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Welcome to my digital home! There are lots of articles you might find helpful buried in this site on topics such as modifying an Romeo 159, rebuilding a 7 (Robin Hood 2B), not to mention a ton of stuff on technology in general. It's all here somewhere, so use the search function or navigate using the menu structure. if you want to talk, reach out via the contact function, I usually do answer!

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InfoSecI am getting a little annoyed with hearing people wax lyrical about “the cloud” and how its going to revolutionise the world. I have a news flash for you all, its not new and its not revolutionary! First of all, lets define what we are talking about. There is a simple definition for Cloud Computing, and three models of operation as held by NIST, these are: Definition: Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models. Models of Operation: Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider's applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through a thin client interface such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email). The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings. Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly application hosting environment configurations. Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, deployed applications, and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls). Now, I am pretty sure that during my long career, I have seen a lot of companies doing IaaS and PaaS as a “Business as Usual” activity, haven't you? In my experience, IaaS is nothing more than a traditional infrastructure outsourcing arrangement, as undertaken with IBM, HP/EDS or BT, while PaaS is just a simple hosting service offered by most ISP's (I accept I am simplifying here). So what are we really talking about when the press pickup and pedal the term “cloud computing”. Looks to me like they are talking about SaaS, which again, has been around for a while, Hotmail anyone?, but not really taken off in the enterprise until it became “cloud computing”. So is this just a media spin to pedal Hotmail to the enterprise or just a natural progression from outsourcing boxes to apps? What is revolutionary here, I am yet to see.Related Images: [...]
Alfa 159 / For a while now I have been looking into alternative power solutions for the alfa due to its power hungry nature that is not helped by the many auxiliary systems I have added over time. For the most part, the stock battery can cope just fine, but I have always wondered about the use of capacitors and what real value they hold. In years gone by, the capacitors you could get hold of were simply not that useful. A 1 Farad 12v capacitor like you would use in an car audio installation was simply too expensive and had far too little power storage.  One reason I had been considering capacitors was not for power storage but for the side effect of cleaning up the overall noise introduced by the power system in the car. This would serve to improve the overall sound quality of the entire system as well as benefit all electrical systems with a cleaner supply. A good explanation and test is here: Capacitors have come on a long way though and the new generation of “Super” or “Ultra” Capacitors are starting to become a viable alternative to a battery in a car. Because of this, I thought it only sensible to buy some parts and see what it was all about 🙂 Here is a video of a car replacement battery using 6x 2.7v, 500F super capacitors to show you what I mean: Obviously starting the car and providing long term, offline power for the systems when its not running are two different things, so if you seriously wanted to replace your traditional battery you would need a hybrid solution that combined batteries with capacitors.  I'll be looking into that next 😉 Super capacitors come in a few common shapes and sizes but by far the cheapest for the power are the common 2.7v 500 farad units. To hit the target voltage I needed (12-14v) I needed a few wired in series to increase the overall voltage. Fortunately this is a common solution as its a typical voltage used in solar installations. Wiring the capacitors in serial actually decreases the overall farads of the bank, so 6 x 2.7v = 16.2v but the farads are divided by 6 to give you 83.333F. You could add a number of additional banks in parallel to bring the farads back up, but it starts to get a bit big then and you would be better looking into a different style capacitor. such as the Maxwell Ultra 2.7V 3000F, 6 of which would deliver a 16.2v 500F pack ! Also, a point of note is that even though the planned bank has a capacity of 16.2v it will only operate at the voltage its charged too, so if the car charges at 13.5v then the bank will be charged to 13.5v. Its also important to balance the load across a serialized bank of capacitors to prevent damage. Fortunately due to the commonality of the target bank design, a balance board was readily available: The plan was to build a 12v 83 farad bank that would act as a power reserve for the bass amplifier in the boot as this would be a good starting point and bolster the overall power system on easily accessible, existing 4AWG wiring I first bought a few common, cheap and easily accessible parts off ebay: 6 x Green-Cap (Black) Super Farad Capacitor Parallel Battery 2.7V 500F 35*60MM @ 26.99 6 String 2.7V Super Capacitor Protection Balancing Board 100F – 500F 240x40mm @ 8.75 10 rubber lined 35mm pipe clamps @ £7.29 8 AWG power cable with in line fuse holder and fuse @ 4.99 So for less than £50 I had everything I needed for the experiment. I could have bought a pre-made board with unknown capacitors on for about £26 but I have read a few things about the capacitors being junk so went for a known good brand and DIY. I first assembled the capacitor bank with the balance board to achieve the target solution. Hot gluing the capacitors to the board before soldering them to make sure the finished unit was as solid as possible. It took some real heat on the