The Serpent

// Cursing the Internet since 1998

INTERNET EXPLORER FINALLY BOWS OUT OF THE RACE

Posted May 26, 2022 General

So long Microsoft Internet Explorer - you gave us hell for 25+ years, but yet somehow will still be missed*… a little.

DIGGING UP THE PAST

Posted Apr 20, 2022 General

Considering how long The Serpent has been online, we’ve not done a great job of making some of our older content available. It seems to get lost with every re-write, database change or new hosting provider. Well that changes now! Starting today, you can read some of the crap we’ve written as far back as 2002, and plenty of other articles since then. The database is a little worse for wear, so there are many years missing, but we’ve made available what we can.

WINDOWS SUBSYSTEM FOR LINUX

Posted Apr 16, 2022 Windows

I remember back in 2016 when Microsoft announced the Windows Subsystem for Linux, I was super-excited to try this new feature. At the time I was working on Linux daily but only for pretty basic stuff, yet it was still stuff that Windows made difficult. Tools like grep, wget, ssh and nc required a whole VM to be running elsewhere on my machine.

PYTHON F-STRINGS ROCK

Posted Apr 8, 2022 Code

Python is an incredible language. I moved over to it in the mid 2000’s after realising that C++ was a full time job. Since I’m no professional developer, I wanted something that could produce results rapidly, without much of a learning curve. Python was a great fit at the time (we didn’t have these fancy new languages like Go, Rust and Ruby on Rails etc!)

NOTES ON KASPERSKY

Posted Mar 20, 2022 Infosec

I’ve been asked a lot recently on my opinion regarding Kaspersky, and whether or not they can be considered a trusted player in the cybersecurity field. Obviously recent events in Ukraine have caused IT departments all over the world to re-evaluate their decision to rely on Kaspersky, but this isn’t a new issue. In IT, we’ve been discussing the possible risks with Kaspersky since before the Crimea annexation.

THE MANY SU'S OF SUDO

Posted Mar 5, 2022 Linux

For many years, things in the superuser world of Linux were ticking along nicely. Thanks to abilities that allowed us to separate commands meant for important system configuration, and checking our email. However one day back in 2017, it all went and got a little bit more complicated, albeit briefly.

NEW CHEATSHEET - CURL BASICS

Posted Feb 26, 2022 General

It’s OK if cURL arguments still escape you, since there are over 200 of them! This new cheatsheet provides some of the most common use cases wih cURL, the most comprehensive network tool for firing off HTTP(S) requests and interpreting their responses.

WHEN IOT GOES BANG

Posted Jan 9, 2022 Home automation

It didn’t take long for my experiment in cheap Chinese electronics to go bang… literally.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, FOLKS

Posted Jan 1, 2022 General

Congratulations! If you can read this, you also made it to 2022. A year that I hope is full of fortune, a little luck and lots of happiness.

PHISHING PROTECTION ON MOBILE

Posted Dec 29, 2021 Mobile

Phishing links really are annoying aren’t they? Between using unicode characters in hostnames and legit looking designs coupled with good English (unlike here at The Serpent), it’s no wonder that this method of hacking an account still reigns supreme.

AZURE DNS BASICS

Posted Oct 26, 2021 Networking

I’m still stuck in cloud hell when it comes to hosting my own operating systems and other lab devices. The ageing on-premise equipment just doesn’t provide enough oomph I need these days. It’s also too expensive to host a brand new ESX environment in my home office. So ever since, my lab has been a mash of Azure and AWS hosted kit.

HOME AUTOMATION, ON THE CHEAP

Posted Sep 22, 2021 Home automation

Well hasn’t 2021 just flown by! Amongst changing jobs (again) and buying a house, there’s been very little time dedicated to my side projects such as The Serpent. That is until I recently discovered Home Assistant!

EXPLOIT ATTEMPTS - YEARLY ROUNDUP

Posted Jan 28, 2021 Infosec

It’s always interesting to look through The Serpent’s logs to see what unusual traffic makes its way to our doors. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the names of exploits may change, but the methods have largely remained the same.

DIAGRAMS.NET - AN ESSENTIAL TOOL FOR TECHIES

Posted Jan 23, 2021 General

I’m going to gush a little about an application I’ve been using for a few years now. It’s been absolutely instrumental to my career as a network engineer, a cybersecurity consultant, and as a solution architect.

THE SPEED OF POWERLINE ADAPTERS – A COMMON MISTAKE

Posted Jan 2, 2021 Networking

Powerline adapters are great for spreading Ethernet throughout the house without running cables through walls or along floors. Yet there’s a commonly overlooked factor I’ve noticed when people select them. It’s do to with the advertised speeds the adapters are capable of.