Featured Articles

Hardening Guide for phpList
WordPress Multisite on the Darknet (Mercator .onion alias)
Detecting (Malicious) Unicode in GitHub PRs
Continuous Documentation: Hosting Read the Docs on GitHub Pages (2/2)
Introducing BusKill: A Kill Cord for your Laptop
WordPress Profiling with XHProf (Debugging & Optimizing Speed)
previous arrow
next arrow

WordPress Profiling with XHProf (Debugging & Optimizing Speed)

Debugging & Optimizing Wordpress Speed with XHProf

This guide will show you how to generate and view XHProf reports of your WordPress Site.

This is useful so you can drill-down and see exactly how many microseconds each of your scripts and functions (themes & plugins) are running when generating a page -- slowing down your website visitors' page load speed.

Michael Altfield

Hi, I’m Michael Altfield. I write articles about opsec, privacy, and devops ➡

About Michael


. . . → Read More: WordPress Profiling with XHProf (Debugging & Optimizing Speed)

Detecting (Malicious) Unicode in GitHub PRs

Detecting Malicious Unicode in GitHub Pull Requests

This article will describe how you can utilize GitHub Actions to scan user-contributed PRs for unicode and automatically warn you if such commits contain (potentially invisible & malicious) unicode characters.

Why

Last month Trojan Source was published --- which described how malicious unicode characters could make source code appear benign, yet compile to something quite malicious.

Michael Altfield

Hi, I’m Michael Altfield. I write articles about opsec, privacy, and devops ➡

About Michael


. . . → Read More: Detecting (Malicious) Unicode in GitHub PRs

Monitoring Tor .onion Websites (uptime alerts)

Uptime Monitoring of Tor .onion Websites

This article will present a few simple website availability monitoring solutions for tor onion services.

Problem

So you've just setup an Onion Service for your website, but how often do you actually check that it's working? Maybe it's a .onion alias to an existing website, and you usually only check it on the clearnet. What's to prevent the darknet presence of your website from going down for weeks without you noticing?

Indeed, it's important to monitor your .onion websites so that you can discover and fix issues before your customers do. But how? Most of the popular uptime monitoring solutions (pingdom, freshping, statuscake, etc) certainly can't monitor .onion websites.

This guide will enumerate some solutions for monitoring .onion websites, so you get an email alert if your site goes down.

Michael Altfield

Hi, I’m Michael Altfield. I write articles about opsec, privacy, and devops ➡

About Michael


. . . → Read More: Monitoring Tor .onion Websites (uptime alerts)

WordPress Multisite on the Darknet (Mercator .onion alias)

How to use a .onion with Wordpress Multisite

This article will describe how to point a .onion domain at your existing wordpress sites (on wordpress multisite) so that your website will be accessible both on the clearnet and directly on the darknet via a .onion domain.

Intro

There are numerous security benefits for why millions of people use tor every day. Besides the obvious privacy benefits for journalists, activists, cancer patients, etc -- Tor has a fundamentally different approach to encryption (read: it's more secure).

Instead of using the untrustworthy X.509 PKI model, all connections to a v3 .onion address is made to a single pinned certificate that is directly correlated to the domain itself (the domain is just a hash of the public key + some metadata).

Moreover, some of the most secure operating systems send all the user's Internet traffic through the Tor network -- for the ultimate data security & privacy of its users.

In short, your users are much safer communicating to your site using a .onion domain than its clearnet domain.

For all these reasons, I wanted to make all my wordpress sites directly available to tor users. Unfortunately, I found that it's not especially easy to point a .onion domain at
. . . → Read More: WordPress Multisite on the Darknet (Mercator .onion alias)

We're on the Darknet! Visit this site at our tor .onion

Visit this site on our .onion

This website is now accessible on the darknet. And how!

Why

Fun fact: the most popular website on the darknet is facebook. There are hundreds of other popular sites on the darknet, including debian, the CIA, the NYT, the BBC, ProPublica, and--now--michaelaltfield.net.

michaelahgu3sqef5yz3u242nok2uczduq5oxqfkwq646tvjhdnl35id.onion

michaelahgu 3sqef5yz3u2 42nok2uczdu q5oxqfkwq64 6tvjhdnl35i     d.onion

All of these organizations chose to make their websites available over .onion addresses so their website will be accessible from millions of daily tor users without leaving the darknet. Besides the obvious privacy benefits for journalists, activists, cancer patients, etc -- Tor has a fundamentally different approach to encryption (read: it's more secure).

Instead of using the untrustworthy X.509 PKI model, all connections to a v3 .onion address is made to a single pinned certificate that is directly correlated to the domain itself (the domain is just a hash of the public key + some metadata).

Moreover, some of the most secure operating systems send all the user's Internet traffic through the Tor network -- for the ultimate data security & privacy of its users.

In short, your users are much safer communicating to your site using a .onion domain than its clearnet domain.

For all these reasons, I
. . . → Read More: We're on the Darknet! Visit this site at our tor .onion

Continuous Documentation: Hosting Read the Docs on GitHub Pages (2/2)

Continuous Documentation with Read the Docs (2/2)

This post will describe how add translations (i18n), pdf/epub builds, and branch-specific versioned documentation to a Read-the-Docs-themed sphinx site hosted with GitHub Pages and built with GitHub's free CI/CD tools.

This is part two of a two-part series. Before reading this, you should already be familiar with Continuous Documentation: Hosting Read the Docs on GitHub Pages (1/2).

ⓘ Note: If you don't care about how this works and you just want to make a functional repo, you can just fork my 'rtd-github-pages' GitHub repo.

Michael Altfield

Hi, I’m Michael Altfield. I write articles about opsec, privacy, and devops ➡

About Michael


. . . → Read More: Continuous Documentation: Hosting Read the Docs on GitHub Pages (2/2)