iron to get the solder flowing, especially soldering in the 8AWG wires. I soldered the 8AWG cables directly to the board to ensure maximum power transfer: Once the bank was ready I used the pipe clamps to install the unit in a free space within the amp enclosure and connected it to the positive and negative 4AWG distribution blocks I already had in place from the original installation of the enclosure: I must admit, I was extremely worried when I first connected the fuse that it would just explode in my face, so it was a tentative and careful moment! Some people recommend installing a resistor inline initially to slow charge the capacitors and protect the systems in between, but as I was on a 4AWG connection direct to the battery I was not worried about the charge / discharge issues. They did make a fizzing sound for a few seconds when they took there initial charge but I was stood by with a fire extinguisher!  Once the fizzing stopped and nothing looked like it wasd going to explode I checked the units for discharge / earth shorts and also for temperature. As everything was ok, I decided to start the car and run the amp. The car started quicker than normal so clearly the extra high current supply had already made an impact on the overall electrical system. Its actually possible to start and run an normal engine on a bank of capacitors like this and replace the battery with them as can be seen in one of the videos at the top of the page. Although for the Alfa, I would need a larger bank with more capacity as the 2.4 is a bit of a power hungry beast! I ran a Bass test loop to get the amp hot and push the sub to its limits for 30 minutes. The amp got very hot as expected but the capacitors only got a little warm which is great as if they got very hot that would be a problem. Once it was all back together you could hardly notice the upgrade unless you looked very closely at the vent holes! All in all this was a great upgrade and I am definitely going to explore more super capacitors in the engine bay in some sort of hybrid battery/capacitor solution next! Related Images: [...]
LiveMixesOldschool hard house from the archives https://dev.jabawoki.com/mp3/Jabawok_02122000_Hard_House.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Related Images: [...]
InfoSecIf your planning on using in a hostile environment, i.e. the Internet! then its worth thinking about some simple little tweaks to the TCP/IP stack in conjunction with some funky firewall madness to keep your box your own, and not end up “owned” too quickly! Lets start with the TCP/IP stack. There are a number of quick easy wins here that can help defend against attacks through making the default behaviours of the stack more in-line with what we would like: echo "1" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/eth0/rp_filter echo "0" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/lo/rp_filter echo "1" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/log_martians echo "0" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/lo/log_martians echo "1" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/icmp_ignore_bogus_error_responses echo "1" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/icmp_echo_ignore_broadcasts echo "0" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/icmp_echo_ignore_all echo "0" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/accept_source_route echo "0" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/send_redirects echo "0" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/accept_redirects echo "0" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/secure_redirects echo "1" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_dynaddr echo "10" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_fin_timeout echo "1800" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_keepalive_time echo "15" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ipfrag_time echo "2048" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_max_syn_backlog echo "32768 61000" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_local_port_range echo "2" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_synack_retries Now, that little lot above needs some caveats. Firstly, use at your own risk! Secondly, As per usual, you often get a small performance hit when you start getting more secure, so test each tweak fully before you go into production. Once your happy with the ones you like, add then to your /etc/rc.local or other start up file of your choice. The next step is to use iptables to help deal with dodgy looking traffic. Step 1, set-up a bunch of new chains: $IPTABLES -N CHECK_FLAGS $IPTABLES -N ALLOW_ICMP $IPTABLES -N SRC_EGRESS $IPTABLES -N DST_EGRESS Step 2, now lets get those chains to do something useful: $IPTABLES -A CHECK_FLAGS -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL FIN,URG,PSH -m limit --limit 5/minute -j LOG --log-level $LOG_LEVEL --log-prefix "NMAP-XMAS:" $IPTABLES -A CHECK_FLAGS -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL FIN,URG,PSH -j DROP $IPTABLES -A CHECK_FLAGS -p tcp --tcp-flags SYN,RST SYN,RST -m limit --limit 5/minute -j LOG --log-level $LOG_LEVEL --log-prefix "SYN/RST:" $IPTABLES -A CHECK_FLAGS -p tcp --tcp-flags SYN,RST SYN,RST -j DROP $IPTABLES -A CHECK_FLAGS -p tcp --tcp-flags SYN,FIN SYN,FIN -m limit --limit 5/minute -j LOG --log-level $LOG_LEVEL --log-prefix "SYN/FIN:" $IPTABLES -A CHECK_FLAGS -p tcp --tcp-flags SYN,FIN SYN,FIN -j DROP $IPTABLES -A ALLOW_ICMP -p icmp --icmp-type echo-reply -j ACCEPT $IPTABLES -A ALLOW_ICMP -p icmp --icmp-type destination-unreachable -j ACCEPT $IPTABLES -A ALLOW_ICMP -p icmp --icmp-type echo-request -j ACCEPT $IPTABLES -A ALLOW_ICMP -p icmp --icmp-type time-exceeded -j ACCEPT for SRCNET in $EGRESS_NETS; do $IPTABLES -A SRC_EGRESS -s $SRCNET -j DROP done for DSTNET in $EGRESS_NETS; do $IPTABLES -A DST_EGRESS -d $DSTNET -j DROP done Step 3, Apply the prior two steps to your input, forward and output chains as needed: $IPTABLES -A $CHAIN -i $EXT_INT -j SRC_EGRESS $IPTABLES -A $CHAIN -i $EXT_INT -j DST_EGRESS $IPTABLES -A $CHAIN -i $EXT_INT -p icmp -j ALLOW_ICMP $IPTABLES -A $CHAIN -i $EXT_INT -p tcp -j CHECK_FLAGS Variables. In all of the above, variables are used to save typing!, here are some of the important variables, the rest are fairly self explanatory: EGRESS_NETS=" 172.16.0.0/12 224.0.0.0/4 240.0.0.0/5 14.0.0.0/8 169.254.0.0/16 172.16.0.0/12 192.0.2.0/24 192.88.99.0/24 192.18.0.0/15 0.0.0.0/8 " What we have just done is setup some new chains, apply some filters that can identify dodgy looking traffic and do something useful with it (limit it rather than drop it, as we don't want to arouse suspicion with our attackers). Then apply all that nice Packet Mangling to each of our primary chains. I provide all of this advice for free, with no guarantees, any use of the above code should be with full testing prior to its use in a production environment. Enjoy! Related Images: [...]
