Hacking Wi-Fi with Kali Linux

My home Wi-Fi password has always been rather simple and memorable. It makes it easy to give out to guests, input on devices without keyboards, and remember when needed. I always knew it was a little insecure, but how insecure?

In this post I’ll be showing you how you can put your home WPA2 Wi-Fi network password to the test with free open-source tools and less than £30 worth of hardware.

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Intel Optane 900P SSD – My HomeLab Review

The recently launched Optane 900P solid state drive is Intel’s first consumer storage product to depart from the use of conventional NAND flash and instead utilise Intel’s much newer 3D XPoint technology.

3D XPoint promises higher random I/O performance (up to 550K read IOPS), lower latencies and far better endurance.

In this post I’ll be installing an Intel Optane 900P SSD in my HomeLab and taking a look at its real world performance within a VMware ESXi environment. Most importantly, we’ll see how the added performance translates into real-world improvements with Windows virtual machines.

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Barkly Runtime Malware Defence

Shortly after publishing my previous blog post, I accidentally stumbled upon Barkly. They represent a new breed of security technologies which have departed from traditional signature based detection methods and instead utilise machine learning and behaviour analysis for malware prevention.

At the time, I hadn’t heard of Barkly before. After a quick search online I found no independent reviews or any real exposure within IT communities such as Reddit’s /r/Sysadmin, /r/NetSec or Spiceworks. This needed to change, so I reached out to Barkly for a review copy and they were kind enough to hook me up with a trial.

In this post I’ll be putting Barkly through its paces and seeing how well it performs against a variety of threats, including ransomware, trojans, and exploits.

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Next Gen: Cylance Antivirus Review

CylancePROTECT

About two years ago, I stumbled upon Cylance. They marketed their product, CylancePROTECT, as being ‘next
generation’ security software, utilising artificial intelligence and machine learning to beat malware and other online threats. Instantly I was intrigued. Wanting to know more, I started looking online for community reviews and/or downloadable trials. Unfortunately neither seemed to exist, so I put a bookmark in my browser and decided to return again another day.

Fast track to today, and things have changed. There’s been a public AMA on RedditNSS Labs and AV-TEST have tested the product, and best of all, it can now be purchased for use on individual PCs via MalwareManaged.

In this blog post I’m going to be testing the security effectiveness of Cylance PROTECT, and putting it head to head with other competing products from TrendMicro, ESET, Sophos, Webroot and Malwarebytes.

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Azure Server Management Tools

Even though they’ve been out in preview for almost a year, I only recently found out about Azure Server Management Tools! In essence, it’s a light version of Microsoft’s ‘Server Manager’ ported to the Azure web management GUI.

If you have a hybrid cloud deployment to Azure, or are looking for ways to manage on-premise Windows VM’s (including Nano), this tool could be for you.

In this quick guide, I’m going to show you how to setup a monitoring in Azure, installing the gateway agent, and some use scenarios.

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Installing Hyper-V Nano server to SD Card

Hyper-V Nano server is Microsoft’s true answer to VMware’s ESXi hypervisor. It weighs in at a tiny 500MB (approx) disk footprint and completely cuts out any sort of GUI, instead solely relying on remote management.

This really is the future of the Windows Server ecosystem: significantly reduced attack surface (92% fewer ‘critical’ vulnerabilities), scriptable PowerShell remote management, and a tiny disk footprint.

In this post I’m going to detail the steps I followed to setup a Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Nano server image, and install it to the internal SD card of my home lab server, a HP ProLiant DL360 Gen8.

Prerequisites

Before getting started, you’re going to need a few things.:

  • Windows Server 2016 ISO image
  • Windows 10 ADK (link)
  • Nano Server Image Builder Tool (link)
  • USB Memory stick
  • 16GB SD Card

The image builder tool will need direct access to a USB flash disk, so this needs to be done on a physical Windows PC or a Mac running parallels.

Summary

This guide is going to be in three main parts. Building our custom Nano Server image, then onto generating the installation ISO/USB flash drive based on WinPE, and finally installing to the actual SD card.

Once we have generated a working installation USB drive or ISO, you can use this over and over again to easily install Nano Server.

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Fixing my Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite

For the price-to-performance ratio, you can’t really beat Ubiquiti. Over the past couple of years they’ve been releasing some fantastic products which are clearly aiming to disrupt the ‘enterprise’ market.

One downfall, however, can be their quality. Prior to purchasing the EdgeRouter, I had a UAP-LR, which unfortunately started exhibiting strange performance issues after about 6 months. Luckily, Ubiquiti support were very helpful and organised for me to return the defective unit and then upgrade to a UAP-AC-PRO (which is fantastic might I add).

Just recently, my EdgeRouter Lite locked up and completely stopped responding. Up until this point the device had been rock-solid, with no reboots for well over 6 months. Having Googled the problem, I certainly wasn’t alone with my issue, and without a warranty I decided to take matters into my own hands.

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