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Going Home

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

Quote of the Day: “I’ve become the master of nodding my head and acting like I give a shit, and then instantly forgetting what the hell a person was saying the moment they walk away.”

- Flag-level Executive Assistant

Last night my wife and I watched “The Biggest Loser” and although I only watched one episode all season, I have to admit, it was a pretty inspiring program. My smartass nature got over the exhilarated scream when the winner was announced that he was “THE BIGGEST LOSER!” The stories and the difference between the before and after was incredible.

This show, I will admit, stopped me from raiding the peanut jar. I was on my way to the pantry when the show caught my eye.

So you would think that I would be inspired enough to pop right up this morning and do my planned workout.

SNOOZE.

SNOOZE again.

And so forth until it was too late. It’s funny how quickly those kind of things can be decided. In about a millisecond, I gave up on the early morning workout and was asleep before regret had a chance to take hold.

On the way in, I had an epiphany. Why don’t I go back to the Midwest for Christmas? I could see my dad who just contracted diabetes, my grandmother who just broke her hip, and various other relatives that have as of yet unspecified ailments.

You see, both sides of my family are in the Oklahoma/Kansas area so I can see my mom, dad, aunt/uncle, grandmother, and tons of second uncles. In one visit I can cover everyone except my brother and two half-sisters.

When I got to work, I grabbed a slip of paper and wrote this on it:

“WHAT?!!”

I then called Carrie and told her I was thinking about going back to Oklahoma for Christmas. As my eyes danced across the letters on the scrap of paper, she said:

“WHAT?!!”

18 years and counting, folks.

Then she immediately agreed and it was my trun.

“WHAT?!!”

She asked me if I was reading off the scrap.

So it’s settled, I’m going home for Christmas.

With the skipped morning workout and now with the reality that I will be going back to see my family, the lunch workout took on more importance. Here is what happened when motivation combined with freakish endless energy:

100 crunches
10 minutes on the elliptical machine.
Chest workout
100 crunches
10 minutes on the stationary bike
Tricep workout
100 crunches
10 minutes on the elliptical machine.
Crawl back to my office
Hork down a Smart One of turkey and mashed potatoes like it was unrefined crack

Two weeks, people. I have two weeks before I go back home and feast on fried lard everything from my Mexican side of the family in the Mid-Freakin’-West!!!!!

I would kind of like to fit into my uniform when I get back and not qualify for next season’s Biggest Loser.

Tonight for dinner, I had a broiled chicken breast and a salad. And maybe two stray triangles of frozen pizza slutting themselves on the stove. And maybe one mini-corndog bite thing from Alex’s plate.

Oh, and possibly some snacks from the O-club spread but I limited myself to only ONE item of each. Therefore, add in one bottle of Coors Light, one small meatball, one potato chip, one mini pretzel, one mini veggie eggroll, and one little chicken wing.

I’m so weak but I’m still considering it as minimal damage.

Free Advice for Today: “Don’t delay acting on a good idea. Chances are, someone else has just thought of it, too. Success comes from the one who acts first.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Peanut Wars

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

Quote of the Day: “I hear so much about Ft. Bragg. Where is it?”
“It’s in the western part of southeastern North Carolina.”

- LCDR and CPT (EUCOM)

I had a bad night’s sleep last night for the dumbest reason imaginable: I was craving peanuts. I told myself “no more snacks after dinner until the new year” and come about 9:00 PM, the jar of Planters started whispering. Then talking obnoxiously. Finally it turned to all out shrieking until I realized that was me.

But I held fast.

I went to bed with peanuts on the brain and about half-a-dozen times I woke up and almost went downstairs for just a handful. Luckily, I’m a lazy bastard and didn’t want to get out of bed.

When I got up, I felt like I had battled all night and won. Not happy but victorious.

This is going to be rough.

I got up at 0515 to start my post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas surge in the gym. Two-a-days to try to NOT look like Santa by the end of the year and the start was bright and early in the gym working back and biceps.

It’s really not fair to have 25-lb barbells doing sit-down curls and seeing Mr. Muscle-Puff in the mirror benching 235 for a warm up. I sat there staring like some little kid as he pushed out 15 without hesitating.

I decided I hated this person.

