The Sizzle

Issue 37 - Tuesday 24th November, 2015 - The Scallop Menace

For the Get This connoisseurs out there, they boys are (kinda) back with some new eps! Ed (the prize master) Kavalee and Lawrence Mooney are doing a summer podcast and have had Tony Martin on for a few eps. Definitely worth a listen if you liked Get This. Thanks Gav for the heads up!


Dell is fiddling with root certificates on new computers, ugh
Remember a few months ago, Lenovo got in the shit with a thing called Superfish? It was a pre-installed root certificate authority (CA) that allowed Lenovo to display ads in HTTPS websites. Dell has done something similar, by shipping computers with the pre-installed root CAs that have the exact same private key. This is bad because root CAs are what are supposed to validate other people's certificates and if someone can use that root CA to validate their bogus certs, browsers and apps won't throw up warnings to say they're duds. Nice one Dell, ya goofs.

Dropbox helped find a child porn collector
A bad dude called Dustin Brown, who was 19 at the time, decided to upload some kiddie porn to Dropbox. Dropbox noticed this, told the USA's National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and they were table to prosectue the guy. But how did Dropbox know there was child porn on their servers? Isn't everything on Dropbox encrypted? Even if un-encrypted, how do they know what's in the contents of a photo without looking at it? Well Dropbox owns both the public and private key, so yeah, they can look at your stuff whenever they want. It's Microsoft's PhotoDNA is what does the hard work of looking of child porn so our eyes don't have to. So if you're planning on storing naughty stuff in the cloud, A) don't and B) at least don't use Dropbox.

It's now illegal and punishable by up to 14 years jail to have plans for a 3D printed gun
In other naughty stuff you shouldn't be doing, making your own guns with 3D printers is something the NSW government strongly wants to discourage. The recently passed Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, makes it illegal to even own a digital file containing plans to make a gun with a 3D printer. I guess the cops want to nip this in the bud before it gets to the point where even a meth head bikie can figure out how to make a gun that won't rip their arm off.

TrueCrypt is not as stuffed as you thought it was
TrueCrypt was everyone's go-to for cross platform whole drive or virtual drive encryption. It worked well until May 2014, when the TrueCrypt website was replaced with a message saying "Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues. This page exists only to help migrate existing data encrypted by TrueCrypt.", with instructions on how to use BitLocker on Windodws 8. Everyone had their conspiracy theories as to what the hell went on (NSA plot to get us to use inferior encryption!), but after a thorough audit of the TrueCrypt code base, everything appears to be pretty good. I guess now we can use the TrueCrypt forks like VeraCrypt with a little more peace of mind.

Good news everyone, Futurama is back as a mobile game
Fans of Futurama will be happy to know they can get more Futurama content into their eyeballs with a new game coming soon to your smartphone called Futurama: Game of Drones. The story will be written by Dave Grossman, who was responsible for the Secret of Monkey Island and Patric Verrone who wrote some Futurama eps - so hopefully the game won't suck. This is weak content, but man it is a slow news day and this was linked to everywhere, so fuck it, I'm padding this issue with it and wanted to include *something* that wasn't law or security related.


A browser plugin that messes up advertiser stats by clicking on everything
AdNauseam is an interesting approach to counteract intrusive tracking of our Internet habits by advertisers. This plugin for Chrome and Firefox will click all the ads on a site, in the hope that if enough people do it, ads and the tracking they contain will just be a mess of useless data. I'm all for fucking with the heads of advertisers, so get on it mates.

Ed Snowden's tips and tricks for ensuring your privacy on the lines
If you're not a fan of the state recording all your digital footsteps, American patriot Edward Snowden has some handy info for you. Communicate using the Signal app. Encrypt your drives. Use a password manager with a long unique password for each account and enable two factor authentication. Simple! I mean, if the NSA are actively targeting your sorry arse, this won't get you out of jail, but if you've got nothing to hide, this is a good way to maintain some tiny slice of privacy on the Internet. The rest of the article is a great read too, I love me some Snowden opinions.

Kooky Japanese manga about overclocking
I've overclocked many a PC in my time, but I've never fallen in love with a fierce rival whilst doing so. Wherever the author of this Japanese manga got their info from is sorely mistaken as to the realities of overclocking. "She smells so nice. Her skin is so clear." is the sort of wonderful prose contained in this comic. I've never met anyone who smells nice on OCAU, what a load of bullshit. If you're after a few chuckles, hunt down 87 Clockers from your favourite manga repository (I have no idea where to source manga, you're on your own, dork).

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Like The Sizzle? Convert your free trial into a paid subscription now and never miss an issue! Already a subscriber? Thanks for being awesome.