SSH Screencast Series

Well a nice long but fun screencast series is all in the can.  You can find the first episode of eight over at  I spent a good bit of time doing the recording and thanks to Victor for the editing and post production.  By the time the series is over you will know pretty much everything I know about SSH.  At least all the juicy functional parts.  It is done for the target audience of Mac users so it is all about setting it up and tunneling all sorts of traffic through it to protect yourself when on public wifi hotspots or other risky public networks.


Disk Utility – Sparse Image

For those whom prefer the GUI Disk Utility on a Mac. To create the same spare image 5GB file do the following.

  1. Start up Disk Utility from the Applications->Utilities folder
  2. Click the drive to highlight where you want create the image file.
  3. On the menu, click File – New – Blank Disc Image
  4. Change the dialog options to match the below image.  Give it a file name like backup and click create.

New Blank Image
Uploaded with Skitch!


Disc Image – Why not to use a plain Dictionary Word

In the process of playing with backing up to disc images I wanted to play around how to automate the password entry. I may get into why in a future post. Whatever you do, do not use a plain dictionary word to secure your images. Here is why. I based it on the scripts I found at:

Modified and tested. Worked like a champ when I added my chosen password to a dictionary text file of words. In the below example I used a path to where I have a large collection of dictionary files used for password cracking in forensics etc. This is not the fastest thing in the world but it works if the chosen password shows up in the word lists you throw at the image.


for word in $(cat /Volumes/ExternalDrive/Dictionaries/test.txt | grep -v “#”)


echo -n $word | hdiutil attach /Volumes/iPod/Backup/Backup.sparseimage -stdinpass

if [[ $? = 0 ]]


echo “Password found!”

echo $word

exit 0



echo “password not found :(”

exit 1


eTrust r8.1 and Mac

I have been updating installs to r8.1 of eTrust.  I updated it on my Mac OSX Powerbook.  It works just fine on the laptop itself.  One downside is that they have no pest patrol for OSX yet.  So even if you are licensed for ITM you only get antivirus when you install it on your Mac.  But better safe than sorry.  I also have not had success yet getting a Mac client to go into the organization tree in the admin console.  That is a headache if you have a number of Macs and a desire to run antivirus on them.

Something r8.1 did fix for me.  I had very weird alerts coming from one site.  Alerts for every cookie etc.  Very annoying and it forced me to temporarily disable email alerts.   Updating the server acting as the Alert Manager for that site group of clients to r8.1 fixed it though.