In this power packed episode Chris explores ways to securely communicate using public key authentication. Matt gives us a healthy helping of Drive Backup utilities. Darren interviews Ashley Schwartau about the documentary Hackers Are People Too. Shannon brings you a few tools for organizing that mismatched MP3 collection of yours.
Shannon takes the spotlight and opens the show. Darren threatens to vote her off the hakhouse. We postponed the open sourcing of the missile launcher due to finals. Thanks Jason Appelbaum. Our friend Mubix has a great article on Multi-Boot Security Live CDs that makes last weeks pick, UNetbootin even more amazing.
Our next LAN Party will be Half-Life 2 Deathmatch on Saturday, December 13 at game.hak5.org. Prepare to get smack in the face with a flying toilet! Check out all the details at our brand spankin' new Hak5 LAN Site (with leetness by Squarespace)
Public Key Encryption
In this segment we show you how to setup public key authentication between a windows and a linux host. There are many different software packages through which to accomplish this but we used openssh and putty.
Linux machine or VM running OpenSSH (most distros have it in their repository, or you can find it here: http://www.openssh.com/portable.html
Windows machine with putty software (download the whole package) http://www.openssh.com/portable.html
Installing openssh on linux is relatively straightforward. Refer to their site for details. Once that's setup, we generated a key using the command "ssh-keygen" and specified the filenames. You can customize the keys you generate as you wish, but we went with the defaults. After entering a passphrase twice, you'll have a public and private key file, with the public having the extension .pub. The private key file stays on the server but we copy the public key over to our windows machine and convert it into putty format using Putty Generator. After you have the key, you can either pass it with scp using scp -i (pscp in our example since we're using putty's scp executable), or you can use the putty ssh client in order to pass the key instead of just a password to authenticate to the server. This makes an easy two-factor authentication mechanism. :)
After installing a fresh copy of your Windows OS of choice, the biggest headache for most of us is the arduous task of trying to locate drivers for all of our different components. So this post is all about making your reinstall a little less troublesome.
Hereís a list of some of the better driver backup utilities!
DriverBackup2 is a lightweight driver-backup tool. The application is portable with a caveat: youíll need administrative privileges for full use. You can opt to backup one or all of your drivers, the backed up files are dumped into a tree structure based on driver name. DriverBackup2 also allows you to restore and delete unnecessary drivers. If you ever hunted for obscure drivers online, when installing legacy or obscure hardware for instance, DriverBackup2 will save you the hassle of searching them out again.
Double Driver lists all the hardware drivers installed on your system and creates backups of both the actual drivers and lists of the driver names. While handy with any computer, Double Driver really shines if you have a computer that came with pre-installed drivers that are hard if not impossible to come by. With a few clicks youíll have those archaic laptop drivers backed up and ready to put back to work after a fresh install.
DriverMax allows you to easily reinstall all your Windows drivers. No more searching for rare drivers on discs or on the web or inserting one installation CD after the other. Simply export all your drivers (or just the ones that work ok) to a folder or a compressed file. After reinstalling Windows all drivers can be back in place in less than 5 minutes.
DriverView is a helpful upgrade from looking through devices individually in the Device Manager, but the real value here is in the list generation. Create an HTML-formatted backup list for your future troubleshooting needs or export to text to show friends or forum members just whatís gone wrong. While it doesnít actually backup drivers, if youíre still into doing things the old fashion way, DriverView is a great choice!
Now that weíve got all of the corporate slogans and descriptions out of the way, my personal favorite is the first link weíve talked about here. The interface is the least cluttered, and the process really couldnít be any easier. For those of you who are looking to deploy driver backups in an automated fashion, thereís a built in commandline builder! Like I said, Iíve personally used it and really does make life alot easier after a reinstall.
Congrats to Mesartwell who correctly answered last week's trivia. Answer: "Tom is king" and "Jules sucks". Grab yourself a copy of the Doom alphas
"Hackers Are People Too"
I have thousands of songs on my computer and some of them are missing titles, artists, etc. So when I hop on iTunes to download my feed of podcasts (like Hak5!), I use TuneUp Media to clean up some of my music.
TuneUp Media has the ability to find your songs basically by listening to them, and tell you the information for each one. You simply drag your song over to the clean up bar on the right, and TuneUp finds your songs info in a few seconds. It even gives you a choice of album art you can use.
I like TuneUp simply because Iím really organizational. There are a few bugs thoughÖ Firstly, once you download TuneUp, you donít have the option to close it while in iTunes (unless this has changed recently). Second, there are two versions - free and not free. With the free version, you only have 500 songs to clean up. In the payed version- you can clean up as much as you want.
The second one is TagScanner. Tagscanner is good for someone who doesnít like iTunes. In tagscanner, you can not only clean up the names and artists on your music, but you can also fix up the ID3 tags for each song, down to lyrics and album art. You can also export your music into a .txt or excel spreadsheet, which is pretty neat.
Skybar Baron writes I have a computer from my school and was wondering if there was a way to wipe everything but like Microsoft Office and the OS?
Darren recommends Sdelete.
Until next week we welcome your feedback and remind you to Trust your Technolust