I also ran into Francisco Caceres, a fellow-MECEPer (MECEP is the commissioning program I went through). He was a Sergeant whose first year was my last in college and who also followed me to the Naval Postgraduate School, also doing the “first year was my last year” routine. He had actually been one of the Marines in the sword detail when my wife and I renewed our vows in 1997. I hadn’t seen him in a couple years and he had just been stationed here last October. We made plans to get together since he lives here in Fredericksburg (Spotsyltucky).

I had a good workout but it was blustery for the rest of the day with wind and rain. I guess we are currently under a tornado watch so that kind of sums up the day.

I’m 1 for 1 with the snackage and the battle is beginning again.

BATTLE STATIONS!!!

Free Advice for Today: “Rekindle old friendships.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Base Paper, Google Book, Thievery, and Bad Computer

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Quote of the Day: “Never attribute to malice that which can be ascribed to sheer stupidity.”

- LTC (CENTCOM)

We made the base paper.

Although they didn’t name us, you can see that I’m in the blue, Carrie (118) is to my right, Stephanie is in front of me, and Alex is beside Carrie. You can also see my friend LtCol Chad Sbragia (288) and one of his three sons, Jake (289) to the right. This was right at the start and I have absolutely no recollection of this picture being taken.

In other news, some bastard son-of-a-bitch stole one of our wire snowmen that we had on our porch. The weird thing is that there were two of them and they only took one. If I were to catch the thieving bastard, I’d show him some Christmas spirit by sticking my Christmas stocking clear up his chimney. (For those of you that aren’t schooled in the art of euphemism, I’d kick the shit out of him.)

What else… I got another book I ordered in the mail today. It’s The Google Story and since I’m currently reading three books, I will have to wait on it. But it’s killing me and what’s more, another one is on the way about the Linux operating system. I decided to put it on my laptop just to see how it works.

Update on the kids computer: Steph’s is working but Alex’s refuses to connect to the internet although he’s getting a full signal. I have no idea why this is or how I’m going to fix it. I checked the settings and everything seems normal. They even switched the receivers (I use USB antennas instead of a wireless card) but to no avail.

Alex is not happy about this situation and blames Steph’s computer. He can’t explain it but he knows she’s to blame. Ahhh, brothers and sisters.

Free Advice for Today: “Don’t miss the magic of the moment by focusing on what’s to come.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Granny 0, Gravity 1

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

Quote of the Day: “When all else fails, simply revel in the absurdity of it all.”

- LCDR (CENTCOM)

Grandma and me in 2003

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. I think it’s a natural law that every old person had to fall down and break a hip.

No, I’m not talking about myself and thanks for the insult but you missed it by two generations. My maternal grandmother slipped last Friday in her assisted living apartment and shattered the ball in her hip. The surgery was Saturday which went well and she’ll begin physical therapy next week.

God help those nurses who think they are going to be dealing with an average senior citizen. Grandma is anything but typical and very spry for a woman her age.

In other news, I finally got around to fixing my daughter’s computer. It was a hand-me-down from my mother who never used it. The boy has my old Micron so every time I get another computer, the passdowns get moved down the line.

Steph’s had stopped working back in March and I have been meaning to get to it. I thought the problem was the power supply since it wouldn’t even turn on but Carrie got tired of waiting for me to do something about it and moved it into the garage under the Pile Where Nothing Returns.

I dug it out today and set it up. I’d like to say I performed some kind of computer hocus pocus on it but the truth be told, it just started up. So I put the cover on it, took it upstairs, plugged it in ….. and it wouldn’t boot. I took the cover off and it worked. I put the cover back on and it stayed working.

Fine.

I set everything up and updated all the software but we were still having technical difficulties with her wireless connectivity. At the same time, Alex’s wireless connection started acting funny so I don’t know what the hell is going on. All I know is I got tired of them coming to me every couple of minutes telling me something didn’t work.

I turned off the updates from the kids and will further the troubleshooting when I have more patience.

Meanwhile, I ate dinner and watched the Seahawks win in overtime. The Giants kicker had a chance to win the game with 4 seconds left in regulation but missed. Then they went to sudden death and he missed TWO MORE ATTEMPTS!!!! Seattle finally kicked on in to win the game.

The Giants’ kicker must have got some pretty shitty treatment in the locker room. I mean, how couldn’t he? They should put him on suicide watch. Or at least make sure someone doesn’t “suicide” his leg clear up his ass.

