Si and Desi Holiday Special 2022

Si: Welcome to the Forensic Focus Podcast. This is a holiday special which will actually, unlike some of the other ones, go out within a few days of the recording, because Desi’s a genius and is going to edit it all, so good man. You can tell that I’m completely unprepared for our new recording platform because I have a photographic screen behind me instead of tidying my study, which I haven’t had time to do. and we can’t blur the background.

But we are hoping to use this new high-resolution platform going forward and Desi and I are just going to have a chat about the year that has passed and the year that is to come. and welcome along. It’s nice to catch up with you again, mate.

Desi: Yeah, it has been a while since our last one. Cause I guess people who listen at home will probably come out on a regular cadence, whereas we record these quite far back and then release them at the moment. So I don’t think we’ve caught up for probably  about a month and a half, two months?

Si: Yeah, it’s been at least a month. Yeah. Over the chat, but properly face to face, it’s nice to see you still.


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Desi: Yeah. And I suppose, talking about the new year, so some small changes to our team is Christa has decided to take a break from podcasting to focus on some of her other interests. So she has a really strong background in kind of journalism.

So hopefully we’ll see a lot more writing come out of Christa in the new year for stuff that she’s had on her books and been really interested in and has wanted to write about for a long time but kind of was  the backbone to this podcast. So definitely a thanks to Christa for building this out and keeping it going and hopefully we can do it justice in the new year.

Si: Huge thanks. And I know that Christa because partially because she’s been spamming Twitter with her new WordPress account. Some of it deliberate, some of it not. but she’s got a new WordPress site that contains all of her writing. So we’ll put a link in the show notes so that you can go and catch up with the stuff that she’s been doing, as well.

Desi: Yeah, definitely. And it’s definitely not goodbye from us. We’re super keen to have Christa on when she’s got some new running up or if she just wants to come and catch up with us on one of our random Fridays where we just kind of talk shit like this and…

Si: “Talk shit like this.” Yeah, it’d be great to have her back.

Desi: Don’t expect much value, especially today because it’s just us lamenting and discussing next year, for sure. But I know on my list of things is I think I need one of those background screens because as you can see I’ve just got shit in the background everywhere.

Si: Yeah, yeah.

Desi: And it’s hard not being able to blow your screen.

Si: Yeah, yeah. This is, I mean, it’s a photographic pop-up screen. I did contemplate briefly buying a proper green screen thing, but then I realized that all it would be would be bright green behind me because we still can’t do anything with it cause it doesn’t allow us to process the video.

Desi: It would have to be in post and we’d get lazy and then you would just have the green screen.

Si: Yeah, yeah. Totally understand that. So, yeah. So that’s on your wishlist for Christmas one photographic popup?

Desi: Yeah. Well, so I’m actually moving, I’m moving states in Australia. so I’m moving from South Australia to Queensland next year in January.

Si: Does that put you into a realistic time zone? That’s the important question.

Desi: No, it moves me. So, this is weird, right? So I’m moving from a state that has daylight savings into a state that doesn’t have daylight savings. So I think right at the moment, Queensland is half an hour behind South Australia, but when it flips then Queensland is half an hour in front of Adelaide.

So it hops over either side by half an hour from what I currently am. It’s super weird and I think there’s only, oh, it’s going to sound bad that I don’t know this, but I think maybe Queensland maybe, no, WA [Western Australia] has it, maybe the Northern Territory doesn’t do it? I’m not sure. I don’t, I definitely know Queensland cause I used to work with people in Queensland so they don’t observe daylight savings at all.

Si: I’d say, I mean, it’s bad enough having a country that spans several time zones, let alone one that, you know, has different rules across the whole thing. I don’t know how you cope, to be honest.

Desi: But it’s even when you have countries or different states that observe the switch for daylight savings at different points of the year. So you have this weird period of a couple of weeks where you’re out by more time and then someone else switches over and then it changes again. And that’s always strange. Cause I think we do it with the UK.

