The Serpent

// Cursing the Internet since 1998

SHOPPING FOR WEBSITES

Posted May 6, 2019 General

It’s no coincidence I stopped updating The Serpent right around the time my first child was born, that was a wild few years! Fortunately, a long weekend appeared over the horizon and allowed me time to sit down and catch up on some things. One of them being The Serpent.

SIMPLE STEPS TO MAKING YOUR ONLINE LIFE A LITTLE LESS, SNOOPER-FRIENDLY...

Posted Nov 29, 2016 Security

There’s a lot of talk in the UK about the new “Snoopers Charter” that’s threatening to destroy the very fabric of the Internet (again). As I get older, I find myself worrying less and less about things like this, for two reasons:

SETTING UP A CERTIFICATION AUTHORITY USING OPENSSL

Posted Jul 20, 2016 Crypto

Ever tried running your own Certification Authority (CA)? With OpenSSL – it’s not as complicated as you think, though thanks to the lack of decent documentation, there are a few pitfalls. This article walks you through the basics of setting up OpenSSL to run a CA that can sign other end entity certificates.

REVIVING THE OLD NES

Posted Jul 7, 2016 Gaming History

It turns out that attempting to revive old electronics from your childhood can be somewhat therapeutic. With that in mind, I decided to rescue the old NES that had been collecting dust in the garage for many years and see if it would still boot. Unfortunately… It did not.

INCREDIBLY SLOW WINDOWS UPDATES? YOU'LL WANT THIS...

Posted Jul 6, 2016 Windows

For some reason, Microsoft decided not to make the following patch critical, or even make it easy to find – it’s the very first patch you should install before attempting to update Windows 7\2008 after a clean install – KB3102810 resolves the stupid “Checking for updates” taking a whole day.

ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON WORLD VS PLANET COASTER

Posted Jul 5, 2016 Gaming

Just when you had given up on being a kid and finally started to grow up as you’ve been told so many times before – not one but TWO roller-coaster simulation games come into your life. What an exciting time to be alive!

2016 - A YEAR WITHOUT FLASH

Posted Jul 4, 2016 Infosec

Despite Adobe’s best efforts to flog a dead horse, Flash still seemed to hold firm in 2015. But has lost some important allies along the way – namely YouTube and Chrome support, however some high profile sites such as the BBC still refuse to let it go.

A WORD ON SSL AUTHENTICATION

Posted Jul 3, 2016 Infosec Crypto

SSL\TLS provides two lovely features we can’t get enough of these days; authentication, and encryption.

CHECKING WINDOWS FIREWALL USING C#

Posted Jul 1, 2016 Code

Because I’ve had such a hard time finding a decent example of manipulating the Windows Firewall using C# online, I’ve decided to paste a small portion of code that might help others in such matters. Below is an example of how to determine the Windows Firewall state using C# and the modern INetFwPolicy2 interface, rather than the older INetFwMgr examples that seem to be around.

TRUECRYPT LIVES ON AS VERACRYPT

Posted Jun 25, 2016 Infosec

For you paranoid folk out there who went ahead and microwaved every physical media device possible shortly after TrueCrypt went down the toilet, there’s hope yet again! VeraCrypt has reached a stage of maturity where it no longer suffers from some of the woes of its predecessor from which it was forked.