Free Advice for Today: “Be prepared. You never get a second chance to make a good impression.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Anuual (late) Thanksgiving Rant

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

Quote of the Day: “”I can describe what it feels like being a Staff Officer in two words: distilled pain.”

- CDR (NAVEUR)

Finally, here is my annual Thanksgiving rant (a day late) that I wrote years ago.

Every year it seems that everyone gets sentimental and starts thinking about what they’re thankful for. After all, it is called ‘Thanksgiving” and far be it for me to let another one slip by without at least a mention of my appreciation. But this year, I’m going to add a twist: Rather than listing what I am thankful for, how about what I’m thankful for NOT having: To top the list, I should say that I am thankful I’m an adult and NOT forced to eat what I don’t want to. Take cranberries for example. Whose idea was it to produce semi-solid, blood red gelatin and force it upon unsuspecting children? They should really call it “crapberries” as far as I’m concerned.

Next, I should thank God that I am not a turkey. For starters, have you ever seen a turkey up close? Crap hanging off the top of their beaks and a “waddle” underneath. Good Lord, what was He thinking at the drawing board during the design process of that one? Not to mention the fact that November brings the time of sanctioned murder for these busted up looking birds. That would put a real damper on the early fall, don’t ya think?

Back to the dinner table; what twisted mind came up with yams? Even the name, for crying out loud! “Hey, let’s take this root out the ground, hack the dirt off, dump it in boiling water with some unknown, nasty spices until it becomes the consistency of paste. Yeah, let’s do that. Yum. Hey, that gives me an idea for the name of this confection…” And I don’t want to even get into pumpkin pie. I’ll just state that the path of desserts and bulbous veggies should never cross, under any circumstances.

I’m thankful that I did not travel this year. The thought of packing up a representation of my daily living necessities (and my wife packing everything else in the house including some items from the neighbors’ belongings, just in case) doesn’t strike me as a “celebratory experience.”

You got everything?
Where is the kids?
Is that one ours?
I don’t care if Bulbasaur gets carsick, we are not stopping!
Does that tire look low?
Well, if we didn’t have to leave at 0100, the broken headlight wouldn’t matter now, would it?
No we are not there yet.
Use the Gatorade bottle, that’s what I did at CAX!
OK, JIMMY IS DONE CRACKIN’ CORN BECAUSE I REALLY DON’T CARE!!!!!
We made it, Ma… where’s your crapper?
Actually, I have lost weight.
No, mother, I will not eat the cranberries!
Kids, I’m about to start breaking necks!
Oh, great, the hide-a-bed. You still have that, do ya?
I know I just got here two days ago, but I have to be at work tomorrow, Mom.
No, Officer, why don’t you let me in on my speed and then we will both know.
Good to be home but could the cat have even hit the linoleum near the box?

I am thankful that a man’s place is not in the malls after Thanksgiving. I stayed home with the kids while my wife dressed up in her best “Road Warrior” outfit getting ready for battle. Have you seen this annual ritual where perfectly normal women go out and turn into rabid, blood-thirsty combatants in a cross between roller derby and an ultimate fighting contest over $3 bucks off a Nintendo? Hey, childbirth and post-Thanksgiving shopping. Guys, be thankful.

My wife is the interior decorator of the family. If it was up to me, we would have a half-dead, “Good Grief Charlie Brown” Christmas tree and whatever lame 70s-era Christmas decorations I could pilfer from my Mom. But the day after Thanksgiving (also known as the Christmas Explosion) is a time for my wife to turn into Christine Cringle. After washing off the dried blood of the less fortunate, shopping wounded, she pulls out “The Boxes.” I’m then thankful that I’m just another obstacle to cower in the corner while my house gets turned into Santa’s-Wonderland-on-meth. Mere hours later, it’s as though the spirit of Christmas came in on pixy wings and proceeded to projectile-vomit on everything I own.

About the only responsibility I have in this insane evolution is a little play called “Risk Your Life Hanging Twinkling Lights on the House.” Other than the obvious question of exactly what illusion we’re going for (“Hey, look, the Groses’ house is on fire but only in exactly sequenced bits along the lines of the house!”), the other question begs to be asked, “If I’m willing to die for my country, why should I be required to tempt God by climbing on my roof to slap up strings of plastic and glass with electricity running though them?” The answer, as you single men will some day hear as the standard rebuttal if you haven’t already, involves the childbirth thing mentioned above.

