Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to Migrate Your Facebook Account and Data to Google+

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Read it all here:  http://codebutler.github.com/firesheep/

When logging into a website you usually start by submitting your username and password. The server then checks to see if an account matching this information exists and if so, replies back to you with a "cookie" which is used by your browser for all subsequent requests.

  It's extremely common for websites to protect your password by encrypting the initial login, but surprisingly uncommon for websites to encrypt everything else. This leaves the cookie (and the user) vulnerable. HTTP session hijacking (sometimes called "sidejacking") is when an attacker gets a hold of a user's cookie, allowing them to do anything the user can do on a particular website. On an open wireless network, cookies are basically shouted through the air, making these attacks extremely easy.

This is a widely known problem that has been talked about to death, yet very popular websites continue to fail at protecting their users. The only effective fix for this problem is full end-to-end encryption, known on the web as HTTPS or SSL. Facebook is constantly rolling out new "privacy" features in an endless attempt to quell the screams of unhappy users, but what's the point when someone can just take over an account entirely? Twitter forced all third party developers to use OAuth then immediately released (and promoted) a new version of their insecure website. When it comes to user privacy, SSL is the elephant in the room.

Today at Toorcon 12 I announced the release of Firesheep, a Firefox extension designed to demonstrate just how serious this problem is.

After installing the extension you'll see a new sidebar. Connect to any busy open wifi network and click the big "Start Capturing" button. Then wait.

As soon as anyone on the network visits an insecure website known to Firesheep, their name and photo will be displayed:

Double-click on someone, and you're instantly logged in as them.

That's it.

Firesheep is free, open source, and is available now for Mac OS X and Windows. Linux support is on the way.

Websites have a responsibility to protect the people who depend on their services. They've been ignoring this responsibility for too long, and it's time for everyone to demand a more secure web. My hope is that Firesheep will help the users win.                                              

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Missed Orientation? Curtin University Orientation

How university differs to TAFEThings to do:
  1. Become familiar with OASIS (make sure you check the "StartUp" tab - it will provide a great deal of useful information about making a great start at Curtin)
  2. Check you are enrolled in the correct units (check your enrolment advice)
  3. Ensure you have registered for classes via eStudent (within OASIS)
  4. Check out LibGuides for library workshops and tours and to get a head start on developing your research skills, provided by your Library
  5. Find out where your classes will be held
  6. Check your Curtin email address to receive Curtin news and information (via OASIS)
  7. Organise your parking permit or public transport route
  8. Plan your semester timetable
  9. Check Blackboard (via OASIS) and read your Unit Outlines (if your lecturers have chosen to use Blackboard). You will also find lecture notes and tutorial information here.
  10. If you are a new to Curtin Undergraduate student starting your FIRST YEAR and FIRST SEMESTER at Curtin get in touch with your Mentor!
  11. Check out the Curtin Student Guild and their Student Clubs
  12. View the various Orientation seminars that have been iLectured which are applicable to you (see the Orientation Guide for more details):

International students need to also:

  1. Contact your family to let them know you have arrived safely
  2. Find permanent accommodation
  3. Apply online to obtain your Overseas Health Cover card
  4. Open a bank account (this can be done through BankWest or UniCredit)

Higher degree by research students need to also:

  1. Review the information available for students who are new to a postgraduate research degree.
  2. Become familiar with the Guidelines for research students.
  3. Review the information available on preparing the Application for Candidacy.
  4. Register to attend relevant seminars.

Contact Us

If you are concerned about your studies or are not feeling healthy, safe and happy as a student, please contact our new Student Wellbeing Service.