Categories
Software Security

EduTech Spyware is Still Spyware: Proctorio Edition

Spyware written for educational institutions to flex their muscles of control over students and their families when learning from their home computer is still, categorically, spyware. Depending on your persuasion, the previous sentence sounds like either needless pedantry, or it reads like tautology. But we need to be clear on our terms. Educational spyware is […]

Categories
Cryptography Software Security

Soatok’s Guide to Side-Channel Attacks

If you’re ever tasked with implementing a cryptography feature–whether a high-level protocol or a low-level primitive–you will have to take special care to ensure you’re not leaking secret information through side-channels. The descriptions of algorithms you learn in a classroom or textbook are not sufficient for real-world use. (Yes, that means your toy RSA implementation […]

Categories
Technology

Dorking Your Way to Search Results That Don’t Suck

I recently needed to find an image that I didn’t have saved on my computer in order to share with a group chat. For laughs. Naturally, I did the first thing most of us do when that happens: I typed the query into Google’s Image Search. To my dismay, all of the first results were […]

Categories
Cryptography Software Security

GNU: A Heuristic for Bad Cryptography

If you see the letters GNU in a systems design, and that system intersects with cryptography, I can almost guarantee that it will be badly designed to an alarming degree. This is as true of GnuPG (and PGP in general) as it is of designs like the proposed GNU Name System (IETF draft) and cryptographic […]

Categories
Cryptography Technology

How To Learn Cryptography as a Programmer

A question I get asked frequently is, “How did you learn cryptography?” I could certainly tell everyone my history as a self-taught programmer who discovered cryptography when, after my website for my indie game projects kept getting hacked, I was introduced to cryptographic hash functions… but I suspect the question folks want answered is, “How […]

Categories
Furry Fandom Technology

Furward Momentum – Introduction

I probably don’t need to remind anyone reading this while it’s fresh about the current state of affairs in the world, but for the future readers looking back on this time, let me set the stage a bit. The Situation Today (By “Today”, I mean early May 2020, when I started writing this series.) In […]

Categories
Furry Fandom Online Privacy

How to De-Anonymize Scam/Knock-off Sites Hiding Behind CloudFlare

Furry Twitter is currently abuzz about a new site selling knock-off fursuits and illegally using photos from the owners of the actual fursuits without permission. Understandably, the photographers and fursuiters whose work was ripped off by this website are upset and would like to exercise their legal recourse (i.e. DMCA takedown emails) of the scam […]

Categories
Cybercrime

Fraudulent Apps on the Google Play Store: COVID-19 Contact Tracing Edition

Cryptographers around the world are still designing privacy-preserving contact tracing systems for combating the spread of COVID-19. Even though some papers have been published (one using zero-knowledge proofs, another based on blockchain (sigh)), the ink is still very wet. The first framework designed by Apple and Google needs work but was surprisingly not god-awful. That […]

Categories
Humor Software Security

Why Server-Side Input Validation Matters

Update (2020-04-29): Twitter has fixed their oversight. Anyone who set their custom gender to a long volume of text, should still have it set to a long volume of text. The original article follows after the separator. I was recently made aware of a change to Twitter, which exposes a new Gender field. If you’ve […]

Categories
Software Security

“Source Code Leak” is Effectively Meaningless to Endpoint Security

There are two news stories today. Unfortunately, some people have difficulty uncoupling the two. The Team Fortress 2 Source Code has been leaked. Hackers discovered a Remote Code Execution exploit. The second point is something to be concerned about. RCE is game over. The existence of an unpatched RCE vulnerability, with public exploits, is sufficient […]