Published: Wednesday, 16 October 2019 17:02
Written by Ben Tasker
I recently had visibility of a Spamhaus Block List (SBL) listing notification on the basis of malware being detected within a file delivered via HTTP/HTTPS.
As part of the report, they provide the affected URL (for the sake of this post we'll say it's
https://foo.example.com/app.exe) along with details of the investigation they've done.
Ultimately that investigation is done in order to boil back to a set of IPs to add to their list.
Concerningly, this is, literally just
dig +short foo.example.com
Which gives them output of the form
They then run a reverse lookup (using
nslookup) on those IP addresses in order to identify the ISP. The IPs are added to the SBL, and a notification sent to the associated ISP.
In this case, the URL was a legitimate file, though it had been bundled with some software falling under the Possibly Unwanted Application (PUA) category. The point of this post, though, is not to argue about whether it should have been considered worthy of addition.
The issue is that Spamhaus' investigation techniques seem to be stuck in the last century, causing potentially massive collateral damage whilst failing to actually protect against the very file that triggered the listing in the first place.
In case you're wondering why Spamhaus are looking for malware delivery over HTTP/HTTPS, it's because the SBL has URI blocking functionality - when a spam filter (like SpamAssasin) detects a URL in a mail, it can check whether the hosting domain resolves back to an IP in the SBL, and mark as spam if it does (in effect limiting the ability to spread malware via links in email - undoubtedly a nice idea).
Just to note, although they make it difficult to identify how to contact them about this kind of thing, I have attempted to contact Spamhaus about this (also tried via Twitter too).
It also seems only fair (to Spamhaus) to note that I also saw a Netcraft incident related to the same file, and they don't even provide the investigative steps they followed. So not only might Netcraft be falling for the same traps, but there's a lack of transparency preventing issue from being found and highlighted.
Read more ...
Published: Wednesday, 11 December 2019 14:58
Written by Ben Tasker
With the change in weather, I'm having to take painkillers a lot more regularly, which means I can't drink.
I thought, as an option, I'd explore some non-alcoholic spirits - there seems to be quite a market for them, so there must be some good ones out there.
I did have some luck in finding some "gin". However, whilst searching, I stumbled upon "Xachoh Blend No. 7 Non Alcoholic Spirit", which lists the following tasting notes
Xachoh Blend No. 7 has a warm and richly spiced aroma. The prominent flavours of ginger root and blades of mace strike a perfect blend of warmth, spice and a subtle fruitiness. The luxurious aroma of cinnamon quills brings sweetness to the nose and palate, balancing perfectly with saffron & the other spices. Dark crystal malt adds delicious toasted notes and a real depth of flavour, similar to that of a well-aged dark spirit. All of these rich and dark flavours are balanced by a refreshing acidity of sumac on the palate, leaving the way for a long finish and an eagerness for that next sip.
Sounds good eh? As with anything on Amazon, reviews were incredibly mixed, some love it, some hate it.
So, as it sounded good, I took a risk and ordered a bottle.
It arrived this morning:
So having been looking forward to it's arrival, I had a little taste.
It's got a nice and very varied aroma to it. But things go downhill once you get it to your mouth - if it was just a little less watery, I'd probably be looking to add Ribena to it.
Disappointing doesn't cover it, the only trace of flavour it has is a somewhat unpleasant aftertaste. Unfortunately, if you mix it with ginger ale, it transpires that all you get is ginger ale with a horrendous aftertaste.
The answer for why lies on the back label (and in fairness *is* listed on the Amazon listing)
With the exception of a tiny bit of salt, the nutritional information is just 0's. This stuff is literally water with some Barley Malt and a few flavourings.
It's "natural", it Gluten Free, it's vegan, it's... it's fucking shit and it's destined for the drain. Yuck
But, rather than pour a £30 bottle of water down the drain, I thought I'd have a go at improving it first - worst comes to worst I'm just pouring a slightly more expensive bottle of water down the drain, and it's not like I could realistically make it much worse.
As I'm extremely unlikely to try making this again, and there's not a lot of room there for snark, I figured this was better placed here than on my recipes site.
Read more ...