Web Site Building

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Friday, August 29, 2008 | Published in

I finally got around to coughing up for a domain name, so I've spent the last few days sorting out a web server and putting together my site. Not something I've done before really, but not desperately challenging. I've also found how good the Google sites are for allowing you to forward their services to your own domain. I have to wonder how much they get out of it, but I'm not complaining... Both Blogger and Gmail made it very easy. I'm particularly impressed with Gmail at the moment. It's easily the best web mail out there. Imap forwarding, easy redirection to your own domain name, and the best spam protection I've ever had.

I'm in the process of looking into registering a company so that I can start looking for contract work. There are plenty of organisations around here that provide support for setting up small businesses, so I think I'll need to make a couple of appointments to go and speak to a couple of them. Once I've done that then I can start putting the site together properly. I need to do a bit of research to find out what sort of rates people are charging for different types of work, both private and commercial, so I can work out where I need to be aiming in order to be competitive enough to get some attention. We'll see how it goes.

Other things...

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Saturday, August 23, 2008 | Published in

I haven't posted in a few days because I've been revising for my driving theory and hazard perception test, which I've passed. Now that's out of the way I'll have time to read something other than the highway code and might actually have something to talk about here. As much as I usually do anyway :)

De-ICE.net PenTest Disks

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Monday, August 11, 2008 | Published in

I found out about these recently on the Ethical Hacker forums. They are live CD's containing operating system installs with deliberate flaws built into them for people to discover and exploit to gain access to the system. They are intended as practice labs for pentesting and I reckon that they're a brilliant idea. I've just about got the first one sussed and it's been a very interesting learning experience, exposing me to a range of security tools which I've never had a reason to use before.

Anyone with an interest in information security or penetration testing should definitely give these some attention.

Mass Effect

Posted by : Rob Stevens | | Published in

What can I say about this game except WOW! Mass Effect is a Sci-Fi RPG based in the far future where humanity is struggling to make its mark as a useful part of the galactic community. Evil stuff ensues, humanity saves the day, etc.. This is an absolutely fantastic game with a brilliant plot and I'll definately be playing it through a few times so I can see all of the different story lines and twists. It's very similar to the Knights Of The Old Republic games, which I also loved, allowing you to develop your character as you like and taking them through either the good guy or the evil guy path in the game. There are loads of different worlds to explore, tons of upgrades and plenty of additional side missions to keep things going for a while. The makers are even releasing extra planets, missions, and races to pad things out even more.

My only problem while playing this is that it's fairly resource hungry and my poor old Nvidia 6800 graphics card could only just handle it. Hopefully I should be able to upgrade this soon and enjoy this game in all its shiny graphicy goodness!

A definite 2 thumbs up for this one. I only wish more games were this good.

The Information Systems Security Association

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Saturday, August 09, 2008 | Published in


I've just signed up for the 90 free trial membership of the ISSA. This gets you access to things like their journal and other member only content like webcasts (the last one being Dan Kaminsky and other speakers talking about the recent DNS problems) and other support material. The different chapters of the organisiation hold periodic meetings and talks on current security issues. Membership of proffesional organisations is generally a good idea and a useful thing to be able to stick on a CV so I think I'll probably sign up for a student membership of this once the trial runs out. I've also been looking in the getting a student membership of the British Computer Society, so I'll probably shell out for both of them once I'm back at uni and the good ol' student loan lands.

For info on the UK chapter of the ISSA have a look here.

Underwater Photos

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Wednesday, August 06, 2008 | Published in

I finally got around to getting the photos from the underwater camera I bought on holiday developed. Not as good as I'd hoped, but not bad for a disposable.









Have a look at my Flickr page for more.

Must get around to learning to scuba.

Comic Book Movie Trailers

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Sunday, August 03, 2008 | Published in


I only recently discovered the graphic novel of Alan Moores Watchmen, which is brilliant. It's gritty costume crime fighter type stuff about a bunch of anti-heroes (I think that's the best way to describe them...), only one of whom actually has any super powers. Anyone who enjoyed V For Vendetta or Moores Batman effort will most likely enjoy this. It's one of the best graphic novels that I've read in a while and no self respecting comic geek should fail to read it.

The film looks like it's going to be a good adaptation, but as always we'll have to wait and see how badly they're screwed with the storyline. Here's the trailer for all that are interested...



In a similar vein ther's also a film adaption of The Spirit being made by Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) that looks like it'll be worth a watch. I haven't read the comic, but I think I'll have to have a look.



How to Own A Continent

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Saturday, August 02, 2008 | Published in

I've just finished reading the copy of Stealing The Network: How To Own A Continent that I borrowed from a friend. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to my copy of How To Own The Box arriving even more. The storyline is excellent with enough technical description to keep it interesting, but not so much that it gets tedious. There are some very interesting ideas here and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest, professional or otherwise, in hacking and information security. There are very few people around who would learn nothing from reading this.

The story is broken up into 8 different attack types, with a couple of extra chapters of background information. Each chapter deals with a different attack and introduces a different character, some of whom are criminals and some are people duped into co-operation, and each chapter is written by a different figure within the security community. There are some links and references between the chapters, but they are, for the most part, pretty self contained. My favourite chapters were the ones written by Fyodor and Jay Beale. As I already said, I really enjoyed this, and will be making an effort to read the rest of the series.