Friends Don’t Let Friends Use ECB-Mode Encryption

Very interesting…Especially the little list of some of the companies using such insecure security.

Bob 'n Alice On Security

A number of companies create a false sense of security by using weak encryption modes in their products or services. Customers think they are covered because they’re using cutting edge AES encryption, when in reality the mode of that encryption leaves them vulnerable.

In particular, Electronic Codebook or ECB mode encryption is poor at hiding data patterns, as identical blocks of plaintext are coded into identical blocks of ciphertext. This makes it ineffective at encrypting certain types of data, especially that stored in images or BLOBs.

Here is a well known example of ECB mode encryption at work:



Securely Encrypted

As you can see, in ECB mode the outline of Tux the penguin can still be easily made out despite the encryption. There are a number of alternative encryption modes that avoid this weakness, but the one perhaps most frequently found is Cipher-Block Chaining or CBC mode encryption. It is generally…

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Fighting Poverty, Canadian Style!

Senator Hugh Segal (from Canada) gives a great talk aboot defeating poverty and homelessness. The problem is less complicated than people make it out to be and far more easy to fix than many believe. Talk below:

Anyone else have any links on realistic ways to deal with the problem of poverty?

Crash Course In What Carbs, Sugars and Proteins Do To Your Body

So, as of the past week or so, uni has crushed my will to blog. Far too much rote memorization of cell structure terms that don’t mean anything (yet), combined with an influx of exams. But I’m ruminating on a post to do with the recent French terrorist attacks that I hope will make up for the absence.

In the meantime, let’s have a short post on why we know what we know about the way that different molecules work within the body.

There’s a great youtube channel called CrashCourse based around teaching a general understanding of basic scientific ideas (though, you can possibly thank the non-existent gods and goddesses that they don’t quite delve into the full vocabulary and understanding that is really necessary to understand what is going on within each area of science, because there’s a lot more to know about everything than anyone expects first up). I’ve been indulging in it’s biology section for what I’m currently learning (online uni sucks, *grumble grumble grumble*).

Anyway, cell biology is sa-wheet so here’s a basic rundown of how all those food ‘types’ you eat (or potentially avoid) actually effect your body:

Why Were 8 Children Murdered In Cairns?

Terry Firma has an interesting blog post on Patheos about the recent killings in Cairns. Obviously, I live there (or I did, until a few weeks ago) and so I heard plenty of local ‘news’ on the subject. Mostly speculation and gossip, the kind that surrounds any horrible local event, but the big thing that it was blamed on was the drug “ice”. It seemed like a semi-reasonable explanation at the time, after all, “ice” is certainly a hell of a drug.

However, new evidence has been coming through that points at another cause for the killings. From the Courier Mail: Continue reading