can imagine. Sure, it's easy if you only have one, but what if you have three? Well, unless you're building a brand-new custom system with dual PCIe 16x slots and dual, dual DVI outputs, life can get a little hairy.

You see, I used to operate with just four displays. One was an Apple Cinema Display 23 inch and three were Sony Trinitron 500PS CRT monitors. This gave me a desktop resolution of 6720 x 1200. If you examine the image below, you can see how this colossal resolution compares to several traditional monitor resolutions.

Desktop Resolutions

Pinnacle Nucflash

If you're a fan of complex systems, especially ones designed to ensure secure control of vital or dangerous systems, then you'll enjoy this story about the Pinnacle/Nucflash keyword combo used to route messages of the highest priority, namely notification of a non-accidental nuclear explosion and threat of imminent nuclear war. Finding ways of constructing systems and rules such that human error is minimized is a fascinating area of study.