Throughout my soon-ending school experience, I always thought that getting good grades was the only way to learn. I hadn’t had trouble with that until 2012, the year I became a University student. My grades dropped, I started failing subjects, my scholarship was reduced and, consequently, I had a personal crisis. It seemed obvious to me that I was becoming a failure and my life would suck forever because I just couldn’t get my average to what I wanted. My brain was going into shock and I couldn’t soak in any knowledge. I can summarize said experience with this song:
Many students believe that their grades define who they are and who they will become. If you have good grades you’ll be successful and get a good job, if they aren’t you suck. Thus, “I Must Impress My Professor” becomes a hymn.
It wasn’t until less than a year ago that I started seeing things differently. I started loving my degree and my subjects, I began feeling happy about myself and what I had accomplished. Who cares about grades when I have so much more to offer? I clearly remember a few months ago when I called my mum and told her “I think I’m finally getting the hang of school”. She laughed and said “Well, better late than never!”. It literally took me 19 years to understand what school was all about, or at least what it should be about.
A huge part of this change of mind I had, I owe to Ken Bauer and every other teacher that focused on helping students learn instead of showing off and acting as a deity. It’s because of you that I understood that everyone has their own learning process and it’s OK to take longer to understand something and it’s OK not
Today, October the 21st, the world has gone mad due to many sites being “down” or “not loading”. This isn’t quite what happened. The internet doesn’t just stop working and hackers don’t just turn a service down. There is method in madness and I’m here to explain it to you.
What happened today was a DDoS attack to a DNS. Sounds like I’m speaking in another language, right? It’s actually rather simple. A DDoS attack is a Distributed Denial of Service attack. This can be explained with a simple analogy. (The analogy was provided by Rubiology, so special thanks to him).
Imagine you are in a taco stand, there is only one person making the tacos and there are many others surrounding the stand to make their order. A DDoS attack is when there are a lot of people yelling “I want 3 tacos!” at the same time and the taco-maker gets stressed out, says “I’m not giving any tacos to any of you!” and storms out.
These is how real tacos look like, by the way. Gif obtained here
Much like a taco-maker, an internet server has a limited capacity and when that capacity is reached, it crashes.
Now, a DNS is a Domain Name System. This is like a phone directory (sorry, Digital Natives, you’re gonna have to ask your parents what that is) for the web pages. It assigns their IP address. So, when you shut down a DNS and a web page has no other way of giving clients the IP address, it simply won’t display anything and your browser will say something like this:
As long as I can remember, I’ve been a girl. I was fortunate enough to have an amazing and very supportive family that has always believed in me and in my dreams. When I wanted to be a scientist, they bought me a “scientist kit” (which consisted of a cheap microscope and several things to observe such as a leaf, grass, blood, and even a small piece of human brain); when I wanted to be a mathematician, they bought me children’s math books (“El Diablo de los Números” was a huge influence in my life and I learned binary since I was 10. Not two, ten); when I wanted to be a chemist, my grandfather sat with me and taught me how to “make” polyurethane and taught me how to create safe chemical reactions, he was also the one that taught me how to use a computer. I’ve always been an empowered woman, to be quite honest.
Despite my family’s best efforts, I was never exempt from sexism. When I was a kid, I was often teased for “not being pretty enough” or for having a “weird nose” while my male classmates got none of that. I heard mock-comments like “you run like a girl” or “don’t be a girl” (this is a common saying in my country that means not being a coward ) and I always questioned it “Why is being a girl a bad thing? Am I wrong? Am I weak?”. When I started developing as a woman is when it started to get real. To this day, every time I walk by myself or ride my bike I get catcalled at least once (I wish this meant people thinking I’m an actual cat and being freaked out about it, it’d be waaaay better). I have been groped
Let’s start with a small summary of my morning today. I woke up super late (because I fell asleep very late) and ran to put on my clothes and get ready for today. However, when I was about to open the door and blast out, someone rang the doorbell. I knew no one was arriving this morning, so I decided to go back up and see who was outside through a window. It was a white truck with no company logo on it. I called my house mates to ask if we were expecting anyone and they said no. With all this data, I decided to wait until they left to leave the house. When they finally did, I saw that they left a piece of paper that said “We are your internet provider, we came to install your internet but no one was home, please call this number”. The weird part about this is that, as you probably read in my part 3 & 4 blog post, they did that two days ago. It might have been just a confusion from the company, but either way I decided to not open the door and keep myself safe. Be aware of your surroundings.
Today we talked to Rebecca Hogue and Helen DeWaard. The dynamic of this was people asking questions and them answering from their points of views. Helen mentioned that you can share personal information but it can be public, private or a combination of the two. For instance, you can share a picture of your living room, but not tell where in the world you live. This way you share a bit more about yourself but not enough to be exposed to dangerous things. Being vulnerable on the internet is also learning and opening yourself to opportunities
First of all, if you wish to read part one, click here. If you wish to read part two, click here.
So, this was Wednesday’s course and I couldn’t attend I spent my morning waiting for the internet people to arrive and later on I geeked out on my Wireless Network course❤. I literally had Amy’s look the whole time during said course. And my boyfriend, of course, had Sheldon’s look…
Anyway, back to what matters. Day four. This morning was about people commenting on other’s blogs. They had the chance to actually read what their classmates wrote and give themselves a different perspective on certain things.
Today’s talk was with Maha Bali, she’s a professor at the American University in Cairo. As one could expect, her culture is 180° different to ours and I found that incredibly fascinating. Many people asked questions and started creating conversation, Maha talked about how people can take things you said out of context and use it against you. She talked about creating public and private digital presences depending on what you want to say to the world. Creating private connections online is equally important. A recurring topic was the opinion people have on “ignoring” each other due to social media or phones. The thing is that when you’re on social media, WhatsApp, Telegram and all these apps, you actually are socializing.
