Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Berkeley idiots

More from the idiots protesting the Marine Corps recruiting center in downtown Berkeley. Good to know that they respect their country and the rights of others to enjoy the national anthem.
Who ARE these f-ing morons?

Thursday, June 12, 2008


As part of the week-long residency leading to graduation, the Norwich MSIA program has a voluntary Digital Combat exercise where teams of two players attack various hosts on a network in an effort to gain information about them, find vulnerabilities, and exploit those vulnerabilities in order to access information on said hosts.
This morning, myself and my partner Carlos, pwnd the contest and won a copy of the The Official CHFI Study Guide (Exam 312-49) as well as a limited license of the software we were using to do a large portion of the vulnerability testing called Core Impact. Amazing tool...does everything but butter your bread for you.
In addition, our drinking buddy of the week, Charles, won the afternoon session. Nice work Charles, and thanks Carlos for partnering up with me and kicking ass.


Today we sat through more seminars. One of which was relatively interesting yet dry about involving security in project management to ensure that security interests are taken care of before implementation. Yep....for the majority of you reading this, boring as hell.
The other was Information Warfare. Now THAT'S what I'm talkin about. All about the hacking, defending, and other information that is put out to either disinform, win the hearts and minds, or otherwise terrorize the citizens of the world. Very interesting stuff.
Additionally, there was karaoke tonight, which ended up somehow the computer guys singing "Like a Virgin"...thanks MBA guys....assholes.
Visits to the bar are resulting in more and more appreciation for local Vermont-brewed beer, but I still miss Bells. Trying to convince the bartender and bar manager to get a sample of it so they can bring it here, but not much luck.
Tomorrow will be amusing in that we're doing a digital combat exercise. Basically we're given a network and told "hack it". We get points for different things such as identifying vulnerabilities, exploiting those vulnerabilities, finding files in the file structure, identifying the entire network etc. The winning team gets something amusing, but I forget what that something is.
And finally, tonight, about 12:30, the drunks from the Masters of Justice Administration (that would be cops) came strolling into the parking lot behind Goodyear hall, where the majority of the MSIA students are staying. They were making a lot of noise, disturbing the drinking that was going on in the room where I was hanging out. I stuck my head out and said "hey, quiet down, we're drinkin up here", to which they responded, "we're drinking here too, and we have bagpipes"......well, who could resist that? Seriously?
So we had an impromptu parade, with several members of the MJA, MSIA, and MBA programs wandering around the parade grounds, following the piper. Until of course the security guy shows up in his pickup truck, slams the door, and whines "we've had some noise complaints, so quiet down". Man, you shoulda seen the MJA guys go running. I mean, these are the cops of the world and they're afraid of a Norwich student security guy? The other MSIA participant and I just laughed and walked calmly toward Goodyear to enjoy yet another Norwich memory.

Go Cadets!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

more grad-blogging

Norwich University is a private military university. It started as a men-only cadet program and only within the last 30 years admitted women and within the last 10 years or so admitted 'civilians' (non-cadets). So, the experience here has been one of nostalgia, remembering back to the days of being in the Marines, as well as relationship building with my fellow security geeks.
Many of the men & women here are experiencing a lot of the same stupidity at their companies in regards to the security of their systems and the resistance they're getting from users/managers. That may be the most valuable part of this week, other than the whole 'getting the diploma' thing, the building of the relationships that were initially made online with my cohort via the discussions and homework. Additionally, the opportunity to meet folks that were in different cohorts but that I just have things in common with has been a great time as well.

Getting back to the military basis of the school, as part of the first week of undergrad for freshmen, they do the Dog River Run, which is after the 'hell week' (although they don't call it that). Basically it's a run down to the river and then maybe a quarter to half mile run down the small river that runs adjacent to the campus. Once completed, the 'rooks' are to get a rock from the river. Last year someone decided this would be a good idea for the school of graduate studies(SGS), so they started it. Monday, I participated in the 2nd annual SGS Dog River Run. Amazingly, I was at the front of the pack, doing calisthenics alongside the 20-22 year old cadet, keeping up as well as an old guy can, and running without dying. We got to the river and it is an extremely rocky stream. As we walk in, the cold of the water hits you and you realize this water is about 15 minutes from being snow somewhere....and you keep going. The rocks on the river bed are covered with algae or mud or something that makes them slippery and I'm thinking "jeez, how are we going to 'run' in this river without killing ourselves?" Well, luckily for us, they dumbed the River Run down for us old folks and let us walk down the river. Of course, halfway there we did some calisthenics. Pushups in 1.5 foot high water is challenging, especially if you didn't want to dunk half your body in the water, and as a result, many of us were soaked on our front sides, but we kept going. By the end of the run, the stream gets about 4' deep if you go on one side and so a few of us went for a short swim. A very few of us.

I got my rock, ran back to my room, emptied out the rocks in my shoes, and took a nice warm shower.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Finally getting my MSIA this week. I'm spending the week in beautiful Vermont on the campus of Norwich University, attending conferences and such.

May actually have some time to blog about it as well. This morning the distinguished IT Security guru, Dr. Eugene Spafford addressed my graduating class and I learned why it is that he's regarded as one of the best minds in IT security....amazing....

He's forgotten more about security than I'll know...

More later

Monday, June 02, 2008

Obama Quits!

Um, before you get too excited, allow me to clarify.....

He quits his church. Trinity United Church of Christ in the Chicago area. The one where Reverend Jeremiah Wright spewed his anti-American venom. Where lies about the government inventing HIV/AIDS to kill blacks were spouted like facts and where Barack and Michelle sat intently listening, not objecting, not showing any sort of regret, but rather supporting Wright and touting him as a spiritual advisor. The very same church that has a statement of faith that includes the education of Africans living in diaspora. (For those of you who went to public schools, diaspora means people not being allowed to live in their homeland)

At least until the political heat got too hot for them and he had to be thrown under the bus like so much political baggage.

One wonders if this will be bandied about on the editorial pages and on the Sunday news talk shows as a "intelligent move" and give Obama all kinds of credit for distancing himself once he realized the hatred that Reverend Wright has for this country. Or will it be addressed as a politically expedient move by a slithery politician who is even more adept at handling such problems than Slick Willie himself. Perhaps that's because the media gives him such a wide leeway and fails horribly to do their one job, question. Cynicism is reserved for Republicans and conservatives. They have little left for Dimwitocrats, and even less for liberal Dimwitocrats.

And just in case you don't understand why it is that Jeremiah Wright and his church would be seen as a political liability in a national election, watch a three-minute report by ABC News (not exactly folks with a conservative axe to grind) with the kinds of things spewed at a TUCC Sunday sermon and you'll understand why it is that Obama threw Wright and the rest of his church under the bus in the name of political expediency: