Archive for the ‘Selfish’ Category

Improving your online security by making your password more difficult to hack but easier to remember.

February 20th, 2017

Passwords can be hacked - sometimes by a computer, sometimes by a human.

Here is my advice to people that want to make their online accounts more secure. We will start out with a real life example and build its complexity and, in the end, we will have a way of creating unique passwords for every possible use.

1. An easy to remember password is better than one you can't remember.
That means that "strawberry" is better than aj374h58&%$3djde.[ if you have to write it down somewhere. A password locker on your PC or app counts as writing it down - and you won't be able to log on if you don't have access to your phone or PC. Let's say my daughter's name is Louise. That's easy to remember. Let's go by Louise. It's easy to remember. The make of the first car you every drove, or you favourite dish would probably be a better pick, but let's go with super obvious now.

Password: Louise
Time to hack: instantly
Difficulty to guess: very easy

2. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters
It makes it slightly harder for a computer to hack your password. Louise already has rule #2 applied. Ready to go.

Password: Louise
Time to hack: instantly
Difficulty to guess: very easy

3. Use a number somewhere - any number.
It makes it slightly harder for a computer to hack your password. I could use L0uise or L0u1s3 or I could simply use Louise2008, which is her year of birth. A longer password is always harder to hack, so let's go with Louise2008.

Password: Louise2008
Time to hack: 8 months
Difficulty to guess: medium

4. Throw in one or more symbols for good measure

It makes it generally much, much harder for a computer to hack your password and also for a person to just guess your password. It's still medium though, because anyone leaning over your shoulder may be able to guess the password by your typing. When picking a symbol, try to take one that is available on keyboards all over the world.

Password: Louise>2008
Time to hack: 800 years
Difficulty to guess: difficult

5. Make it unique and still easy to remember
If someone steals the user data from a website, they may be able to just read your password if that website has it stored in a database. Even if the password is encrypted, it can be reverse engineered. To avoid this, we would need to have a unique password for every website, every company we work at and maybe for every device we have. It's however simple to do.

Pick a number under 6 and stick with it - this is the number of letters you will be lending from every website, device or company you need to have a password for. The more letters you use, the longer your password will become and the less your password is likely to be hacked or guessed, but it also increases the time needed to type your password and the number of mistakes you could make. You can choose to have either the first or last 6 letters, or maybe even decide to skip the first 4 and then have the remaining 6 ... Let's say we choose the first 5 letters of whatever we are creating a password for.

Let's make a password for the company you work at - say IBM, your Google account, your account at DeviantArt.com and your password to unlock your Huawei P9.

IBM
I could use IBM in its entirety or take the full name (International Business Machines). I'll go with the second option.

Password: InterLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

Google

Password: GooglLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

DeviantArt.com

Password: DeviaLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

Huawei P9

Password: HuaweLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

6. Periodically changing passwords
This one is easy. When a company or website requires you to change your password every so often, add the year and month to your password. For IBM, in February 2017, it would look like this.

Password: InterLouise>2008.1702
Time to hack: 9 sextillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

7. It works.

I have been using a slightly more complex version of this algorithm since 1990 and I can guess my password for most any device or website within 3 tries, even if I haven't been there for years - but even if a hacker got hold of my password for a certain device or website, it would be near impossible to deduce what my password is going to be for another website or device. The fewer characters you use from whatever you are pasting in front of your password, the harder it will be to guess but the more likely you're passwords will have "duplicates". A very simple example: if you only use the first letter of the website. Microsoft.com and MyLittlePony.com will yield the same password. Now throw out that notebook and that smartphone app and start actually remembering your passwords.

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Selecting and setting the melody on the e-Prance doorbell

November 28th, 2015

This may also work on other doorbells utilising the same chipset, including EasyAcc, MagicFly, Forrinx, ... If you doorbell has 52 melodies, one or two receivers and a led, this will probably work for you.

  • If the doorbell is more than a ten second run away from your chime, you may want to call in a second person to help. Have that person stand at the doorbell.
  • Select the melody you want by pressing the bottom button on the chime (with the music note on it). Don't press the doorbell while you're selecting.
  • Once you've found a suitable melody, press the top button (volume) until the led flashes and a sound is played. You know have about ten seconds to get to the doorbell.
  • Rush to the doorbell and press the doorbell once. The melody will start to play. You now have about ten seconds to get back to the chime.
  • Run back to the chime and press the volume button again until the led flashes and the sound plays.

You have now set the melody. Congratulations.

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Fritz!Box manual firmware upgrade

August 24th, 2014

Today, I wanted to use my old 7390 Fritzbox as a repeater, because wireless reception on the second floor of my house was worthless. I tried to updte the firmware, but I couldn't get to the "update from file" tab. Finally, after much tinkering, I found that you need to adjust the view.

In old firmwares, you can get to the expert view by clicking "expert mode" at the top of the "overview" page. In more recent firmwares, you can get there by clicking the "View: Standard" link at the bottom of the overview page.

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BUG: Dynamically altering Connection String for File Connection used in Execute Package Task.

August 26th, 2013

Setup
I designed the following setup.

[script task] -> [[for each loop container] [execute package task]]

The script task parses a variable and creates an array containing a list of packages to be executed.
The For Each Loop Container parses the array and assigns each item to a variable named @PackagePath.
The File Connection for the Execute Package Task refers to @PackagePath in the expression for its Connection String.

Expected behaviour
Expected behaviour would be for the EPT to open each package according to the value in @PackagePath.

Actual behaviour
Every first succesful iteration of the EPT will open whatever package the File Connection is initially configured with. The second iteration will open the package that was configured in the previous loop. The third iteration will open the package from the second loop et cetera.

The contents of the @PackagePath variable are correct. The connection however isn't updated until the FELC has finished processing the current loop.

Changing the FELC to list the packages in a certain folder and then open each package in that folder works perfectly, but fetching the items from an array will produce the behaviour as described above.

Solution
There is no actual solution for this, although I have a crude but effective workaround.

The workaround is to have a script file to set the connection string for the File Connection. It's crude, but it works.

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Hoofdkraan.nl: oude wijn in spamkruiken

April 5th, 2013

[This article is in Dutch. It pertains to a Dutch audience]

Het is een tijd geleden dat ik Nederlandse spam in mijn elektronische brievenbus kreeg. Het is eveneens een tijd geleden dat ik dubieuze aanbiedingen kreeg voor doorstuurpraktijken.

Hoofdkraan.nl is de trieste verantwoordelijke voor het einde van dat tijdperk. Uit naam van Maartje de Vries kreeg ik vandaag een mail met daarin de vraag of ik eenvoudig 20 euro wou verdienen door nog meer mailadressen te verzamelen voor deze spammer.

Hoofdkraan.nl is de nieuwe naam van freelancematch.nl, een bedrijf dat ondertussen blijkbaar niet meer bestaat. De reden waarom is wel duidelijk, aangezien freelancematch.nl herhaaldelijk negatief op het internet is geweest. Helaas heeft niemand daar wat van geleerd. Hieronder enkele links die de algemene teneur weergeven.

Slechte dienstverlening: http://hallo.kvk.nl/hallo/marketing/klanten_werven/f/144055/t/12439.aspx
Slechte dienstverlening: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Wie-heeft-er-ervaring-met-929747.S.46446302
Slechte privacy en security: https://www.security.nl/artikel/37645/1/FreelanceMatch.nl_lekt_gegevens_10.000_freelancers.html

Wat nog meer op bizarre praktijken duidt is dat het telefoonnummer van het bedrijf niet in de spam-mail is opgenomen. Dat bewijst dat ze verwachten dat mensen niet blij gaan zijn en een extra buffer inbouwen om contact te vermoeilijken. Daarnaast blijkt dat het postadres in Amsterdam zit maar het telefoonnummer wat bij het bedrijf zit begint dan weer met 030 en dat zou er op duiden dat het bedrijf in Utrecht zit. Daarnaast zijn op de homepage een verzameling van logo's van kranten en tijdschriften te vinden, waardoor Hoofdkraan.nl de indruk wil wekken dat ze een "bonafide" partij zijn die gelinkt is aan uitgeverijen, maar niets is minder waar.

Heeft u zelf ook ongevraagd mail ontvangen van hoofdkraan.nl en wenst u deze spam stop te zetten? Rapporteer het bericht dan ook bij spamcop: http://www.spamcop.net/sc en bij de OPTA: https://www.spamklacht.nl/

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