Before You Start Using a VPN, Read This

Use of VPNs has exploded in the last few years, pushed by increasing awareness of privacy issues among citizens as well as governments and corporations doubling down on their censorship and surveillance efforts. Now that we have AI capable of building frighteningly accurate psychological profiles of people based on their browsing habits, using a VPN … Continue reading Before You Start Using a VPN, Read This

Up and Running: Using the TunnelBear VPN Service Through OpenVPN

In this article I want to talk about one of my tech adventures from shortly after I went on vacation, which is that of getting OpenVPN up and running and using it to contact the TunnelBear servers. TunnelBear is a paid VPN service that provides both end-to-end VPN encryption and anonymous proxying, using AES-256 encryption … Continue reading Up and Running: Using the TunnelBear VPN Service Through OpenVPN

Escaping from the Matrix with the Van Eck Tinfoil Hat

I spend a lot of time thinking about how to become invisible on the Internet. Because I'm not going to lie; I am one of those paranoid types who thinks the CIA is out to get me. Sometimes I believe it, sometimes I don't. I still have an inkling suspicion that my dentist embedded a … Continue reading Escaping from the Matrix with the Van Eck Tinfoil Hat

SSD Data Sanitation in Linux

Previously I talked about data sanitation on magnetic media (see my DoD tutorial). Now I want to explore the same topic, only with solid state drives. Data sanitation for SSDs is very different from data sanitation for HDDs - it is both easier and harder. Easier because there's no residual data left over - once … Continue reading SSD Data Sanitation in Linux

How to Block Websites and Prevent DNS Leaks Using Your hosts File

The hosts file is an entity that is present in every major operating system, including MacOS, Windows, and Linux. In Unix-based systems like Linux and MacOS its filepath is /etc/hosts. In Windows its filepath is C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts. Although largely a relic of the past, this oft-ignored configuration file can be surprisingly useful even in the modern … Continue reading How to Block Websites and Prevent DNS Leaks Using Your hosts File

Understanding and Using the OpenSSL Command Line Utility

OpenSSL is an open source implementation of the SSL/TLS protocol, most commonly known as the security software underlying the majority of HTTPS servers on the Internet. What is less well-known is that OpenSSL comes with its own command line utility that lets you manually encrypt and decrypt files. I've found this utility most useful for … Continue reading Understanding and Using the OpenSSL Command Line Utility

Implementing the DoD Data Sanitation Algorithm in C

Most cyber security buffs are familiar with the Gutmann secure erase algorithm - a 35-pass wiping algorithm designed to completely obliterate sensitive information stored on a magnetic medium. The rationale behind this algorithm is that simply erasing a file and overwriting it with zeros is not enough to completely destroy its contents. Since the position … Continue reading Implementing the DoD Data Sanitation Algorithm in C