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DEF CON 29 Takeaways (and missing out on a CVE)

by Jamey 0 Comments
DEF CON 29 Takeaways (and missing out on a CVE)

I started attending DEF CON in Las Vegas a few years ago in 2018, so I guess I could be considered a newb in the eyes of The Con, but because I work in the field of cybersecurity, my work would reimburse all expenses, so it was a sweet deal. I instantly fell in love with everything there, and I met some new friends, who I would later discover to be brothers. I was inducted into The Illuminati Party at DEF CON 26, and upon entering the IP Suite the next year at DEF CON 27, when I was met by the big booming voice of, “Welcome Home,” it truly did feel like home.

Last year, because of the pandemic, DEF CON was actually cancelled, and instead we had the first ever DEF CON Safe Mode, which took place entirely online. I missed being around all my hacker friends in person, but it was still a great year. This year, DEF CON 29 was a hybrid of both on-prem and online events, so it was a bit scattered. My workplace is still on a business travel lockdown, and I wasn’t going to make things difficult, so I opted to stay at home and enjoy the virtual side of things, and The Illuminati Party did the same — conducting all of their private talks and events on a private Discord server.

In this post, I will go over some of the high points (and bittersweet points) of DC29.

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Adding a Lock Screen to Signal Desktop

by Jamey 0 Comments
Adding a Lock Screen to Signal Desktop

In this post, I will describe improvement steps that I have tried to make by contributing to the open source Signal Desktop project on GitHub, as well as creating my own application patch for Linux and MacOS.

I have recently been in full CON mode for DEF CON 28 SAFE MODE, which just ended yesterday. This year, all of the festivities took place on Discord and Twitch, and they pulled it off perfectly without a hitch. However, many of us reminisced about years past and the fun had in Las Vegas, which was the only thing missing this year. One of the upsides of this was not having to worry about your laptop or phone traffic being sniffed or getting hacked, as in years past, every precaution was taken — from bringing clean laptops with fresh and disposable Kali installations, to bringing burner phones — and all important communication between friends took place on Signal — the go-to app for private comms.

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How to Backup FreeNAS to Google Drive Using Duplicati

by Jamey 3 Comments
How to Backup FreeNAS to Google Drive Using Duplicati

We all have our own backup solutions, some better than others, but the standard is the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy, which suggests having at least (3) copies of your data (not including the production data itself, with (2) of those copies being stored locally on different hard drives, and (1) copy stored somewhere offsite. Most of us datahoarders and homelabbers have some implementation of this rule in one form or another.

If you are just looking for the tutorial and want to skip through all of my personal backstory bullshit, just scroll on to the end, and don’t complain about it. This is a personal blog, not some Medium article. At the end, I will discuss how to set up incremental, versioned, block-level, encrypted backups to Google Drive on FreeNAS.

Note: the single caveat is that the unlimited storage is only free and unlimited for GSuites for Business accounts that have 5 or more users (otherwise, you will be paying normal Google Drive storage fees).

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How to Restore Your Entire Windows OS and Still Keep Everything Intact When All Else Fails

by Jamey 0 Comments
How to Restore Your Entire Windows OS and Still Keep Everything Intact When All Else Fails

In this tutorial, I will detail the most unorthodox way to restore your entire Windows OS (including installed programs and settings) when you have exhausted all other options.


You can skip ahead if you want to get straight to the instructions, but basically, I had an old Windows 10 Enterprise installation on a laptop that worked perfectly fine, but Shannon‘s laptop’s trackpad had completely stopped working, so I switched out the hard drives with one of my laptops to give her a “new” one, but now I was stuck with a laptop with a broken trackpad. So I had really nice unused laptop running Ubuntu on an M.2 with room for a 2.5″ SSD, but my Windows install was on mSATA. So I started looking into my options.

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This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada

by Jamey 0 Comments
This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada

There has absolutely never been a better time to start reading This Mortal Coil trilogy by Emily Suvada. With COVID-19 threatening the world as we speak, you can really get into this series and hopefully see, with brand new eyes, the very real potential threat that a pandemic such as the fictional Hydra virus could pose against the population of the world.

I have waited a while to review this book, because I didn’t really know where to start. I almost didn’t review it, because it could almost be seen simply as a continuation of This Cruel Design, however, I absolutely understand the need to make it a separate book, which is obvious when you read it.

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