InfoSecWhich Penetration Testing Qualification is best from a client perspective: Which Penetration Testing Qualification is best from a Testing perspective: (NB: I have deliberately excluded “accreditation schemes” such as CREST and CHECK) Related Images: [...]
LiveMixesAnother progressive Mix for 2010: Stefano Noferini – Cool Summer (original Dirty Mix) + hardrive Deep Inside (Harry Choo Choo Romero Bambossa remix) Laidback Luke, Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, Steve Angelo feat. Deborah Cox – Leave The World Behind (Original Mix) Moguai – Lyve (Original Mix) Pryda – Miami To Atlanta (Original Mix) Moguai – Imperial (Original Mix) Sebastian Ingrosso – Kidsos (original Mix) Young Rebels & Francesco Diaz – 1998 (Original Mix) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll (A-Track Remix) (Club Edit) Jerry Ropero, Tom Novy Feat. Abigai Bailey – Touch Me (Extended Mix) Cirez D – On Off (original Mix) Depeche Mode – Hole to Feed (Proof Vocal Mix) Deadmau5 Feat Billy Newton – Outta My Life (Touch Mix) Hoxton Whores – Devil Toy (Original Club Mix) Wolfgang Gartner – Flashback (Original Mix) Fedde Le Grand – Praise You (Fatboy Slim Vs. Fedde le Grand Remix Remix) Jerome Isma-Ae – Hold That Sucker Down (Original Mix) Pacific Wave – 1998 (dj Phunk & 3Am Mix) https://jabawoki.com/wp-content/mp3/Jabawoki_DeepDivin_25032010.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Related Images: [...]
InfoSecCourtesy of the Institute for Information Security Professionals As I mentioned in the opening CEO article, the inaugural Top Gun event in Manchester was a great success on many fronts.  We had 20 participants, organised into the Red and Blue teams, plus 5 members of the control Team, and the day just seemed to fly past, so intense was the concentration, interaction, ingenuity and fun. We cannot give too much away as to the content of the case study or the processes we followed on the day, for fear that we might spoil some of the element of surprise for participants in future events.  Suffice to say that those who were there threw themselves into the exercise and, accordingly got the most out of it, as well as proposing a few additional suggestions for developing and improving it for future players. Let us however, convey the particular views of a member of one of the teams, and let them tell you what they thought of the event. “TopGun, The Blue View. (Jay Abbott, PwC) I have to admit, I was genuinely sceptical about the TopGun event as the idea of playing the security equivalent of Battleships during one of my busiest times of the year was not one that featured far up the “to do” list, that said, I am genuinely pleased that I made the time to attend. We arrived with very little information about what was planned, and were immediately split into two teams, Red and Blue, The Red were of course the attackers, and Blue were the defenders and the teams split had been pre-planned by the organisers to ensure that a good cross section of skills rested in each team to keep things fair. The remit was simple, we each were given suitable pieces of a puzzle, i.e. some deliberately sketchy information related to the organisation, typical of that you would find on your first day of work or your first information gathering exercise. From there it was a case of building a better picture of what you have and figuring out the best way forward (sound familiar?). At this point, the teams were physically split and departed into adjacent “war rooms” to prepare their respective strategies. We each could communicate with our “control” staff, who acted as the coordination of the event and holders of information. The co-ordination role was pivotal in the success of the event as they were able to coordinate the virtual attack and defence strategies in real-time to keep the feeling of real-life and to ensure that the game was fair. From a blue perspective it was business as usual, we had a budget and an environment to protect, we had to evaluate the skills in our team, establish specialism's that could work in key streams, and run the entire thing like a project. All in all it was a very worthwhile day that created a great deal of discussion and provoked much debate. What I personally took from the day was something that I see all too often, but is perhaps not as obvious to all, to quote Paul Dorey on the day it is summed up in the phrase “Security is Asymmetric”. Put simply this is the fact that someone attacking an organisation need only find one hole or in order to succeed, while those protecting the organisation must try to plug every hole and mitigate every vulnerability to be secure.” Event wrap-up discussion and lessons learnt – great work everyone! The participants captured their comments on an evaluation form and we are reviewing and acting on those comments.  They also scored the event out of a scale of 1 to 5, and rated the event at 4.3 overall, but with specific scores of 4.5 for facilitation and presentation, and 4.6 for opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas.  A great success by any measure. Thanks to all involved, and to PwC, our hosts for the day. Courtesy of the Institute for Information Security Professionals Related Images: [...]