Si: Oh, you’re synchronized with us? My parents live in the Falkland  Islands, so obviously the other side of the world to you, possibly directly actually, but also the opposite side of the world to me straight down. But we switch at some point in the year, it changes from a three-hour time difference to a five-hour time difference to a four-hour time difference within about three weeks, I think. And so yeah, it gets quite confusing. I think I have once phoned my dad at 4:00 AM thinking it was reasonable and it wasn’t. So anyway.

Desi: Yeah. So, besides that, it is on my wishlist, but I have been avoiding purchasing anything at the moment, cause I know shipping timings over Christmas are horrible. And then cancellations and dealing with rerouting shipping and stuff has been, I’ve had to do it for a few things that I’ve bought that there’s been delays due to the pandemic and it still hasn’t been manufactured or ready to ship and I’ve had to contact them and just send everything to my parents’ place because I don’t have any new address that’s going to be a permanent postage address when I moved to Queensland yet. So that’s been a fun exercise of going through my emails and figuring out stuff that I’ve randomly bought that is potentially still going to rock up.

Si: Has yet to arrive.

Desi: Yeah. Someone will get some box of just microprocessors rock up and they’ll be like, “I didn’t order this.” and it’ll just be random of someone who hasn’t ordered their mail.

Si: Yeah. I was checking up on some Kickstarters that I funded ago. And, you know, I can say one of them I think finished in 2018 and is due to deliver sometime soon. The other one was 20 19-2020 and they’re all supposed to be shipping imminently. But yeah, it was a bit of a look on the thing of like, when did I actually pay for these? When the hell are they actually going to turn up? Am I going to have them for Christmasm, kind of things. and the answer is no.

Desi: Christmas 2025, maybe.

Si: Yeah.

Desi: So I guess looking back on the year, I guess I posted a few topics that I tried to pre-plan.

Si: Yeah, no, that’s fair. That’s fair.

Desi: The thing about the podcast, I guess, what was the highlight for you in this last, well, I guess it’s been less than 12 months for us, right? We joined in April?

Si: It has, it has. I mean, the podcast has been an amazing opportunity and thanks to Jamie and Christa for, you know, bringing us in to do this. It’s been great and I have thoroughly enjoyed doing it. And I have to say I think the highlight for me was probably the episode of you and me being left unsupervised. I think that went really well. It’s one of the ones I’ve actually listened back to. I tend not to listen back. I’m terrible at this.

I know theoretically I should and it should improve my public speaking, but all I hear is all of the things that I wish I hadn’t said and I’m way too critical of it. So I tend not to listen back. But I did listen back to that and I did listen back to the one the other day where you put in that beautiful interjection of, “Yeah, what Si said was complete rubbish. And the actual person who said this was…”.

Desi: I think that was the one, cause I was doing the editing for ours for a little while there. And we now have our awesome producer Zoe who’s going to be doing all that for us and helping us book stuff in as well. So, thanks Zoe for that.

Si: Teah, thank you Zoe.

Desi: There was that one where I did the interjection for you. I remember editing that and I think it was just a rough fortnight that all of us had. but there was so much swearing that I needed to cut out of that podcast.

Desi: It was very hard sometimes because it was so quick and then we’d talk about a topic, so I was trying to cut it so that it was hard to notice. So yeah, normally we’re pretty good. The swear words that we use are not too bad. But even in that one, I think Christa dropped a few F bombs, which was surprising because she’s normally the collected one of the three of us.

Si: Yeah. Yeah. I was going to say, I have gradually slipped away, so there are court rules where there’s no swearing in my language. There are student rules where there’s, with permission, limited swearing, and then there’s totally relaxed, which was, I think maybe we need to edge it back into student rules again.

Desi: I think we do all right normally. It’s not too bad.

Si: No, I mean, I think they’re usually expressions of frustration or things they never directed at anyone. And that’s always, for me, the important factor is that. So when I, when I was at school, my English teacher, a guy called Solly, Dr. Solly, he had a degree from Cambridge in Shakespearean Literature, Doctorate from Cambridge in Shakespearean Literature. So, I mean, really, really intelligent guy. But he was ex-merchant Navy, so his opinion was basically that every word is a good word. And he was quite creative in his application of them.

