July 19th, 2011, under
Well it’s been about two years since I started working with Hackers For Charity for my part it’s been easy. I show up at conventions and sell T-Shirts. I talk about the charity to those that ask, and thank them for their donation. However, the charity as a whole has encountered lots of adversity on the ground in Uganda, but that’s not to say there hasn’t been success. You can find out all about both at the charity website www.hackersforcharity.org.
So what has spawned my first post in over a year. Well as I was driving home from work tonight in DC/Baltimore area traffic which gives you plenty of time to ponder. I was thinking about what the charity needs in my opinion. The charity needs a steady stream of support. That support could be monetary, or that support could be volunteering. I thought about the big Con’s the charity attends to help raise money (Shmoocon, Defcon), but I know there are several more that the charity currently doesn’t attend . I personally don’t have the money for airfare, and the job wouldn’t appreciate the time off. They are a great bunch of folks, but 4 to 6 weeks a year off wouldn’t happen. So first it would be great to find out who is planning events in different areas of the country that would want a Hackers For Charity presence. Then finding people in those areas to go represent the charity at those Cons. This would require table space at the Con, and a few volunteers to work the table during the event.
Then I thought other than helping to sell shirts at various different conventions how do folks volunteer? This has been a thought of mine since I have started helping the charity out. I thought about something that we as a charity haven’t been able to do for various reasons which is support other charities technically outside of the ones Johnny support’s in Uganda.
So this lead me to do a search, and see what I could dig up on charitable organizations being hacked. This is the first blog I found (http://media-ann-such.com/blog/the-charity-website-is-hacked/), and the charity referenced in the article probably isn’t the only one.
There is a need for technical support of charities, but how does the information security community fit in? There are information security companies out there willing to help out charities such as Tenable ( http://www.tenable.com/about-tenable/tenable-in-the-community/tenable-charitable-organization-subscription-program ). So great a charity can get access to a tool that will start them down the path of securing their network. Hmm, well there is one problem. There are probably thousands of folks in the information security community that can run Nessus, but how many charities have some one qualified to run a network audit?
So here we have a couple of problems that require a solution. We need volunteers to help out, and we need a list of charities that need our help. So how can both of them be resolved? That is the crux of the problem so anyone with any ideas feel free to send me an email, tweet or leave a comment.
December 29th, 2009, under
What can I say with the last week mostly off work I have been busy with side projects, the holidays, and fixings a friend’s workstation that I have forgot to post anything to the blog. Well I will give you a preview of what’s coming next. I have been working with Ronin from www.hackfromacave.com on adding more distro’s to Katana. Well basically he’s done all the work, and I am just going to run through his instructions to make sure I don’t find any problems with the process. I will provide the details once I have the WeakNet Linux Assistant downloaded. I figured to keep with the theme of subscribing to the informer (because you get great stuff, and help a worthy cause) I would add another release that was released to informer subscribers first.
I really appreciate Ronin’s help with putting this together, and all the information will also be posted to his forums which you can get to by clicking here. I wanted to mention that for those of you who may have found the Katana distro other places across the internet other than getting it from the informer download links that there is actually a donation link included in the Katana distro for Hackers For Charity. I mention this because currently there is a growing need for donation’s to furnish the internet café as well as a need for content for the community learning center that will be above the Hackers For Charity Internet Café in Uganda. You can find more information about the need for content here, and you can also locate more information on furnishing the café here. The internet cafe needs everything from tables, and chairs to gaming consoles to controllers.
On a side note I really wish www.preplogic.com, www.lynda.com, and www.cbtnuggets.com would get back to me about possible content donations. It would help out Hackers For Charity along with the people of Uganda.
December 20th, 2009, under
Installing Katana and Adding UBCD4WIN
Katana is an Informer release that contains the following Distributions Backtrack 4 pre, The Ultimate Boot CD 4.1.0, Ophcrack 2.3.1, The Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, Organizational Systems Wireless Auditor (OSWA) Assistant 0.9.0.6g, Got Root? Slax (Slax 6), Damn Small Linux 4.4.10, Damn Vulnerable Linux 1.5 all of these were put together compiled to be installed on an 8GB USB key. I want to explain how to install Katana to a USB drive, and add in the UBCD4WIN option that is left out of the distribution due to licensing reasons.
I encountered a few problems when trying to install Katana with UBCD4WIN using the UBUSB.exe utility included in the UBCD4Win using Windows Vista. I could create the boot CD without problem, but adding everything to the USB key I was unable to boot to anything. So I used windows XP SP3, and didn’t have any issues.
Here are the steps I followed to get everything installed, and working on the USB key. First I downloaded UBCD4WIN which can be found here. I also downloaded Katana which I heard about through my Informer subscription through Hackers For Charity here. Informer requires a yearly donation, and the proceeds go to benefit Hackers for Charity.
So after you have everything downloaded which will take a while considering the size of Katana 5.36GB I would start with installing UBCD4WIN on your system I needed to do this under safe mode due to my anti-virus, but your experience may vary. After, I had UBCD4WIN installed I copied all the files from my Windows XP SP3 disk to my hard drive into a directory named WXPSP3. You can find the details for building the UBCD4WIN here. I then started the build of the UBCD4WIN CD ISO. After I had the ISO built I then used the utility included in the UBCD4WIN directory called UBUSB.exe. I selected the drive letter; Quick Format and the directory where the BartPE folder was located on my hard drive which was C:\UBCD4Win\BartPE then I clicked go and waited a while. After the process finished I tested the USB in my netbook, but you can also select tools and test it in the supplied emulator.
