Janw.xyz

Jack of all trades and a master of some

Getting hacked, or: Your security is up to you

Yesterday I stumbled upon a series of articles from and about Mat Honan, a tech journalist at Wired. He recently got some of his most important accounts hacked, including his Gmail, Twitter and especially his iCloud account, which enabled the hackers to remotely wipe his iPhone, iPad and MacBook with lots of invaluably precious data on it, like photos of his young daughter that were never backed up.

And then, one of my hackers @ messaged me. He would later identify himself as Phobia. I followed him. He followed me back. We started a dialogue via Twitter direct messaging that later continued via e-mail and AIM. Phobia was able to reveal enough detail about the hack and my compromised accounts that it became clear he was, at the very least, a party to how it went down. I agreed not to press charges, and in return he laid out exactly how the hack worked.

I tried to stay unbiased while reading the article, because I know how it hurts to lose important data. But I couldn’t. I am a security and backup nerd and in my honest opinion, someone leaving their machines without backup —especially considering the background Honan has in the tech journalism and the sensitivity of the data— is just foolish. So I allow myself to make a seemingly harsh judgement: In a way he had it coming.

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The uselessness of URL shorteners

URL shorteners are a cool in some occasions. They allow you to shrink a huge 150+ character URL into a very short one, mostly about 20 chars. That is especially useful if you have to be economic in your use of characters. One service that really matters on is of course Twitter. For years people have been using URL shorteners like bit.ly and tinyurl.com or they even set up their very own one with scripts like yourls.

A while ago, in its long ongoing attempt to totally close the platform, Twitter introduced its own URL shortener, t.co and shortly after declared that any link contained in a tweet will always be shortened with t.co, whether you want it or not and whether it’s longer or shorter than the actual shortened URL.

That especially means that even 3rd party shortened links will get shortened a second time. Well, at first that just sounds stupid. Does that even make sense? Of course it doesn’t. And the main reason is not the shortening of a shortened URL.

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A Spotify playlist for your workout

A while back I started working out again and I love doing my daily dose of sports with some music around my head. At first I was to lazy to set up my own workout playlist but after spending some time crawling the web for anything that accommodates my taste, I noticed I had to get my hands dirty. Otherwise I would have to use one of those gazillion playlists that only consist of Hip-hop and R&B tunes or even worse brainy and annoying Techno mixes. Read more …

Aus dem Studio: I am not afraid

Nach langer Abstinenz war ich endlich wieder musikalisch aktiv. Ein verdammt gutes Gefühl, wenn die Ideen wieder sprudeln und man am liebsten direkt fünf Songs auf einmal schreiben will. Anlass für den Neustart ist – unter anderem – auch meine neueste Errungenschaft, das M-Audio Oxygen 49. Als ich das letzte Mal etwas produzierte musste ich kurz danach das nur geliehene Midi-Keyboard wieder zurückgeben und mit dem Studium rückte das Komponieren auch etwas in den Hintergrund. Read more …

inXtron aka MacPower SK-2500 Icon

Vor einigen Tagen hat meine ausgediente 2.5″ Festplatte aus dem letzten MacBook ein neues Gehäuse gefunden. Das SK-2500 ist vor allem in der Mac-Welt bekannt, da es mit dem Oxford 934DSB über eine hervorragende FireWire-Bridge verfügt. Das reicht im Betrieb dann für Datenraten von etwa 70MB/s, bei denen USB2.0 natürlich nicht mithalten kann. Mittlerweile ist am SK-2500 aber auch ein USB3.0-Port verbaut. Gerade durch die Verwendung des Oxford-Controllers ist das Gehäuse in der FW800+ Variante nicht gerade günstig und ist für 60€ bei Amazon erhältlich”).

Für eine reine USB2.0-Variante muss man immerhin noch 17€ hinblättern”). Dafür kommt das Gehäuse aber auch noch in formschön und hochwertig verarbeiteten Aluminium daher und passt so hervorragend zu MacBook und Co.

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