Seven Minute Server

Aug 20, 2010 - 2 minute read - Fun

Goofing with Audio

My partner’s doing some speech analysis stuff, and introduced me to sox, a self-described “Swiss Army Knife of sound processing.” I was goofing with it today to convert spectrograms of mp3s to animated GIFs. This is quick and very dirty, but should work. Requirements On Ubuntu, install sox, the mp3 plug-in for sox, and imagemagick: sudo apt-get install sox libsox-fmt-mp3 imagemagick Running Copy the text of this script into a file:

Nov 19, 2009 - 2 minute read - Fun

Who's attacking your web server today?

We’re going to go a little off-book today for a segment I’d like to call, “Who’s attacking my server today?” I administer a few servers and they, like most anything connected to the Internet, are constantly under attack. Searching through my logs, I’ve seen a large number of pretty basic attacks trying to exploit a vulnerability in Parallels Plesk - a hosting control panel. If you’re using hosting “in the cloud1,” you’re bound to see a lot of this sort of thing.

Sep 30, 2009 - 3 minute read - Security Basics

Ad Blockers, More Useful Than You Think

Put yourself in a bad guy’s shoes: You have a piece of software that logs usernames and passwords to banking sites. It can do a number of other things, like propagate itself to other computers that share drives with the victims and open address books and email itself to every email address it finds - so that it can log usernames and passwords from even more sites! It just needs to hit one system, really, to propagate.

Aug 12, 2009 - 5 minute read - Security Basics

On Passwords

With the number of systems and web sites you log into every day, generating and remembering unique, memorable, and unguessable passwords can be a real chore. However, a disciplined approach to password security is pivotal to thwarting password-based attacks. Who would use password attacks to break into your accounts? Thieves (your bank account and credit card sites), foreign governments and competitors (your bank and work accounts), ex-boyfriends (your Facebook account), ex-husbands (your personal email account)!