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Continuous Documentation: Hosting Read the Docs on GitHub Pages (2/2)
WordPress Multisite on the Darknet (Mercator .onion alias)
Hardening Guide for phpList
Introducing BusKill: A Kill Cord for your Laptop
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Continuous Documentation: Hosting Read the Docs on GitHub Pages (1/2)

Continuous Documentation with Read the Docs (1/2)

This post will describe how to host a sphinx-powered site (using the Read the Docs theme) on your own GitHub Pages site, built with GitHub's free CI/CD tools.

ⓘ 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 (1/2)

Introducing Coviz.org

Projected Future Spread of COVID-10 on Earth (e2a Apr 07)

I woke up on April 2nd to discover that over 1 million people on earth had tested positive for coronavirus. "I couldn't find a website that was extrapolating the COVID-19 dataset, so I decided to build one"

It took over 4 months for COVID-19 to hit 1 million world-wide, and the graph was showing a horrifying exponential growth of cases. When I saw this, a question popped-into my head: when will it hit 2 million? (spoiler: it took only 13 days to go from 1 million to 2 million)

When will it infect 4 million? 8 million? 100 million? 1 billion? 50% of the population on Earth?

I searched-and-searched, but I couldn't find a website that was extrapolating the COVID-19 dataset daily to predict the future spread of the virus, so I decided to build one myself.

Michael Altfield

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

About Michael


. . . → Read More: Introducing Coviz.org

Ephemeral Firefox as a Site-Specific Browser (3/3)

Site-Specific Ephemeral Firefox featured image showing a firewall between the facebook and firefox icons

This article is a part 3/3 of a series describing how to setup an Ephemeral Firefox session as a Site-Specific Browser. The ultimate goal is to be able to have a self-destructing browsing session that can only access a single company's services, such as Google or Facebook.

Part 1/3: Ephemeral Firefox in Ubuntu Part 2/3: Ephemeral Firefox with Extensions Part 3/3: Ephemeral Firefox as a Site-Specific Browser

After setting up the Site-Specific Ephemeral Firefox Browser, you can then blacklist services designated to your Site-Specific browser(s) (such as Google or Facebook) from your main browser. This significantly improves your ability to browse the internet without your activity being tracked by these companies -- leaving your sensitive data vulnerable to being stolen by hackers.

Michael Altfield

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

About Michael


. . . → Read More: Ephemeral Firefox as a Site-Specific Browser (3/3)

Ephemeral Firefox with Extensions (2/3)

icon of ephemeral firefox with icons of popular extensions below it

I recently posted about how to create a sandboxed firefox profile to compartmentalize (and shred) your firefox browsing history in an Ephemeral Firefox session. But so far I've only covered how to create a simple vanilla firefox profile. What if you want your Ephemeral Firefox to include a few basic extensions?

This post will cover how to add extensions to your Ephemeral Firefox profile.

Part 1/3: Ephemeral Firefox in Ubuntu Part 2/3: Ephemeral Firefox with Extensions Part 3/3: Ephemeral Firefox as a Site-Specific Browser Michael Altfield

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

About Michael


. . . → Read More: Ephemeral Firefox with Extensions (2/3)

Ephemeral Firefox in Ubuntu (1/3)

ephemeral firefox

This post will describe how to create an Ephemeral Firefox session. The ultimate goal of an Ephemeral Firefox session is to unlink your browsing sessions day-to-day and reduce tracking via fingerprinting.

Part 1/3: Ephemeral Firefox in Ubuntu Part 2/3: Ephemeral Firefox with Extensions Part 3/3: Ephemeral Firefox as a Site-Specific Browser

This technique can also be used to compartmentalize your internet activity by using the Ephemeral Firefox session as a Site Specific Browser. This can be especially useful for websites that are infamous for tracking users across the internet and selling the data they collect. For example, you can blacklist all facebook domains in your main browser and only use Ephemeral Firefox sessions that have been whitelisted exclusively for facebook domains--effectively compartmentalizing your facebook activity from the rest of your internet activity.

Another great use-case for an Ephemeral Firefox is for public access computers such as those at libraries, hotels, and printing shops.

Michael Altfield

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

About Michael


. . . → Read More: Ephemeral Firefox in Ubuntu (1/3)

Using uBlock Origin to Whitelist

As some mega websites deploy APIs that are used nearly ubiquitously on most of the Internet's websites (I'm looking at you Facebook & Google), I've begun to compartmentalize my browsers to "jail" specific website usage to a single, sandboxed browser (profile). This is sometimes referred to as a Site-Specific Browser (SSB).

Besides making sure that your SSB is isolated in that it cannot access your regular browser's data (a configuration I plan to document in the future), it's essential to block all network traffic from/to your SSB and all websites, except a whitelist. Unfortunately, getting block-all-then-whitelist functionality in uBlock Origin was annoyingly not documented, so I decided to publish it.

If you want uBlock Origin to block all traffic, add the following line to the textbox in your "My filters" tab of uBlock's Dashboard.

*.* Michael Altfield

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

About Michael


. . . → Read More: Using uBlock Origin to Whitelist

Let's Encrypt!

Finally, this website is (only) accessible over https!

Michael Altfield

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

About Michael

tech.michaelaltfield.net/

Browsing without being tracked via Fingerprinting

Your browser aggrigates a *lot* of data about your computer, and it won't hesitate to provide all of this data to a nosy web site. In fact, if a website requests a large dataset of your computer's configuration, concatinates it together, and passes it through a hash function, the resulting hash can be farily unique.

This procedure can be done (and is done) on seperate websites to track users and their activity across multiple websites. If the same procedure [get data, concatenate, hash()] produces the same hash value when done on 2 seperate websites, the website can be fairly certain that you're the same user. This technique for tracking users is known as Browser Fingerprinting.

Just to get an idea of how effective this is, here's an excerpt from the above-linked article:

[The EFF] found that, over their study of around 1 million visits to their study website, 83.6% of the browsers seen had a unique fingerprint; among those with Flash or Java enabled, 94.2%. This does not include cookies!

You can test the uniqueness of your browser's "fingerprint" using this handy EFF tool.

There is a really great document descirbing techniques that could be used to prevent
. . . → Read More: Browsing without being tracked via Fingerprinting

Google Chrome in 64-bit Sabayon Linux

I really should be studying for my stat exam tomorrow, but I was logging into my.ucf to download my lecture notes, and while Blackboard Learning System (the really shitty replacement for WebCT) was stuck in an infinite loading loop (most probably caused by incompetent javascript) I decided to finally get Google Chromium (which apparently has an excellent javascript engine) working on my Sabayon Linux desktop.

Michael Altfield

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

About Michael


. . . → Read More: Google Chrome in 64-bit Sabayon Linux