Nov 15

Status Update: Archival/Reference Purposes Only

By Xeross Posted in Blog News

I figured I’d post a quick update here as the blog has been inactive since August 2012. I’ve lost most of my interest in blogging and have therefor not updated in all this time, besides that moving into my own apartment and other things have kept me pretty busy anyway.

The blog will stay up for archival/reference purposes only, until I decide to revive it, or replace it with something else entirely.

Thanks for reading, and farewell.

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Aug 03

How-to: Bash Switch/Case Fall-through

By Xeross Posted in Developing, How-To's, Tech, Uncategorized

To have a fallthrough case with the bash case statement you simply use ;& instead of ;; in the case you want to have fall-through behavior, so as follows:

case $VAR in
        echo "This doesn't do fallthrough"
        echo -n "This does"
        echo "fall-through"
Jul 02

Control VLC Media Player through D-Bus

By Xeross Posted in How-To's, Linux, Tech

I recently switched back to VLC from MPD/MPC because VLC seems to play more formats and is easier to use/set-up. However I did want to keep my global keybindings, considering I couldn’t find an option in VLC to enable them and knowing that it has a D-Bus interface I decided to figure out how it works.

After some research I found out that VLC adheres to the Media Player Remote Interfacing Specification” (or MPRIS for short) for its D-BUS commands, which can be found here. To use it you can use the command line utility to send D-Bus messages dbus-send for example:

dbus-send --print-reply --session --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.vlc /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.Stop

Which returns.

method return sender=:1.50 -> dest=:1.143 reply_serial=2

And stops the audio output.

The spec lists all the available commands however as I’ll only be using the org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.* commands I made a simple wrapper script:


# Simple proxy script to interface with VLC over DBUS
# Available commands can be found at

dbus-send --print-reply --session --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.vlc /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.$1

Now I can simply call vlc-proxy <command> to control VLC.


Jun 21

Goonswarm making trillions utilizing flaws in FW changes

By Xeross Posted in EVE Online, News & Stuff

2.5 hours ago a post went up on the Goonswarm forums that was quickly mirrored to the EVE-o forums, detailing how Goonswarm made huge profits by utilizing flaws in the recent factional warfare changes.

Through flaws in the new factional warfare mechanics Goonswarm made a profit through destruying their own assets to acquire LP. As a result LP store items could be sold with large profits, causing the market to crash for the items involved.

Reports of earnings in the trillions seem to be the baseline, however an occurance of over 300 trillion in assets+ISK and 250 million in LP was observed.

CCP is currently investigating the situation and will decide on a later date whether the people utilizing this flaw will have their actions reversed. Factional Warfare in the meantime has been fixed.


I find it fascinating to see players analyzing and playing the sandbox to benefit them, this included, quite a bit of testing and theorycrafting went into this and the result speaks for itself.

Whether this is actually allowed under the EULA is something we could discuss endlessly but CCP will do whatever they feel is justified.

So, brilliant action, and we’ll see how it plays out in the coming days.


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Feb 06

The Pirate Bay now blocked by Ziggo and XS4ALL

By Xeross Posted in News, Tech

The Pirate Bay has been blocked by XS4ALL and Ziggo a few days ago, the domain name redirects to and switching DNS server just gets you the following result

xeross@alfa ~ [ ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
--- ping statistics ---
140 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss, time 139003ms

At this moment in time I have no new information on the appeal and where it stands at the moment. Also all ISPs that BREIN has sent requests to to block The Pirate Bay have refused and are awaiting the appeal.

Sources/related links:

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Jan 11

Dutch ISPs Ordered to Block The Pirate Bay

By Xeross Posted in News, Tech

Today in a main proceedings that was filed by Stichting BREIN the court in The Hague has ruled that 2 of the largest ISPs in the Netherlands, Ziggo and XS4ALL, will have to block access to The Pirate Bay, they have until the 25th of January to implement this or will face fines of €10,000/day up to a maximum of €250,000.

After this victory BREIN is also trying to get other ISPs to also block The Pirate bay, using the court ruling as leverage. However these will wait to see if XS4ALL and/or Ziggo will appeal, before going through such drastic measures.

The following IP addresses and domain names are ordered to be blocked (Source:

IP Addresses
Domain Names

Stichting BREIN has also been given permission to supply additional IP addresses and domain names to be added to the blockade, which is worrying as they can be added without any proper review of what is being blocked, however they are held liable if IP addresses or domain names they provide aren’t directing to The Pirate bay.

Something Interesting

One thing of particular interest is that Stichting BREIN had to prove that people using XS4ALL and Ziggo as their ISPs are using The Pirate Bay. To do this they sampled 50 movie torrents. This gave them 11,105 IPs exchanging the movies, of which 5,143 Dutch IPs of which in turn 1,477 (28,7%) are Ziggo IPs and 240 (4,7%) are XS4ALL IPs. However it is unclear if this sample provides an accurate average.

Then, to determine how many people using these ISPs have downloaded from The Pirate Bay they extrapolated the results, using data from AdPlanner (Note that it isn’t very that accurate), which estimates the amount of unique visitors from the Netherlands per month at 500,000. This leads to an estimate of 143,500 Ziggo customers and 23,500 XS4ALL customers that supposedly exchange copyrighted material through TPB. Note that they are extrapolating IPs collected from trackers on torrent downloads with website visits, while they are unrelated.

