System Overlord

A blog about security engineering, research, and general hacking.


The AACS (Advanced Access Content System) is the cartel responsible for the DRM (Digital "Rights" Management) behind HD-DVD disks.  Recently, one of their encryption keys was leaked to the internet.  While I applaud the spreading of this key, it has already been revoked, rendering it somewhat useless.  I am personally quite tired of seeing the continued proliferation of software and technology designed to infringe upon my fair use rights.  I don't understand how stupid the entertainment industry execs have become.

iTunes has DRM, DVDs have DRM, and now HD-DVD and Blu-Ray have been designed AROUND DRM.  There will soon be a shift in the industry, and I, for one, hope the entire industry collapses.  I would love to see the entertainment industry turned upside down, where the end user and content are king.

The continued infringement of fair use must not continue and cannot be sanctioned by our own government.  I encourage all citizens to examine their priorities and work towards an open world, rather than continued restrictions upon what we can and cannot do.

Linux Conference Discounts

As many may know, I'm a moderator over at  We sponsor several conferences, and as a result are able to offer exclusive discounts.

Storage Management

My desktop has a fair amount of storage (~700GB) and a lot of that is in use with multimedia and the like. For example, many of my favorite IPTV shows (Hak.5, DL.TV, etc.) find their home on my desktop computer.

In order to manage this flood of multimedia, I have a jfs filesystem mounted as /multimedia. Today I wanted to import about 10GB of music that "escaped" iTunes on my windows laptop. In doing so, I completely filled my existing /multimedia partition. Ordinarily, that would be a problem, wouldn't it? Not with LVM :)

LVM, or Logical Volume Management, divides hard drive space up into a number of chunks (extents) that can be allocated (on-demand) to given virtual partition. The only downside is that the filesystem on the partition must support resizing. Most filesystems (well, most Linux filesystems) take to resizing larger very well. Some do not shrink as well.

So, to give myself another 20G of multimedia was a simple:

umount /multimedia
lvextend -L220G /dev/MainVG/VideoLV
mount -o resize /multimedia

Imagine trying to expand space on a 200G partition without LVM.  I think most people would have just symlinked in more data, or split the data onto two partitions.

Ubuntu Officially Supported by Dell?

As an interesting continued note to my post about Michael Dell, Fabián Rodríguez, a Senior Ubuntu Support Analyst at Canonical Ltd, is reporting that Ubuntu Linux will be Officially Supported by Dell Computers. Whether this support comes in the form of Canonical Support or in-house at Dell remains to be seen. My guess would be that Dell will be contracting with Canonical to provide the support.

Normally, I wouldn't do this, but "dude, I'm getting a Dell."

Update: has more details, including the specific machines to come preinstalled and ship dates.  Looks pretty solid to me.

Microsoft Employee switches to Linux

A Microsoft employee wondering why he had lost his creativity found a solution: he switched to Linux.  I think this is enlightening on both operating systems and on corporate culture in general.