Category: networks and networking

using a VPN to take back your privacy

network diagram

With the passage into law of the iniquitous Investigatory Powers (IP) Bill in the UK at the end of November last year, it is way past time for all those who care about civil liberties in this country to exercise their right to privacy. The new IP Act permits HMG and its various agencies to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/05/12/using-a-vpn-to-take-back-your-privacy/

guest network

Last month Troy Hunt posted an interesting comment on his blog about the problems around the etiquette of allowing guests onto your home wifi network. In his post, Hunt notes that guests can be deeply offended at being refused access. This is understandable. If they are guests in your home then they are probably close …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2016/01/24/guest-network/

torflow

Map graphic of Tor network traffic around the world

Yesterday, Kenneth Freeman posted a note to the tor-relays list drawing attention to a new resource called TorFlow. TorFlow is a beautiful visualisation of Tor network traffic around the world. It enables you to see where traffic is concentrated (Europe) and where there is almost none (Australasia). Having the data overlaid on a world map …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2015/11/10/torflow/

get your porn here

Dear Dave is at it again. Sometimes I worry about our PM’s priorities. Not content with his earlier insistence that UK ISPs must introduce “family friendly (read “porn”) filters”, our man in No 10 now wants to “see age restrictions put into place or these (i.e. “porn”) websites will face being shut down”. El Reg …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2015/07/30/get-your-porn-here/

net neutrality

My apologies that this is a few weeks late – but it still bears posting. John Oliver at HBO gave the best description of the net neutrality argument I have seen so far. Following that broadcast, the FCC servers were, rather predictably, overwhelmed by the outraged response from the trolls that Oliver set loose. Unfortunately, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2014/08/13/net-neutrality/

heartbleed

This is nasty. There is a remotely exploitable bug in openssl which leads to the leak of memory contents from the server to the client and from the client to the server. In practice this means that an attacker can read 64K chunks of memory on a vulnerable service, thus potentially exposing security critical information. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2014/04/08/heartbleed/

good news for tor

The past couple of days have seen a flurry of news stories about Tor. Some of the news has hit the mainstream media, some of it hasn’t. Yet. A couple of day ago, a rather plaintive post to the tor-talk mailing list read: “looking for a way to contact silk road.Site shut down.money at stake.” …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/10/05/good-news-for-tor/

that’s another password I have to change

Michael Horowitz has posted an interesting article over at Computer world. In it he points out that, by default, most android devices (tablets and ‘phones) routinely ‘phone home to Google to back up Wi-Fi passwords along with other assorted settings. Google sells this option as a convenience to help you regain settings after you upgrade …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/09/20/thats-another-password-i-have-to-change/

tor node upgrade

I have switched my tor node to the experimental branch and it is now running version 0.2.4.17-rc. The huge load on the network seen since the botnet starting using it on about 19 August last has forced the tor project team to recommend that all relay operators move to the 0.2.4 branch (and this release …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/09/10/tor-node-upgrade/

tor usage on the rise

A couple of weeks ago I noted that the release of tails 0.20 seemed to be popular – at least if the traffic on my mirrors was anything to go by. The statistics published by the Tor project itself show an interesting rise in (probable) Tor usage since June. The graphic shows that the number …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/08/22/tor-usage-on-the-rise/

base64 gets past omani deep packet inspection

Back in December 2011 Roger Dingledine and Jacob Applebaum of the torproject gave a talk at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress titled “How governments have tried to block Tor“. That talk focused on the arms race between privacy campaigners and technologists working on tor and the actions of oppressive governments. The presentation gave many examples …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/07/14/base64-gets-past-omani-deep-packet-inspection/

microsoft windows is conspicuous by its absence

At DigitalOcean – or so says Netcraft in its latest write up on their astonishingly fast rise over the last six months. Apparently, in December 2012, DigitalOcean had just over 100 web-facing computers whilst in June 2013, Netcraft found more than 7,000. That is some growth. But I’m not surprised. I make no apology for …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/13/microsoft-windows-is-conspicuous-by-its-absence/

blimey that was quick

The cable tester I ordered at around 17.00 yesterday arrived in this morning’s post. And jolly good it is too for such a ridiculously cheap item. As expected, the instructions are amusing but pretty clear for all that. It is easy to use and feels fairly robust, despite the price. Now the results. I am …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/12/blimey-that-was-quick/

blimey that is cheap

David’s comment to my post about my gigabit ethernet upgrade prompted me to look for a cheap LAN tester so that I could check continuity through the RJ45 coupler that had caused me difficulty. It would also be handy to be able to check the box full of old patch cables that I seem to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/11/blimey-that-is-cheap/

PRISM – we had it first

I can exclusively reveal that the UK government had a PRISM database long before those upstarts in the USA. In the late 1970s I worked in the Statistics Division of what was then the UK Civil Service Department. We used a database of Civil Service personnel called PRISM (Personnel Record Information System for Management). I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/10/prism-we-had-it-first/

slow gigabit ethernet

I have been making some changes to my domestic network of late which I will write about later. However, one of the main changes has been an upgrade from 10/100 switches to gigabit – mainly to improve throughput between my central filestore and desktop machines. For cosmetic reasons (and to keep my wife happy) I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/10/slow-gigabit-ethernet/