The judge based on this concurred that 30% of Ziggo customers and 4.5% of XS4ALL customers have recently downloaded illegal material from The Pirate Bay. This is crooked because the torrents could’ve come from someplace else, the material isn’t necessarily copyrighted (Free and open source software, and alike). Plus downloading movies and music both aren’t illegal in the Netherlands, which is completely ignored, partially because BREIN asserted that, even though you can disable uploading, no one actually does this.


January the 11th 2012: XS4ALL has officially announced to appeal the court ruling, their CEO stating the court ruling is “Censorship” and that this is “A dark day in internet history”
January the 12th 2012: Ziggo has also officially announced to appeal the ruling.

Further Reading:

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Dec 31

Electronic Arts, Nintendo and Sony Still Support SOPA

By Xeross Posted in News, Tech

Various “news” sites have reported that EA, Nintendo and Sony have dropped their SOPA support, though they’ve never published a press release about it and they weren’t even on the official list of SOPA supporters, Techdirt explains what caused this error.

So they don’t support SOPA? No, they do support it, as they’re all members of the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) which supports SOPA as can be seen in the official list of supporters (Mirror).

If you want to check whether a tech company is supporting SOPA don’t forget to look at the list of members of the ESA and the BSA (Business Software Alliance) who also support SOPA.

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Dec 29

Hash Algorithm Collision Denial-of-Service Vulnerability, Large Number of Websites Vulnerable

By Xeross Posted in News, Security/Hacking, Tech

A security advisory was released yesterday detailing a denial-of-service vulnerability that most of the web could be affected by.

The vulnerability lies in the hashing algorithms used by a variety of programming languages (including Python, Ruby, PHP and Java). When collisions happens these algorithms will take up large amounts of CPU cycles to deal with them (From what I understand).

To give you an idea of the extent of this problem I’ll quote the PDF linked in the advisory, take for example PHP:

On an i7 core, the 60 seconds take a string of multi-collisions of about 500k. 30 seconds of CPU time can be generated using a string of about 300k. This means that an attacker needs about 70-100kbit/s to keep one i7 core constantly busy. An attacker with a Gigabit connection can keep about 10.000 i7 cores busy.

Or Ruby:

A typical POST size limit in Ruby frameworks is 2 MB, which takes about 6 hours of i7 CPU time to parse. Thus, an attacker with a single 850 bits/s line can keep one i7 core busy. The other way around, an attacker  with a Gigabit connection can keep about 1.000.000 (one million!) i7 cores busy.

This allows someone to take down almost any webserver with (very) limited resources. Possible workarounds are: limiting CPU time, limiting the POST size, or limiting the maximum amount of POST variables.

I’m currently waiting for the first PoCs and exploits to be published and will post an update when I get my hands on one (Which will also confirm if I understand the exploit correctly).

Update: I can see how this will ruin your day

Update 2: Go here for an easy to understand explanation.

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Dec 25

50,000+ Domains Transferred Away From GoDaddy Due To SOPA support

By Xeross Posted in News, Tech

GoDaddy has seen a massive amount of domains being transferred away from them as customers are moving elsewhere because of their support for SOPA. Among the companies transferring are Wikipedia and the Cheezburger Network (Who own over 1000 domains). It all took off when a GoDaddy boycott was started on Reddit. Various other domain registrars are even offering discount codes for anyone transferring to them.

Just today (The 25th of December) the counter is standing on 28,656 domains transferred out as seen on DailyChanges, and the amount just keeps climbing, day after day more and more domains are being transferred away.

GoDaddy has now retracted their public support for SOPA but the damage has been done, not to forget that they helped write SOPA, not just support it. I have no idea how long this will keep going and how many people will move away but it’s gonna hurt (It’s already hurting actually). GoDaddy is even begging for people to stay.

I’m sure more companies will face the wrath of the public because of their SOPA support, and various companies are already retracting their support for it, some companies never even explicitly supported SOPA “they agreed with Floyd Abrams’ analysis of SOPA. That’s it. They didn’t say their firms supported SOPA”.

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Dec 24

Stratfor Rooted

By Xeross Posted in Anon/Etc., Security/Hacking, Tech

Merry #LulzXmas to everyone Stratfor rooted. All your base are belong to us. <3 #Anonymous

This tweet just went out from the @AnonymousIRC Twitter account (First occurance of the tweet I could find), a mirror of the defacement can be found on Zone-H. The Stratfor website is down as I write this.

Stratfor is a large private intelligence corporation having fortune 500 companies and international intelligence agencies as their clients (source). A full list of clients can be found here (Paste has been removed).

Edit: there’s also this:

Over 90,000 Credit cards from LEA, journalists, intelligence community and whitehats leaked and used for over a million dollars in donations

By @AnonymouSabu

So one million dollars from compromised credit cards, from what I can understand of later tweets they only used corp execs credit cards, who wont feel it that hard in their pockets, but not sure if I’m very fond of this action.

The Video Posted

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