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Building a forge

To get better control over the atmosphere in the forge, I have decided to build a blown gas forge based on a design by Tim Zowada. The basic structure is provided by a 10 gallon compressed air tank I picked up from Lowes. Using Tim's forced-air manifold, the forge should easily get up to welding temperature (2300F).

Jon who runs the TemperChi Glass Art Studio is helping with building this thing and already has some cerawool for lining the inside. The Cerawool is going to get covered with a 1/4in layer of Satanite and then with an ITC-100 coating. The forge floor will be made from Bubble Alumina refractory which has a heat rating of up 3300F and is supposed to be very resistant to flux. The inside diameter of the forge will be 8 inches and the length about 12 inches.

If you are interested in making glass beads, you can learn that at the shop, too, as well as welding :-)
Categories: Hacking, News
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Top 10 Malware Sites

A list of the top-10 malware sites found by Google's infrastructure over the last two months is available at the Google Online Security Blog. Gumblar and Martuz are among them as well as googleanalytlcs.net. There certainly have been lots of compromised web servers recently.
Categories: Malware, News, Security, SpyBye
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LEET'09: Large Scale Exploits and Emergent Threats

The 2nd USENIX LEET workshop is going to take place on April 21st in Boston next week. The workshop program looks really interesting. There are a number of really interesting talks; here are just a few:

  • Spamcraft: An Inside Look At Spam Campaign Orchestration
  • A Foray into Conficker's Logic and Rendezvous Points
  • A View on Current Malware Behaviors


Last year's workshop was a blast and I expect that next week is going to be lots of fun, too. It is still possible to register on-site for the workshop.
Categories: Malware, News, Security
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Small Libevent 2.0 Performance Test

In preparation for CodeCon, Nick and I wanted to see how HTTP performance differs between Libevent 1.4 and Libevent 2.0. HTTP is a good test case as it exercises many of the optimized components. Here is a preliminary result.

The libevent HTTP server is serving 200,000 bytes of content for each request. Apache's benchmark tool ab was used to make 15,000 requests with 40 requests happening in parallel.

  • 1.4.10:
    Requests per second: 1450.79 [#/sec] (mean)
  • 2.0:
    Requests per second: 1961.99 [#/sec] (mean)
  • 2.0 (evbuffer_add_reference):
    Requests per second: 3979.31 [#/sec] (mean)
In Libevent 2.0, the evbuffer interface was rewritten to avoid memory copies where possible. This seems to result in a 35% performance improvement. The evbuffer_add_reference() API allows external memory to be associated with an evbuffer and thus avoids another memory copy. This results in about 100% performance increase. In comparison to Libevent 1.4, this is almost 175% faster.

In the meantime, Nick is working on making IOCP available for Windows.
Categories: Hacking, Libevent, News, SpyBye
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WOOT'09 Call For Papers


WOOT is the Workshop on Offensive Technologies. This year, it's being held for the third time and the call for papers just came out. Submissions are solicited for a variety of interesting topics including:

  • Vulnerability research (software auditing, reverse engineering)
  • Exploit techniques and automation
  • Malware design and implementation (rootkits, viruses, bots, worms)

The last two years were a lot of fun and this years organizers are an eclectic bunch of well known folks. If you have anything in the works, go submit it and we will see you at the workshop.
Categories: News, SpyBye, Systrace
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Systrace 1.6g released

This release contains a number of small bug fixes:

- 32-bit compilation has been fixed
- 32-bit policies are no longer created as Linux64 with running on a 64-bit system

The source code can be downloaded here [sig].
Categories: News, Systrace
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