So there I go, with a wad of tangled lights whose intertwined mysteries should be studied by the same scientists who just cracked the human DNA sequence, up the ladder to my certain death. Images race through my mind of the lights getting around my neck as I slip, bang my skull on the gutter on the way down while an exposed piece of wiring pumps 115 volts through my convulsing body and the last words I hear is my wife calling me an idiot. BUT THOSE LIGHTS HAFTA GO UP!!! It just would not be Christmas without the bloodletting.

I’m gonna go now to have a cold turkey sandwich as my last meal and clean up the crapberries the cat threw up, after finding my way past the waving animatronic Santa and reindeer-dung cosies.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Free Advice for Today: “Don’t major in minor things.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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I Was Monitored Today

Friday, November 25th, 2005

Quote of the Day: “Let’s just call Lessons Learned what they really are: institutionalized scab picking.”

- Unknown

My wonderful wife awoke at 0600 to go brave the crowds for Black Friday. This is not an altogether new experience but she really didn’t want to. She showed me some ads last night from Best Buy and I saw that there was a $700 laptop for about half that and a 19” monitor for about $160. I’ve been wanting a big LCD monitor for years.

The ads stipulated that there were “at least 10 in every store” which I have to assume is some kind of legal thing so they don’t have like 2 on hand and advertise the hell out of them.

She called me at about 0830 (yes, I was still in bed, giggle) and said that she missed out on the laptop but after an hour waiting in line, she scored the monitor.

This was going to be a good day.

The new monitor, Maggie, displays Toon Town to the wide-eyed wonder of my children. Notice the Zits cartoon I have taped to my desk. It goes something like this:

Boy: MOM!
Dad: Mom’s outside. Is there anythnig I can do to help?
Boy: Well … yeah.. there’s one thing you can do
Dad: Name it.
Boy: Get Mom. (never looking up)

The old monitor sits on the floor of shame. I should be thankful for all the years it’s shown me the Internet… get this dinasaur piece of shit out of my sight!!!
Maggie shines Word brightly like a beacon in the night.
Here you can see how I have much more room for my speakers.

She said that she was waiting in line to GET IN to the electronics department at another store and she was going to see if she could get an MP3 player for the boy.

When she got home, I wrestled with the question of if I should hook up the monitor or wait for Christmas. About 16 msecs later, I was ripping open the box.

My old monitor is a monstrous beast boasting a 17 inch CRT. It’s as big as a midsize Volkswagen.

The new monitor is a MAG Innovision 19 inch flat panel LCD. I looked up exactly one review for it and all the people who got it had nothing but good things to say. I didn’t look any further just in case.

I had to adjust the input to 1280×1024 (the highest it goes) and I almost cried at what I saw. In fact, there is so much detail now that I can see the jagged details of letters which is a factor of my at-the-time state-of-the-art video card. You could say that I almost have TOO MUCH detail now.

I had to fight with the kids for the rest of the day just to get time on my computer (Toon Town looks like you could crawl into it now) and I ended up getting this, this, and this done while Carrie and the kids put up all the Christmas decorations. They got their time on the computer when Carrie and I took a nap (hers in response to the early wakeup time and mine in response to my general lazy-assedness.)

Hey, at least I made dinner!!! (Chef Boy Ardee pizzas for all!!)

Free Advice for Today: “Spend less time worrying about who’s right, and more time deciding what’s right.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Gobble Gobble

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

Quote of the Day: “That guy just won’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.”

- MAJ (EUCOM)

I awoke at 0300 and couldn’t get back to sleep. This happens every couple of months so I went down to the computer and killed three hours before lumbering back to bed until 0930.

What captured my attention for three hours in the middle of the night? Check out Google videos. I know, but what was I going to do?

Carrie once again scored big in the cooking department by preparing a wonderful turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, green beans, and cherry pie for dessert. The kids love to light candles so we ate by candlelight and discussed what we were thankful for.

I have only spent one Thanksgiving away from my kids (when I was going through TBS in 1997) and only one away from Carrie (Saudi, 1990). It’s unheard of as a career Marine but I have been home every other year and that was what I was most thankful for (although my joke about being thankful about NOT being a turkey didn’t go over very good).

