Category: Micronationalism

RepubliStats

A few years back, I wrote a quick little PHP program that displays the relative activity of a phpBB forum both numerically and graphically. It’s quite simple, but so effective that it’s used by the administrators of multiple forums to see what’s going on.

After working with Chris this afternoon to update the code, I just wanted to post it here so that anyone who wants it can find it. Thanks to Sell and Dobbs for the troubleshooting help they gave me with this.

RepubliStats v. 1.1.2

[EDIT] Here’s a link to a working version: http://nafticon.org/antistats/

Website update, NZ politics

I’ve taken the time to update the website, changing the template from the old, slightly disgusting looking one to a new, rather spiffy one that works with the blog’s template a little better. Let me know if there are any bugs or missing information.

On another note, it seems Oliver Woods (Olorix), an old buddy from the various incarnations of Antica, is running for a seat as MP in New Zealand! I donated about $50 US to his campaign, and I figured I’d post his blog here too, raise his Google rank a little bit.

Oliver Woods – Auckland Central Candidate

More security woes in Micras

The reason I got into information security was through micronationalism. The hobby claimed to be about politics, diplomacy, and getting along with one another. But that’s mainly because it’s awful hard to attack a country that doesn’t exist in the real world. However, while the countries didn’t exist in reality, their online presence could be wiped off the internet with a well placed SQL injection.

Because of this constant fear, every nation had its own team of experts, working to strengthen the defenses of their own nations, while at the same time developing weapons against other nations. This led to spam cannons, like GoldenEye and Chimera, both Antican examples, that were created solely to spam the target forums with lengthy posts to max out the target server’s storage space. And more recently, a new attack method, that drops all the posts from a forum, essentially wiping out the history of a nation in one fell swoop.

This past month has brought two attacks in relatively rapid succession. The first was that the g00ns rooted invisionfree’s servers. And while it wasn’t a direct attack on a micronation, enough were affected that I was brought in by the Martinos for a damage and risk assessment. And my assessment was that, while their posts are still probably fine (g00ns don’t usually delete data), they should switch to a forum that they can back up as needed. Advice I wish more people had listened to.

This past week, another nation was hit with an attack that wiped their forums clean. And because they were on invisionfree, they had no backups, and no record of any of the work they did. All indications point to another nation, with whom they’d had a tussle recently, as the culprit. What makes this so prevalent is that most micronationalists don’t have the technical skill needed to set up and defend their own forums, and have to rely on sites like invisionfree to provide hosting for them, which means no quick patches, and no regular backups.

I have very fond memories of my days in the hobby, staying up late at night trying to fix a vulnerability that just took out another nation, and watching as GoldenEye takes down another nation’s forums. Things moved pretty fast, and the learning curve was incredibly steep, but at the end of the day, only one of the hundreds of attacks against the website I was defending ever made it through, and even then I had a backup that wasn’t even an hour old to plug back in.

For that reason, a few of my old buddies are turning to me to clean up their messes and help them out. And, being the good natured guy I am (and a little curious about analyzing the attacks), I’ve offered my help. Hopefully this won’t pull me back into that time sink of a hobby…

Slobovia: The most recent attack

I hate Macs

And not just for the usual “Fischer-Price My First Computer” reasons, I had to replace the hard drive in a iBook G4 today. In order to even see the hard drive, I needed to remove the back panel, the keyboard, wireless card, RAM, shimmy open the top, remove parts of the motherboard, then finally a metal sheet over the hard drive. And I’ve got like 13 screws I can’t figure out where to put. The good news, however, is that it works fine, and is installing Leopard as we speak. Scratch that, looks like another hour of fiddling yet to go.

In other news, I’m finally all caught up on House. I’ve been watching the entire back catalouge in my free time, and I’m up to the episode I started watching with Mike last year.  So now I’m on to the next TV series I need to watch, and I don’t know what it is yet, but Mike said he had something for me.

Speaking of Mike, I’m also playing Deus Ex for the first time, and it’s pretty damn good, for something that was released before I owned my first real computer.

IST House meeting tonight about amendments to the Constitution, but other than that, everything seems to be on track for the end of the semester.

Thanksgiving

After my French exam on Thursday, I made a bee-line to Long Island, driving the entire 5 hours in one sitting, just to get there in time to have dinner with Cat. It’s a real pain having a girlfriend that I can only see once or twice every few months, but it’s worth it.

It was nice to be home, with my constant 2 MB/s pipe, free food, and a more private bathroom, but it was still cold as hell. dad apparently has a phobia about turning up the heat.

The most entertaining thing happened on the Friday I was home. I was with Chris and Steven, and we had the sudden craving to play Lord of the Rings Risk. I know, we’re odd. Anyway, we search every toystore we come across for hours, eventually winding up at the Barnes & Noble near the cinema and KB Toys on Central Ave, and in their board game section, we spotted a copy of Settlers of Catan. We argue about whether or not to buy it, then agree to split it 3 ways and take it home.

The next 2 rounds of settlers were the only ones I know of where the players were doing cost/benefit analases of the commodities, and where economics class came screaming to life through Steven’s mind. It was a bit freaky.

Speaking of the Anticans, I’ve also gotten back into the habit of ckecking up on Shireroth. I might get back into that little known hobby I was big in after all.

Anyway, I got back Sunday around 4, and now on Tuesday I’m sick as a dog. And the big meeting for the IST House is tonight.