And he was one of my house masters of the boarding school and he would just turn up and I won’t, yeah. I mean it’s, you know, he’d just walk in and go, “What the bloody hell is going on in here?” you know, and various other epithets and associated things. So yeah, my language skills from GCSE onwards were developed by that man, so, you know, I’m not in the best place, I guess. My Shakespeare sucks though, so, you know, some things stuck, other things didn’t.

Desi: You just get tortured by Shakespeare in school and no one really likes it.

Si: Yeah, my daughter just got told that she’s doing Hamlet for her A Levels, so she’s not happy about that.

Desi: I did Romeo and Juliet, which everyone seems to do. And Taming of the Shrew were the two.

Si: Yeah, everyone does Romeo and Juliet. I did that and Macbeth and Julius Caesar.

Desi: Okay.

Si: And I actually like Macbeth. I think it’s a great play. Julius Caesar, not so much, I’ll be honest.

Desi: I think, so going back to the podcast, I think my favorite was probably the first one that we did. So with the three of us I think just because it was something new and exciting and the three of us hadn’t really spoken before that point either. We kind of just decided to jump on and wing it. And it turned out I definitely think we’re improving or I’d like to think that we are. but it was pretty good for our first one, I thought. And that again goes back to I think Christa’s planning and kind of being the glue that held us together right at the start.

Si: And again, all credit to Christa, I think if we hadn’t had her to introduce this into the ways of doing this and structure those early conversations, it would’ve been very, very, very different and very much more challenging. So yeah, definitely she’s going to be missed. Definitely going to be missed. So, yeah. So, what are you looking forward to for the podcast for next year. What are we doing?

Desi: Oh, so I’m really looking forward to make this happen. Get Alex Tilley on again. He did mention to us that he wants to jump on and he’s got a few ideas for some other topics and particularly around logging. There’s a few other people that I have in mind to jump on and do our first kind of non-sponsored panel of a discussion with people which would be really cool. And also, I just hope we continue to grow and there’s definitely a few people that are kind of my idols in the industry. It’s always a challenge though for me coming from the incident response side of the house is kind of getting that forensics or e-discovery or ePrime focus for the podcast.

Because I definitely want to keep it focused oon what people are coming to this podcast for, which I guess is a challenge that you and I face all the time when people are like, “Hey, do you want so and so to come onto the podcast?” And you’re like, “Well, what’s your narrative and how does it fit in with what we cover at Forensic Focus?” because there are thousands of podcasts out there about cyber but it’s kind of like, which niche are you in and what are you sticking to for us is what we’ve got to hit. But what about yourself? What are you looking forward to in 2023?

Si: Well, a couple of things. I mean, that opening up those panels for non-sponsored discussion I think is going to be a really exciting thing that we can do and get some more people on. I’d like to at risk do some perhaps live broadcasts and go live to a studio audience and get some interaction with people going on. I think that would be fun.

Desi: Yeah, that’d be cool.

Si: I’ve bought a little portable, reasonably high-quality digital recorder, because we’re attending conferences and actually I’d quite like to do some effectively outside broadcast stuff. I think that would be quite fun and grab people off the floor and ask them random questions and see where they’re coming from. And in terms of guests, I’ve had the conversation with Dr. Sarah Morris who has at various times in her career done things like forensically examined a washing machine and a garage door. Her skillset is wide and varied and she’s agreed to come on and have a chat with us.

Desi: That sounds really interesting.  the whole incident things of forensics, where it’s, a lot of it’s still just microprocessors that are connected to the internet with not much storage, but what can you get out of it and where’s the data going? Particularly because most of the storage wi;l be in the cloud.

Si: I won’t preempt too much, but the garage door in the conversation I had with her had an astonishingly large amount of storage for something that is a garage door. You know, it was like, this is ridiculous. .

Desi: I mean, where else are you going to put your NAS but in a roller door?

Si: That’s perfect.