After we ate, I went downstairs and built a fire while the kids cleaned up. The only exercise I planned on for the entire day was raking some leaves earlier in the day in the backyard which the wind tried to overpower my efforts. I cussed out the wind but it didn’t help.

OK, picture it if you will. Huge turkey meal festering in my gut. Warm fire raging. Football on the TV.

Yeah, I lasted about ½ hour and I was out.

When I awoke, I was sore in all manner of places and had digested just enough food to consider the cherry pie. This was an idiot move, one I knew I’d fall for so sure enough, I waddled upstairs and sliced me up a huge piece of pie with whipped cream.

Five minutes later I once again felt like I had swallowed a globe.

I am a lucky man. I have a family that loves me. I have a successful career coming to an end and a bright future for a follow on career in the private sector. I m not currently being shot at and I have both real and virtual friends all over the world that care about me.

What more does one man need?

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Free Advice for Today: “Go to chili cook-offs.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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It’s So Angry!

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

Quote of the Day: “Once you accept that a dog is a dog, you can’t get upset when it barks.”

- Lt Col (USSOCOM)

Killjoy Shows Off Her Fashion Ensemble
Killjoy Shows Off Her Fashion Ensemble

Today was only a half day of work and since most people were in holiday mode (including yours truly), the half day was really just a waste of gas to get to and from work. Everyone I would need to have present to get anything done was gone so it turned out to be just a day to clean my office up a little.

When I got home, Killjoy brought Claire over because she’s such a loser that her hot water heater was on the fritz and they hadn’t showered in like 2 weeks. They looked homeless and started begging for a shower. And food. Then they kept saying they were veterans and for God to bless me.

It really was quite embarrassing.

So after firing up the hidden web cam…er.. I mean getting Killjoy set up with everything she would need to shower, I entertained The Weezer by starting a fire and letting Buster maul her again.

I forgot to write about that. The other day when Claire was over, I picked her up with Buster between us and for some reason, Buster feels the need to snip at small children when they are being lifted. The stupid mutt has not one vicious bone in his whole dopey body but when we lift small children, he wants to nip.

So he got her skin on her belly a little bit and I felt like the worst grown-up in the entire existence of man. Carrie had to stop me from putting him down. I didn’t talk to him for days until Carrie threatened to get rid of him (likely the biggest empty threat ever to come out of her mouth. She’d sooner get rid of ME!)

Anyway, after Killjoy was done, we got Claire set up in our giant whirlpool tub with jets and everything. While she was up there, Killjoy and I talked downstairs as her hair dried naturally.

Folks, it was scary. I will need counseling.

It actually made sounds like a haunted house as it dried, curled, folded back on itself, and started fights with other clumps of red hair on her head. It was like a bed of coral snakes fighting on her head.

In the middle of the horror-fest, Claire came down wrapped in a towel, crying. She was MAD!!!!

With her dripping hair and face contorted in a crying mask, her introductory words were “HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF YOU CALLED FOR YOUR MOM AND SHE NEVER CAME…”

It was the saddest, funniest, most dramatic little show I had ever seen.

So Clifford jumped up and took care of her and as these things go, she was OK in about 5 minutes.

Killjoy stayed for a bit longer but had to get home and pack. She is leaving tomorrow to go to St. Louis so Claire can see her Daddy and everyone Killjoy knows will be leaving town. So instead of spending it here with her husband and over at the Groses (where there will be enough food for a dozen people), Ronalda McDonald is going off to the gonorrhea capitol of America (go ahead and look it up).

Have fun being an orphan, Annie. At least you’ll be clean.

Free Advice for Today: “When declaring your rights, don’t forget your responsibilites.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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I’m All Out Of Breath And Sweaty

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

Quote of the Day: “You can get drunk enough to do most anything, but you have to realize going in that there are some things that, once you sober up and realize what you have done, will lead you to either grab a 12-gauge or stay drunk for the rest of your life.”

- Unknown

Success!!!!!

If you didn’t notice that I’ve flooded my blog with a Herculean effort to catch up (22 posts in one day a few days ago), then you are either not paying attention or are completely retarded.

I went on a blogging vacation for over a month and most people thought I’d never catch up (Killjoy) or that it would be stupid to try (Killjoy again). Well, I told you I eventually get caught up. And that I AM a stupid man.

You’ll also notice that I’ve spiced entries up with pictures. Google images is my new friend, although the term for losing all your strength from long distance running (bonking) will not turn up the intended results in Google images. I learned this the hard way.

