S2E14: "Short-Term Memory"

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Recorded (UTC) Aired (UTC) Editor
2017-08-17 02:30:25 2017-08-27 15:36:30 "Edita"
Format SHA256 GPG Audio File
MP3 9fca13ba5ca300a64426a7886c5c400d42b4fae421b75eb7a2f8f82aee990788 click click
OGG 4faca5e0d8faada57cb05cc86c79055f4555f77127c10e37a45d721c03db33ba click click

We talk about Bill Burr rescinding his recommended password complexity guidelines, ransomware victims and the apparent rise in malware infections, opensource tools to help the fight against phishing, and uses for ramdisks.



Starts at 11m45s.

I was drinking water again. Paden was drinking Stella Artois. Jthan was drinking Boulder Beer’s Bump ‘n Rind.

  • We discuss the password complexity requirements in greater detail
    • We talk about passwords in general a LOT: S1E2, S1E15, S2E3
    • Jthan talks about the method he uses, which is still a good method.
    • My original comment on the (private) Facebook post is as follows:

my take on this is this:

1.) you should have strong passwords, as laid out by bill burr originally. the better randomization behind it, the better; the wider the character selection space, the better. the longer, the better. no real words.
2.) you should be using a unique password for every authentication where possible.
3.) (and this ties 1 and 2 together) you should use a non-cloud-based authentication/credentials manager. THIS is where we, as IT, have failed. we have not failed by requiring complex and good-entropy passwords- we have failed in providing our users an easier way of doing things the right way.

though, i imagine some of it may be a cultural issue as well.

further, i hate the “correct horse battery stapler” method because the people that tout it as the end-all be-all don’t realize that crackers are now, and have been for quite some time, able to bruteforce using wordspace instead of characterspace. schneier agrees with me (find in-line for “This is why the oft-cited”)…

  • Ramdisk uses, etc. (39m49s)
    • I start off talking explicitly about initrds/initramfses
    • But Jthan was talking in a more general sense of memory-driven filesystems (such as tmpfs, overlayfs, etc.)
    • They help a lot for performance since it lets you perform I/O operations into RAM instead of storage
      • The Nagios resources he mentions can be found here and here
    • Handy for diskless/thin-client booting over NFS
    • ClamAV scanning attachments would be copied into memory-driven filesystems
    • Handy for making modifications when booted inside liveCD’s etc.
    • Package manager caches
    • Jthan used it for PhenVar for faster performance in SQLite

Sysbadministration Award

In this segment, we highlight system administration mistakes. Think of them as the IT equivalent of the Darwin Awards. (54m13s)

A smartlock company ended up locking all of their customers of a certain model out.


  • BSidesDE 2017 tickets haven’t gone on sale yet, and the official dates haven’t actually been announced (the dates Paden gave were for 2016, not 2017). However, if you’re sneaky like me, finding their CFP for 2017 isn’t too difficult.
  • The theory I was thinking of is called the Theory of Everything.
  • The numbers I give on cracking stats are remarkably low. This should provide some insight, as does this.
  • I said Btrfs in regards to snapshot pointing; I meant ZFS.
  • DANG IT, I can’t believe we forgot to mention this but much thanks to Ivan Tomica (@IvanTomica on Twitter) who very helpfully pointed out that we forgot zram! It’s like a normal ramfs except it’s compressed.
  • A bonus…
14:00:57 < r00t^2> drunk jthan is 100% best jthan
14:01:19 < r00t^2> fyi, he gets *gone* in S2E14, so keep an eye on your clients
14:01:29 < r00t^2> should publish at midnight
16:20:27 < jthan> I don't get gone 
16:20:41 < jthan> fuck off
16:20:42 < jthan> ye wanker 
16:29:04 < r00t^2> and i quote, somewhere around the mid-40's minute mark, "i am so drunk" -jthan
13:20:08 < jthan> r00t^2: dude I'm not even that drunk in this episode 
13:22:03 < r00t^2> near the end? DUDE
13:22:06 < r00t^2> you're LIT
13:22:17 < r00t^2> after we have you chug
13:22:38 < r00t^2> 54 mins 30 seconds ish
13:26:03 < jthan> I am hearing it 
13:26:51 < r00t^2> 57 MINUTES 44 SECONDS JTHAN. "wow, i'm actually drunk right now" -jthan
13:26:55 < jthan> meh.
13:27:00 < jthan> Anyone can just make shit up 
13:27:06 < r00t^2> you...
13:27:10 < r00t^2> you said it yours-...
13:30:09 < r00t^2> also, 59m47s "i'm really drunk" -jthan
13:32:16 < r00t^2> 1h1m33s "omigodi'msodrunk" -jthan
13:32:44 < r00t^2> and then you just start laughing non-stop from 1h1m50s to the end of the episode
13:34:01 < r00t^2> and then your LAST little giggle got cut off but it sounded like an accordion bellow, which ties like perfectly into the outro


Music Credits
Track Title Artist Link Copyright/License
Intro In Heaven Decreek click CC-BY-SA 4.0
Outro Dr Gears Dub BANDRIS click CC-BY-SA 4.0
(All music is royalty-free, properly licensed for use, used under fair use, or public domain.)



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