I.T. Security and Linux Administration


October 29, 2012  7:28 PM

Window Manager Review: Awesome

Eric Hansen Eric Hansen Profile: Eric Hansen

I don’t have a lot of experience with many window/desktop managers (i.e.: KDE, Gnome, e17, etc…).  However, one I have loved using, especially on my netbook, has been Awesome (http://awesome.naquadah.org/).  There aren’t that many tile-window managers out there, and if they are they’re often overlooked with the bigger-game ones.  What drew me to Awesome originally, though, is that it eliminates around 90-99% of the mouse use, so you can essentially operate every aspect of the window manager with just your keyboard.

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October 29, 2012  11:37 AM

[Python] Check to see if a number passes as a credit card

Eric Hansen Eric Hansen Profile: Eric Hansen

Last month I went over a series of articles on how to use Balanced Payments to handle credit card processing in Python.  This time, continuing on with the credit card processing, I’m going to provide a small script that will show you how to validate a number as a credit card number.

This can’t be used to buy something with false credit card information, but was a fun little side project I decided to work on, and thought I would share.

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September 30, 2012  8:56 PM

[Python] Processing Credit Cards Part 5 (Viewing Transactions)

Eric Hansen Eric Hansen Profile: Eric Hansen

After being able to complete transactions, the customer service aspect of this begins.  Now you have to be able to view transactions and all the details that come along with it.

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September 30, 2012  2:43 PM

[Python] Processing Credit Cards Part 4 (Charging the Card)

Eric Hansen Eric Hansen Profile: Eric Hansen

Now that we can add users to our marketplace and store their credit cards for use to purchase things, lets make the magic happen!  This will be a shorter tutorial than most but still beneficial (what’s the point of processing credit cards if we don’t want money, right?).

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September 30, 2012  1:03 PM

[Python] Processing Credit Cards Part 3 (Filtering Data)

Eric Hansen Eric Hansen Profile: Eric Hansen

To continue with my series of processing cards, we covered how to add clients and credit cards last time.  This time, we’re going to cover searching Balanced for various information and filtering data.

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September 24, 2012  2:34 PM

[Python] Processing Credit Cards Part 2 (Add A Client)

Eric Hansen Eric Hansen Profile: Eric Hansen

In my previous article I wrote an introduction about Balanced Payments (BP) and why I chose them to handle credit card processing.  This time, I’m going to go over how to add a client (or buyer) to your marketplace.

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September 24, 2012  1:14 PM

[Python] Processing Credit Cards Part 1 (Intro)

Eric Hansen Eric Hansen Profile: Eric Hansen

There’s a few solutions out there for handling credit card payments without dealing with the burden of PCI compliance.  When you think about it, there’s Square, PayPal, Google Checkout, etc…  While these solutions are fine, typically they either don’t offer an API so you can integrate with them on your own level, or they don’t offer fine-grain control over how information is handled.  This is where a semi-new kid on the block comes in by the name of Balanced Payments.

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August 31, 2012  5:50 PM

Skype and Free Software Purists

Eric Hansen Eric Hansen Profile: Eric Hansen

LinuxBSDos.com recently posted an article talking about Skype and it’s usage for law enforcement.  While the article as a whole is interesting to read and adds a non-biased approach to what can be easily considered a sensitive topic (at least in the Linux community), there’s some points that should be pointed out:

Skype was never really developed for Linux.  Yes, it has had a Linux binary, even before Microsoft bought them out.  But it was so far behind the Windows client it wasn’t even worth really using if you wanted an actual VoIP client.  The only saving grace for Skype on Linux is that it was closed-source, so you couldn’t easily implement the protocol in something like Ekiga.

The term ‘free software’ is a bit of misconception in the article (and possibly the community).  To say Microsoft is not a free software company is a lie to most people, as Microsoft has released software that is, in fact, free (Microsoft Essentials is probably one of the best anti-virus programs for Windows machines).  While I know that is not the intent in making such a point, that is the first though that comes to mind.

It seems more than anything that “bashing” or nonconstructive criticizing Microsoft (and the like) is either still the cool thing to do, or people who will not let the pat go.  Back in the day, yeah, Microsoft was a thorn in the side of the open source and free software communities.  However, over the years (especially since Bill Gates stepped down) they have really changed their focus.  But why is there still all of this hate and dislike towards the company?  What does it even amount to?  Making a claim that Microsoft is the root of all evil is far from the truth, and the title should really be given to a company such as Apple (the lawsuit with Samsung really solidified that to me).

Skype and Microsoft are not the only ones to provide overly-sensitive information to law enforcement like this.  There’s not many details on the LinuxBSDos website about what it entails, but it’s really no different than countless phone carriers in the States, where they store the information for years.  While a search warrant is required to obtain such information, the carriers still comply with law enforcement on such matters.


August 31, 2012  5:14 PM

Python: Requests and fetching parts of data

Eric Hansen Eric Hansen Profile: Eric Hansen

Another Python tip for you.  In using the “Requests’ module, it allows you to iterate through content n bytes at a time.  This is quite useful when you’re dealing with large amounts of data per request (such as downloading 2GB files), as if you just call request.content it will store all the data into memory.  However, in the newest release of Requests (0.13.9 at the time of this writing), the functions iter_content() and iter_lines() (both which do about the same thing) do not work as expected out of the box.

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August 30, 2012  1:43 PM

Python: Verify SSLv2 Is Not Supported

Eric Hansen Eric Hansen Profile: Eric Hansen

There are two versions of SSL that Python can use, v2 and v3, and it just depends on what OpenSSL supports when Python is built.  The latest builds of OpenSSL remove support for SSLv2 unless you explicitly tell it to keep such a thing, but with the security risks involved in SSLv2 it’s usually never a good idea to keep it.  As such, several Linux distributions have removed the support of SSLv2 in favor of the more (but still vulnerable) SSLv3.  There are still some systems, however, that do support SSLv2 in their default binary packages, such as Arch Linux.

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