RH2B Build DiaryThe first job on the agenda for the Hoody was to fix some rather terrible intake trumpets! The independent Throttle Bodies that were installed onto the engine are, well, how do I say this….. a bit shit. While there is a long term plan around changing these I needed a better short term solution to a specific problem. The trumpets kept falling off! Reading the original build diary there is a sentence that reads “Modified Maplin Speaker trumpets as air intakes”. That should be enough to make you shudder, it did me! So first things first was to fire up Fusion 360 and get to work with the vernier calipers! After several iterations I found a design that worked. It has sufficient grip inside the intake to hold itself steady and a small ridge around the outside to stabilize itself. There was of course no where to bolt or secure an intake trumpet to as these ITB's were once a dellorto carburetor and twice as long. (The builder literally cut them in half!) I had to design two types of intake as one of the 4 had to accommodate an air temperature sensor, but it was a simple enough modification once I had a good base design. 4 3d printed trumpets ready for installation. Several printed iterations, as well as some R&D into the right type of material to print the final versions in was necessary. In the end I opted for an engineering Grade Carbon Fiber infused Nylon composite from Novamid. This material boasted a very high heat deflection temperature, extreme strength and nearly zero shrinkage whcih was ideal for my situation. It wasn't cheap stuff though! All in all the project took a while due to 1) me learning new skills in Fusion, 2) learning how to print composite materials and 3) modifying my printer to cope with the composites. That said, it was thoroughly enjoyable! Related Images: [...]
GeneralWell it has been a while since I treated myself so the other day I stopped by West End dj on my way into the office and I picked up an Akai APC 40. In fairness it was my birthday and I used that as a feable form of excuse for the expenditure, but I have a semi clear conciense as a reslut and another oh so sexy toy to play with! This toy really is the ultimate in live control, extending the interface litterally to your fingertips and bringing a whole new world of possibility. You can read all about it on Akai's site, but if you really want to see the potential, check out these YouTube links that just sum up the potential in full from my perspective: Ok, so its going to take me a while before I get  this good, but thats what its all about. ……watch this space 🙂 Related Images: [...]
LiveMixesIn celebration of my birthday I thought I would take a trip back to my roots and put out a big room trance mix for you all. Enjoy! Track listing: 1     ALEX M.O.R.P.H. feat. Michael – Wanna Be (Album Extended Vocal Mix) 2     Cosmic Gate feat. Emma Hewitt – Not Enough Time (Extended Mix) 3     Dash Berlin feat. Emma Hewitt – Waiting (original Mix) 4     Fabio XB & Andrea Mazza – Light To Lies (Gareth Emery Mix) 5     John OCallaghan feat. Audrey Gallaher – Big Sky (Markus Schulz AX remix) 6     Rex Mundi feat. Susana – Nothing At All (Original Mix) 7     torcycle – As The Rush Comes (Daniel Kandi & Anton Firtich Divine Remix) 8     Myon & Shane 54 feat. Aruna – Helpless (Monster Mix) 9     Roger Shah & Tenishia feat. Lorilee – Im Not God (Roger Shah Mix) 10     Medina – You And I (Dash Berlin Mix) 11     Marco V – Unprepared (Extended Mix) https://jabawoki.com/wp-content/mp3/Jabawoki_Uplifting_Trance_Vibes_10022011.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Related Images: [...]

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