Older generations tend to bash technology blaming every social problem on them mainly because it’s the “unknown” and that can always be scary. Not understanding something doesn’t mean that it’s bad, it simply means that you don’t get it and aren’t used to it. Be respectful to others thoughts and ideas, please. Which takes me to my next topic: censorship.
Maha talked about censorship and how in the country she lives
I arrived kind of late and when I came in, everyone was making collages, I felt back in kindergarten and primary school. The activity was taking pictures of words and things that represent who you are, to take fragments of yourself and create an artistic picture with it.
Wish picture taken at Yoko Ono’s exposition at Mexico City.
Later on, there were four video calls with four different people, I will talk about each one of them below:
Laura & Lee
The first two speakers were Laura Gogia and Lee Skallerup, they’re two amazing ladies very involved in the digital world as a whole. They both talked about their experiences with social media in their own personal lives (at school, work, with their families, etc) and gave tips and tricks on how to become more open on the internet without creating a bad reputation. I loved the way they respected the privacy of others. Interestingly enough the first question popped up pretty quickly.
This question is interesting to me, because it specifically talks about discrimination in social media, something we (as humans, I mean, not just women) have to deal with daily.
Lee talked about how there have always been people that hate-read her and left nasty comments, and how she got support from other followers and readers, and how she changed her perspective on who reads her and what’s important. The point of blogging is getting what you want. If you’re not, you should reconsider what you’re doing and what you’re writing about. She also talked about how marginalized communities are moving into closed spaces due to the hate they’ve received. Lee mentioned that it’s great having many different channels through which people can communicate.
Laura, on the other hand, said that for her it was about using the
This week I decided to sneak in to a digital identity course that’s being taught by my security teacher Ken Bauer. My reasons behind this were to basically know what “regular” people (by this I mean non-tech savvy people) are afraid of, what their doubts about the internet are and the reasons why they don’t feel safe online. This will give me a better perspective on what to talk about in this blog and how to talk about it.
Today’s day one and I’m writing this as we take the course, so I’ll talk a bit about the experience. We had a talk with Dave Cormier and people dared to ask several questions. Interestingly enough, all the questions so far have been completely related to security. Will hackers get me? Is my information safe? What do people generally steal from internet users? Will I ever get hacked?
The answer to all of this was: you are always at risk.
Since the course is about digital identity, I will also talk about that. First of all, what is digital identity? It’s basically the way you represent yourself online. It’s how people will see you on social media. You may think “but it’s the internet, I can be whomever I want to be!” to that I say, of course you can! However be ready to face the consequences of that. Digital identity is similar to a tattoo. You choose the design and ink it in your body forever and ever. So, like a tattoo, be sure to create something you like, something that represents you and preferably something you aren’t ashamed of.
Once you realize everything you do can be found by literally anyone, you can start worrying about all those terrible, terrible pictures from middle school. That bad hairdo will be
Ah, the internet. Our generation’s favourite place to be. It gives us everything we could possibly want or need. You can watch videos, listen to music, play games, communicate with friends or family, research things, write documents, share information, meet people, you can even buy cake! But beware, my friends, for the cake is a lie.
Older generations love saying how bad the internet is, complaining about how we spend all our day sitting in front of a computer or looking at a cell phone instead of “socialising” and “being productive”. We all know that we don’t socialise because we don’t want to, not because the internet is holding us hostage. However, people from the internet may literally hold us hostage by using this tool. Fortunately, I’m here for you to explain the most common attacks and dangers of the internet, as well as give you tips and tricks on how to protect yourself and your loved ones. We’ll start with the ugly part first.
Passwords, the ones that keep our stuff safe. Or do they? In this particular blog post, I’ll be discussing the most known/common methods for cracking passwords.
It’s not uncommon for us to hear someone complaining about how an account of theirs was “hacked”. What they usually mean by that is that someone gained access to their profile and changed stuff while being there. In order to gain access into any system, you need to first crack the password. The following are 10 methods for obtaining someone’s password:
This is the most common method of them all. It consists of trying several alpha-numeric combinations until you get the right one.
It’s simple to program, but it can be very slow if your GPU isn’t your ally.
Examples of programs that use this methodology are:
As its name says so, this method uses a file which contains words typically stored in a dictionary (and some others like the most used passwords) to search for the real password you’re trying to crack.
While it’s faster than the brute-force method, this one’s calculating time may vary from immediately to billions of years. This depends on the password’s length, combination and character usage.
Examples of programs that use it are:
Cain and Abel
John the Ripper
Rainbow tables are a very elegant way for cracking a password. They consist of a series of lists of pre-compiled hashes (click the link to read more about hashing). These lists are the hashes of all possible password combinations for any hashing algorithm.
It takes way less time than the two previous methods, however it requires a LOT of GPU power. If a password is salted (with random extra characters), it may be impossible for a Rainbow Table to crack it.
You can call me Miss F. This is by no means a private/incognito blog, my name is Fredele but is often found to be unpronounceable, so I’m making it easier for you. You’re welcome.
The main purpose of this blog is currently to post about computer/information security for Ken Bauer‘s #TC2027 course. However, due to my genuine passion for the topic, I may or may not continue this blog after the course has ended.
Without further ado, I officially declare this blog inaugurated.
PS: This is the first blog I run, I don’t really know what I’m doing, bear with me.
PS2: If you wish to read my daily rants and adventures, follow me on Twitter here!
Giphy gif found here: giphy.com/cheezburger-hello-waving-IBMavwmu4KEEw