DefCon 23: The Writeup

Well, I'm back from DefCon in sunny and hot Las Vegas, Nevada and more or less reinserted back into my everyday life. I'm just about caught up on everything that happened at work and finally finished the notes that are going to comprise this article. I'll type up the notes I took during the talks at DefCon in a couple of days; they've voluminous and I want to get the experience out of my head and into external storage before the memories fade much more. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to any of the villages so I don't have anything …

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How to move your /boot partition onto removable media.

Part of every traveler's threat model today should include the following scenario:

When you're trying to fly into or out of an airport en route to someplace else, it is entirely possible that the airport's security staff will take you aside for a more thorough search and questioning while your stuff is taken someplace out of your control and analyzed. We know that there are malware packages available today that boobytrap the boot device of laptop computers to install various forms of surveillance malware which run the next time you start your machine up and compromise the OS even though …

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Senator Wyrmser explores the American Southwest.

When Jason and I set out for the west coast in October of 2013, we drove cross-country with a Scalemate plushie named Senator Wyrmser riding shotgun for us. He quickly became something of a mascot for the trip, and every morning we'd set out with a cheerful "Squeaka!" from our traveling companion. The last thing I expected was the little guy setting out on his own while Jason and I were visiting the gift shop at the Petrified Forest. I found some of his vacation selfies on my camera last night, and it seems that he did a good job …

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Another turn around the wheel, another charge over the top.

Another year, another birthday.

No, I won't post yet another video of Birthday by the Cruxshadows. I've done that the last few years, and I figure everybody could use a break. So, I put together a Youtube playlist of music that I listened to a lot last year. Open it in another tab or a new window and plug your headphones in if you've a mind to. Just click the "Play All" button.

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Good, you're back.

I can't say that I expected the last year to turn out the way it did. I always said that I try to demolish …

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Hellriding through Arizona.

While Jason and I were driving cross-country late last year, we tried to clear two states a day to make sure that we'd get to the west coast on time. This usually meant setting out at 1000 hours local time, loading our luggage into the TARDIS, and putting the pedal to the metal. This usually wan't too big a deal because we usually started a day's travel from a half to a third of the way across a given state to begin with. Near the end of our journey, however, the only viable route meant clearing the state of Arizona …

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Driving through Oklahoma.

On our way across the country, Jason and I passed through and stopped at a number of interesting places. One of the states we drove through was Oklahoma, which I have fond memories of from when I was a youngster (okay, okay, it's because I fell in love with rattlesnake while I was there). Anyway, I took some photographs while passing through - here they are.

There's just something about wide-open spaces, especially deserts, that call to me. I don't know what it is or why, only that it feels like home. It's why I love visiting places like Oklahoma, Arizona …

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International Summit For Community Wireless Networks 2012.

A little over two weeks ago Sitwon, Haxwithaxe and I made the trek to Barcelona, Spain for the International Summit For Community Wireless Networks, partially because we thought that we might get some useful things out of it for Project Byzantium, but also because Project Byzantium had been invited to attend and present some of our work and ideas for the community at large at the conference. So, arrangements were made in due course, and our journey took us from Baltimore to Philadelphia for a layover, and then an eight hour transatlantic flight carried us to Spain. Sitwon was traveling …

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Catching up on everything else.

I suppose I should talk about work a bit.

I don't ordinarily do that, because I think there's a conflict of interests between writing in a personal blog and talking about things I get paid to do, but sometimes it can't be helped. The last couple of weeks have been spent preparing for a fairly major server migration (e-mail service for a couple of offices and a couple of dozen employees), which for once didn't involve significant hardware wrangling (though that's going on in other areas) but does take a fair amount of time (most of it spent writing documentation …

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Life on the conference trail, future shock, and rule of law.

For man years I'd always looked somewhat askance at Terrence McKenna's talks about the year 2012, his hypothesis of time having a fractal nature, and Everything Changing in the year 2012 of the common era. That I've taken for myself the name of a certain British science fiction hero (and have a certain interest in Time) aside, it never seemed, well, plausible, to put not too fine a point on it. I even went so far as to ruminate about it a couple of years back to get it out of my system. Then, earlier this year I conceeded …

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