What is Hacktivism?

Hacktivism is a buzzword nowadays. Hacktivism has gained ground by being employed by hackers who disrupt use of services, website defacement all for the purpose of informing the wider public of their ideologies.

In the recent election in the Philippines, members of a group of hackers gained access of the voter’s database. This was to inform the public of the security risk of the public’s data. This has also gained interest into how election fraud could happen.

Samples of Hacktivism

  • website defacement – The website content has been replaced by messages, images or anything other than the expected content
  • denial-of-service attacks (DoS) – Service of a website cannot be used because all resources is being used up
  • redirects – Website is redirected to a different website
  • website parodies – A website may be created to mimic the original website
  • information theft – information by users are taken by hackers

 What is Website Defacement?

Hackers have been known to disrupt services, erase information and distribute information. Website defacement is another thing that some hackers do.

What is Website Defacement?

Website defacement is an unauthorised changing of content of a website. This may leave the website with a website full of pop-ups, javascript code or images. Most websites are left with messages from the hacker informing them of the reason behind the hack. Some website defacement may also be done by enthusiasts for fun.

Samples of website defacement hacks

How to prevent website defacement

A lot can be done to prevent or at least limit website defacement on your business and/or personal websites.

  • Update your website software regularly – If you are using a open-source software for your website, make sure that you update it regularly. Most open-source software releases security updates on a regular basis.
  • Secure your database from SQL Injection – Make sure that there are no vulnerabilities when accessing data. This is very common issue when developers don’t use proper ways of escaping SQL statements.
  • Check DNS Blacklist database for known IPs
  • Limit Error messages. Giving out too much information can be disastrous
  • Use SSL
  • Use both Server and client side validation on forms – Make sure that you also use server side validation. Having only client-side validation makes your website vulnerable specially when users turn off browser scripts.
  • Secure File and directory permissions – Make sure that files and directories that shouldn’t be updated do not have write permissions.

Hopefully, these will help you to protect your websites from website defacement.

Professional Services

Here are a few services from companies that I have researched to help you with prevention and detection

 Download Streaming Video TS files

Streaming videos are all around us now. Our simple video downloaders cannot download most of them.

Here’s a way to download streaming video without any other software.

Open the site on your browser.

Just open the web page where the video is located. The video shouldn’t be playing yet. We would miss some part of the video if you play it sooner.

Get the source of the video

The source can normally be seen by going through the menu. View > Developer > Developer Tools. If you aren’t on the network tab, press Network. Here you’ll be able to view resources currently being downloaded on your system.

Play the video

You will notice the video being downloaded by your browser. You notice things like this.

https://cdn.yourvideos.com/34243/f34234/bheop1.ts
https://cdn.yourvideos.com/34243/f34234/bheop2.ts
https://cdn.yourvideos.com/34243/f34234/bheop3.ts
https://cdn.yourvideos.com/34243/f34234/bheop4.ts
https://cdn.yourvideos.com/34243/f34234/bheop5.ts

This will load a few seconds at a time.

Right-click and press, Copy Link Address

Open your terminal

Make sure you have wget. Type in the following.

wget -r https://cdn.yourvideos.com/34243/f34234/bheop{1..6}.ts

The above commands will download the ts files. Press Enter and wait for the process to finish. This would have downloaded the files.

Combine the files

Go to the location of the ts files. You might need to get through many folders to get to the location.

cd 34243/f34234/

Type in the following, assuming the filename of your ts files start with bheop1 and end with bheop6

echo 'bheop1'{1..6}.ts | tr " " "\n" > tslist
while read line; do cat $line >> your_new_video.ts; done < tslist

Your finished and combined video would be named your_new_video.ts. It will also be ready for viewing using VLC

Screen shot 2016 06 25 at 5.00.34 am

 Top 5 Text Editors for Programmers

I have been a programmer for about 14 years. Jumping from one programming language to another. More often, jumping from a text editor to another, discovering the best text editor to help me with the speed of development process.

My list does include Windows variations, as well as Linux and Mac ones.

Atom Editor

This is the latest editor that I have been using. It’s speed has increased from what it was. It was so slow that I had to go back to TextMate 2. Now, I love it so much I have built a list of shortcuts for the Atom Editor

Sublime Text Editor

This has to be the one of the most used GUI programming text editor used right now. The reason is the speed and practicality, since you can use it on virtually all of the platforms. A lot of the former TextMate users shifted to Sublime Text due to the speed of releases of the former.

TextMate 2

TextMate 2 is free unlike it’s little brother, TextMate 1. It has dramatically sped up probably because of the help it’s been getting from the number of open-source contributors.

TextMate brings Apple’s approach to operating systems into the world of text editors. By bridging UNIX underpinnings and GUI, TextMate cherry-picks the best of both worlds to the benefit of expert scripters and novice users alike.

PSPad

PSPad is a Windows only editor. It is so versatile and speed is impressive.

PSPad is a freeware programmer’s editor for Microsoft Windows operating systems, useful for people who:
* work with various programming environments
* like highlighted syntax in their source code
* need a small tool with simple controls and the capabilities of a mighty code editor
* are looking for a tool that handles plain text
* want to save time – PSPad offers rich text formatting functions
* need a tool that offers user extension capabilities
* want to save money and still have the functionality of professional products because PSPad is free for commercial and government purposes too

Notepad ++

If you ever come from a Windows environment, you would have definitely handled files through Notepad++.

Notepad++ is a free (as in “free speech” and also as in “free beer”) source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL License.