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Blog (tagged #Internet)

Rails 3 on Apache on Ubuntu 10.04

So I was investigating how to run a rails app on my VPS. I needed to use several sources to get little bit's working, so here's the combined instructions. Note that I assume you're starting with a working apache installation.

The Use and Abuse of Multi-Factor Authentication in Consumer Facing Systems

Authentication is the process of proving to a computer (or other system) that you are who you claim to be. There are several methods of doing this, of which the most common is a password.

The Internet Was Designed To Survive a Nuclear Strike

With so much business being conducted over the internet a significant outage could cause issues. For example supermarkets rely on timely and frequent deliveries, if their in store systems are unable to tell their distribution systems what stock they need shelves would rapidly empty. This is why it is wise to keep in mind how reliable the internet is and whether sufficient backup procedures are in place.

Make SSH Hang Higher

Several of the scripts used by the script kiddie varity of crackers assume a large amount about the system(s) they're attacking. Some simple changes to the configuration of SSH make sure that other machines are an easier target, thus making their fruit hang lower than yours. All that needs done is to change the port you use for SSH, so follow these steps to make SSH listen on another port, simply replace <PORT> with whatever number you want to use, for extra piece of mind keep it above 1024. It looks like there's a lot of steps but it can be done in under 2 minutes.

Fire Sheep

If you're ever sitting on an open wifi hot spot, wondering what he people around you are looking at then you need the new FireFox extension FireSheep.

VPS Entropy

Entropy (ie the source of random numbers) is generated by keeping an eye on such things as mouse/keyboard use, hardware interupts. However on VPSs some of this is unavailable, so here's the process for using the bitfolk entropy service.

Facebook and the Ford Pinto

Originally from: Steve's Blog.

Massive Internet Security Upgrade

I was all set to post one of a few 'ready to go' blog posts today when I ventured upon this story - Firms Tackle Security Flaw In Web Addressing System.

Mozilla Plugin Checker

Mozilla (home of FireFox) has provided a method of checking that your browser plugins are upto date. This has been extended to check plugins of other browsers too. Simply visit

VPS Setup Guide

This is intended to be a very basic guide to getting a VPS up and going, it's aimed at the hobbiest who has enough linux knowledge to want to use a VPS but isn't quite sure how to go about getting it up and going. It assumes you'll be using an Ubuntu VPS from bitfolk, if this isn't the case then some of the things in this guide may be slightly off.

Random Stuff

Measured in human terms, the Internet - like the mouse - is approaching middle age. The Web is barely a teenager but, depending on exactly where you start counting from, the Net is nearer forty already. And it's a big machine now, consuming 5 per cent of the world's electricity so that we can send 2 million e-mails per second and click 100 billion times per day on some of its 55 trillion links.

How the Internet Doesn't Work

Senator Ted Stevens trying to explain the internet.