After, the creation of the Ultimate Boot USB I then copied all the files from the Katana download after they had been extracted. I followed the contained instructions that can be found in the docs folder of the Katana release. I then ran the scripts that were mentioned in the install.html file in the Katana release.
The scripts in the release needed to be edited because I used XP Service Pack 3 instead of Service Pack 1. The edits were posted to the forums that can be found here. After the changes were made to the USB key I was then able to boot and use the UBCD4Win portion of the USB key along with everything else already compiled for use on the Katana release. Make sure you visit www.hackersforcharity.org to donate, and if you have any other questions or want more information on Katana make sure you visit www.hackfromacave.com.
If you have any questions feel free to ask them here. I am also planning on trying to add other Distributions to Katana such as WeakNet Linux Assistant, and Kubuntu 9.10. With any luck I plan on adding the ability to use Virtual Box with any of the Distributions in Katana as well as any that are added. So stay tuned for more information on Katana as well as any thing else I can cook up with the things that are pre-released to Infomer subscribers.
December 17th, 2009, under
Here is a little gem I found online the author wasn’t mentioned, but often times I can definitely understand the person’s sentiment. Hope you enjoy the read.
Call Center Ramblings
I have been working in a call center in our outbound for approximately for 8 years. I have basically seen the processes involved with trying to improve efficiency. Now my point of view on this topic is a bit jaded and rightly so because half the time people are applying management methodologies to something they have never done. Often times this is done using numbers. Well you can take averages all day long and gauge numbers, and trends, but would it actually benefit you to speak with the people that do the job on a daily basis? Well, yes it would of course you’d think that these people might have a perspective that could be valuable. Well in all cases I have seen it’s viewed as the fault of the department, and we are a bunch of worthless folks, and frankly all we do is screw around, and mess things up.
I of course beg to differ. The people that do the job on a daily basis are behooved to make the customers experience the best it can be because it makes their job easier. Well of course this is a novel concept someone that actually wants to do their job so the customers happy and they don’t get bitched at every day. I mean who would have come up with that concept. People that want to do their job because it makes their day to day life easier.
So Mr. and Mrs. Manager, and CEO, CTO insert the guy that makes double to triple your salary here take a hint if things are falling off at the rails it’s most likely because there is little to no organization up the chain. Ok maybe there is organization, but there isn’t enough training for newer products. Maybe the product owner doesn’t want to leave support work with his or her precious. Or just maybe the product needs to be refined so it works well or is more easily supported. Maybe it’s the guy implementing the software or maybe there is little documentation to properly implement the software in the first place. Oh, and please don’t make any promises there is typically vary little belief in these as they are offered too much, and don’t typically improve the employee’s bottom line.
Jaded in support
December 11th, 2009, under
Well, I hope this is a the start of something productive. Let me first fill you in on who I am. I am a tech, and have been for the last several years. I have been doing college coursework as well as self paced studies on everything from network security to application design to database management. There has been a bit of hardware hacking thrown in there as well. I have been doing this to better my self and gain knowledge to further my career. If you haven’t guessed it by now I have no intention of being a Tech support phone schlep for the rest of my born days.
While making the transition from where I am into that next best job I have attended the last two Defcon’s in Las Vegas. They were both fun and informational. During the first convention I heard about a group that was forming called Hackers For Charity it sounded interesting to me, but the night life of Las Vegas appealed to me more that year. The second year I had looked a little bit further into the group before my trip to Las Vegas for Defcon 17, and subscribed to their informer subscription. Yeah, you know I wanted the Backtrack 4 Pre Release, and the funny part is I didn’t get it until after it was actually up for normal download. So I had my Net Book loaded up with all kinds of goodies and I headed to California to meet up with a friend to drive to the convention. This is another story I will have to tell you about sometime it’s filled with road blocks, and aggravation.
We arrived at the convention early in the morning I believe we left his place in Apple Valley about 3am. We grabbed some breakfast and hit the ticket line. The crowd was awful the badges were late, but I had been waiting for this event since I left the previous year it is just awesome, and all kinds of fun. Well let me get to the point. On Friday of the convention I wanted to hear the founder of Hackers For Charity speak. If you haven’t heard of him his name is Johnny Long. I have since have had a chance to talk to him a bit, and represent him, and his charity at a few events. He’s an awesome guy. Well that talk was pretty much all I needed to hear to get more involved in the charity. It was inspiring to say the least, and had a lot of valid points in regard to life in general. His talk was Friday, and it set my mood for the rest of the weekend. You can view the talk here. Anyway it’s now been several months after Defcon, and I am now completely involved in the charity.
Recently, Johnny has requested assistance in gathering content for a Internet Cafe and Community center in Uganda. The goal to make the charity self sustainable and to provide an opportunity for training for the people in Uganda. So far there has been a lot of road blocks finding content to download and send over to Johnny to help with this project, and I hope that improves over the next week.
Ultimately I am starting the blog for a place to rant about things, and also to help drum up support for the charity. Heck, I might even get a little motivated and post some interesting stuff about hacking or networking or firewalls. Anyway thanks for your time, and I hoped you enjoyed my ramblings.