Thursday, 23 August 2007


This is an alternative to have some GNU applications (e.g. grep, gawk, ls, wget, etc.) in your windows machine without installing cygwin. It is not so powerful as Cygwin but it does the trick to install some applications to run some scripts. For me it has been useful to run some scripts with gawk and wget.
To get it, download from It will probably redirect you to the download page of sourceforge. I will suggest downloading and installing all the packages instead of installing just the application that you need (e.g. wget). The package manager will then take care of any updates that your applications will need in the future.
After download and run the exec file, it will prompt asking for a destination to decompress the file. You can choose whatever you want. You will need to move it to someplace else later, so a good place may be “My Documents”. To install, follow the instructions. This is just a summary; if you want details you can check the readme file in the package.
1) Configure wget if you are behind a proxy. (use bin\wget.ini)
2) Edit and select your mirror in download.bat
3) If 1 and 2 worked, it will start to download stuff (all the applications pacakes)
4) After finishing the dowload run install.bat. It will start to decompress the packages
5) The following is optional, but I suggest to do it because it will be easy to work with the programs in gnuwin32
6) You will see now a folder “gnuwin32”. Now you can move the entire directory to “C:\Program Files”
7) After moving the entire gnuwin32 run “update-links.bat” to update any orphan link.
8) Copy the folder “Star Menu” inside gnuwin32 to the Start Menu of your windows desktop. When executed the shortcuts inside will automatically start a cmd in the path of gnuwin32.
9) That’s all. Enjoy.

There are some more optional things that you can do. Because I do not use them and they can “mix up” some original windows applications with the same name in the gnu package I will not explain them here. If you want to do it, check the readme file.

Packages in GNUWin32

Friday, 17 August 2007

A worm that strikes back

The last August 9th the REN-ISAC from the University of Indiana warned the academic community about the Storm Worm infected machines. After scanned, machines that are infected strike back with a flood DoS attack to the source of the scanning. The process seems to be automated according to the note.

Although the warning was issued to universities in U.S. I am sure that it will also affect to other universities and enterprises that have the scanning of hosts as one of their security policies.

More notes:
Information Week
The Register

Friday, 10 August 2007

Spock or Spooky

This has nothing to do with my research, but any way it was a little bit amusing and worrisome to do some research about this topic. Few weeks ago I knew about Spock, a site for searching people. I was eager to jump in and to test what it was about (I did something similar for LinkedIn, Facebook, Myspace, etc. sometime ago) but then I thought. Even that someone offered me an invitation I stopped and I wonder. Do I really want all my personal data to be in just one place?

I mean, my data is there around my blogs, my website, my profile in I do not how many places. You just need to do some Google research to find my contacts details and some information about me. So, is there any difference between “google” me or search about me in Spock? Well, there is. I am not in Spock. Nice, isn’t it?

Well, but someday for sure I will, so, there will be any difference then? I think yes, while searching about people with Yahoo, Google or any other search engine you have to go around several pages to get all the data, while in Spock, you get it with just one or two clicks (depending how common is the name you are looking for). The implications are so great (I am been sarcastic if you haven’t noticed it), you can have all the need to make some online frauds, crack passwords, stole identities, etc. The possibilities are unlimited. I am being paranoiac, yeah, may be. In the other side, may be hackers will not use it any way, today is a little bit slow and online scammers rely in better applications than Spock to profile people (just read this). So, in the end I think that it will be very helpful to track some of your old friends, colleagues and classmates. And why not, to amuse you a little bit finding curious details of people that share the same name than your friends or best, to know details that you did not know about your friends. Just to mention I learn Zodiac Signs, weird hobbies, sexual interests, trips, past relations, etc. Every bit of information that is there but they did not share with you, you just need to dig a little to find it.
Until today, if you are trying to find some friends to get in touch, better use other methods such as Google. The database of Spock is still very small. Finally, the concept is not new. There are some other sites that do the same. The thing with Spock is that the marketing played and important role to bring it to the spot light.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Digg and Microsoft

This is not about my research but I found interesting to comment about it.

Few days ago Digg and Microsoft signed an agreement where Microsoft will be the provider of contextual advertising.

I predict some change in Digg during the next six months:

- You won't be able to criticize Microsoft, if you do that, then you will be banned
- You will need to use IE with DRM
- If you comment about Linux, you could be sued by infringement of bogus MS pattens
- You could get infected by a worm just to click in posts
- You won't be allowed to submit news about Linux, Apple or Google
- The site sometimes will display a blue screen

Friday, 20 July 2007

True Random Generator Service

  It is based on the " 'Quantum Random Bit Generator' (QRBG121), which is a fast non-deterministic random bit (number) generator whose randomness relies on intrinsic randomness of the quantum physical process of photonic emission in semiconductors and subsequent detection by photoelectric effect".

  Why is this good? well because software cannot generate real random numbers, they just can generate pseudo random numbers.


  If interested there is a QRBG Service that you can access it online. Today there are C++ libraries, MathLab toolbox and CLI access. They are also planning to support web access. 

Friday, 8 June 2007

Spammers using DDoS attacks

I read in a post in the SANS website that ansti-spam groups websites are under a DDoS attack. It is interesting the point of view of the post's author about seeing this as a desperate action from the spammers groups.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

AI to train Firefigthers

Computer Science researchers of the University of Southern California (USC) have developed an artificial intelligence systems based in agents to train firefigthers. The software creates escenarios and it evaluates the response of the trainees in a 3D environment created with maps and images (I imagine the use of Google's street view in this kind of applications). The system is currently used by Los Angeles Fire Department.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

P2P networks used to launch DDoS attacks

I read a pair of notes about P2P networks (using DC++) hijacked to create botnets. The problem is caused by a vulnerability in the code of the P2P software that allows the injection of malicious code. The compromised host can be used to launch DDoS attacks.


Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Some Security Tools

In the ISC SANS website, Jim Clausing publish a list of tools to capture, analyze, generate, modify and replay packets (the note does not mention "analyze but I think some of the tools cab be used to do it)

I wonder why are not there tools such as tcpreplay and vomit (used in Voice over IP). For more information about security tools a good resource is

To use secure linux distros I would recommend Backtrack (based on slackware) and S-T-D (based on Kanoppix).


Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks are Back

Yes, the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks are not in the past as pointed by Symantec's Yazan Gable in the enterprise blog. Some examples after his comments:

Finnish Website prey of DoS
DDoS/DoS to
Computer Terrorism For Sale

And that is not at all. Yesterday the British's Daily Telegraph website was knocked out by a DDoS (the note). In my opinion the more critical event was the apparent Russian's Cyber Attack against Estonia's network infrastructure some days ago. There are not yet enough information to clarify the incident but it would not be the first time that hackers from different countries attack each other after some political events (China v.s Taiwan). This remind me the comments of Professor Dorothy Denning in her book Information Warfare and Security. (Professor Denning was one of the first research works on Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), her paper).

My opinion is that DDoS will be there no matter what security companies say. While the motivation exists, the problem will remain.