The other day, Killjoy asked me “why don’t you just post one blog per day?”

Well, DUH, Miss Painfully Obvious!!! That’s the basic concept but sometimes I just DON’T for a month and for those of you that know me, know that I have to cover each day as though I was writing it that day.

That’s just me. Live with it.

OK, only three days behind now….

Free Advice for Today: “Perform your job better than anyone else can. That’s the best job security I know.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Hacking’s The Name, Security’s The Game

Monday, November 21st, 2005

Quote of the Day: “Everyone should have an equal chance, but not everyone is equal.”

- Unknown

I mentioned the other day that I’ve gotten interesting in hacking. I finished that book and then I tackled book that’s been on my shelves since I was getting my master’s degree a few years ago.

Yeah, it’s the 2nd edition and there is a 5th edition out but for $50, I’ll stick with the older version for now even though it mostly talks about Windows 2000 and NT. Most systems still use those anyway.

The monster book is almost 700 pages of mostly dry techno-babble but for some odd reason, (I’m a geek/dork/nerd) I can sit and read page after page of this.

Once you take a step back, it really makes a lot of sense. Allow me to answer some obvious questions that inevitably come up:

1. How can they put out an obvious guide to break into systems? Isn’t this showing step-by-step how to illegally hack computer networks?

Here is their view to it. First, the weaknesses aren’t going to be fixed by administrators unless the information is spread around. If the publishers highlight the problem, they feel they force the admins to fix them.

Second, the book is touted as a security guide. They highlight (yes, step-by-step) the exploits and then show you, as an admin, how to plug up the hole.

2. How does one hack into a system.

From what I’ve read, it’s tough and easy. If the system is set up right, it’s tough. If it’s not set up right (the vast majority of systems), then it’s easy and there are a lot of automated tools to help you out.

3. What are the steps.

They break up the chapters to describe each secion but here are the major steps in order. To me, this makes sense in hacking AND in the real world.

1. Footprinting: this means casing the joint. You go out and find as much info about your target as you can. IP addresses, contact information, news articles, blogs, bulletin boards, etc.

2. Scan the network: this is just looking for ports on the system. You are basically walking down the hallway looking for doors.

3. Enumeration: Here is where you start turning doorknobs. You “ping” the ports to see if they respond. Up to this point, you’ve stayed on the lawful side of the line.

4. Penetration: you are walking inside where you don’t belong. You’ve found an open door and probably done some kind of password hacking. At the very least, you nab the password file and then use some offline tools to crack them so you can come back later with a valid password.

5. Privilege Escalation: you are in the network but just as a normal guy user without a lot of power. Now you try to increase your privileges by either figuring out the admin password or escalate yourself to admin privileges. This is the Holy Grail of hacking: getting the admin power. This is when you OWN the network.

5 ½. Denial Of Service: if you can’t get a good password or escalate your privileges, you get all pissed off and launch a DoS. This is a burn and slash tactic akin to “If I can’t get to it, I’ll just screw it all up.” Basically you flood the network with valid requests that it’s programmed to answer and it’s so busy answering these numerous requests that it doesn’t have time to answer real requests, thus denying service to real users.

6. Pilfering: Assuming you’re in as an Admin (or “root” in Unix terms) take all the files you want or leave some. Change the webpage (defacement). You have admin privileges.

7. Leave a back door: this is so it’s easier for you to get back in another time even if they try to fix what allowed you to get enter in the first place.

8. Covering your tracks. You got in, you got admin, you raped and pillaged the system, you left some goodies, and now you get out of there. But first you go to the logs and erase any electronic fingerprints that shows you were ever there.

If you think about it, this is a pretty logical list of steps to take to get into a computer system but it still amazes me that there are so many tools out there that will make it easy for anyone to accomplish this. It’s all based on the same two premises: the computers will do what you tell them to do if you send the right commands and… this all works because most systems are not configured properly. The sheer quantity of networks out there provides a veritable unlimited number of targets.

But on the other hand, that KIDS have the smarts to figure all this out and dedicate the time it takes to learn it is impressive. I covered the basics but even a 700-page tome can’t list all the steps. It’s complicated folks but not impossible.

Know thy enemy.

Free Advice for Today: “Never hire someone you wouldn’t invite home to dinner.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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