Desi: You’re going to want to park your car and stream movies straight away as soon as you’re home. I can see the market appeal. Imagine you have a whole bunch of kids that you don’t like spending time with and you get home from work, you park your car and you’re like, “Ah, I just don’t want to go inside.” But that’s okay because your NAS is in your roller door.

Si: NAS in the roller door, stream it straight to your car like a drive-in movie.

Desi: Yeah, yeah. It’s a niche market.

Si: But it’s a market, you know?

Desi: So what did you have on a list of things, if you’re an a-list person of things to do this year that you know, that you probably still want to do? What you have to do that you’ve had to push till next year?

Si: Oh, so many things. Do you know, on the personal side I got given a camera last year for Christmas and it’s a 4×5, so it’s, I don’t know how much of the screen you can see of me because it’s, well, I can see of myself is different to what I suspect is being recorded, but 4×5, that’s four inches by five inches, you know, that’s the photographic negative at the back. So the camera’s a box camera on the tripod. It’s made by a company called Intrepid. If you’re interested, I’ll put the link in the show notes or I’ll give them to somebody to put into the show notes anyway. And yeah, and, you know, I’ve wanted that, I’ve got that and I’ve got it all and I literally I got it for last Christmas and I haven’t taken a single photograph with it since last Christmas.

So I think I’m going to have to push that into next year because I’m not sure I’m going to get time before this Christmas to do it. I might just force myself to go out and take one so that I could say that I’ve done it before this Christmas.

Desi: That’s it. You just need to start, to take one.

Si: Yeah. Just need to start. Otherwise, I’m not sure. I really need to tidy up my office. I need to rearrange, I need to, there’s that perennial, I have way too much stuff, and I’ve collected huge amounts of stuff and huge amounts of data storage media over the years from forensic cases and things like this. And I just need to, you know, go through and either throw out old wiped discs or put them into some sort of cycle or do something with them because it’s just building up. I literally have, the reason this is up is because there are piles of things behind me that I need to sort out and, but again, it’s going to have to go to 2023 cause I haven’t got time this year.

Desi: Do you ever feel like whenever you clean a space that you’re in, especially home offices, you spend a lot of time in them. Do you ever feel like  when you do a really good thorough clean or you rearrange your room, I always had this feeling as a kid when you’re changing room around, you’re like, “Oh, new room new me.” because it’s  your personal space. And I moved my office around probably at the start of Covid because I bought a new desk, so I was like, “Oh, I’m going to shift everything around, put storage in new places and everything.” And I finished and I was just like, that was super satisfying.

Si: Yeah, yeah. It’s really good when it all finally finishes and you look at it and you think this is the way I had imagined it. And then it degrades over the next six months and ends up back where it was before. I watched a very inspirational YouTube video last night of a guy called Thomas Heaton, who’s a photographer. And he just redid his study, and he made it look beautiful and he’s got sound-deadening panels for podcast recording and YouTube recording and I was looking at thinking, “Oh yeah, that looks great. I should do that.” And then I realized that his room was about five times the size of mine and it’s never going to work; it’s cramped in here, it’s really cramped in here. I can practically touch all the walls by stretching my arms out.

Desi: Yeah.

Si: Yeah, yeah.

Desi: Well talking about cleaning out, I cleaned out all my cables the other day cause I’ve just collected a metric ton of HDMIs over the years cause I could never find them. And I’m like, I’ll just buy 10 off Jcar or wherever. So, I was throwing out all the poor quality ones and I was digging through a whole bunch of stuff and I ended up finding I had about 10 mobile phones just laying around from just over the years that I’ve always kept them. So I’ve got them sitting in a pile and I’m like, I need to donate these. And then I had no intention to do so in the near future. It’ll be right before I leave essentially. But then I was  scrolling through LinkedIn and there was a post about, oh, make sure when you’re cleaning out with your phones that it’s factory-wiped.

And I was like, I definitely know that I’ve done it for the last four, but I just can’t remember on the really old phones whether I’ve done it. So now I’ve got to charge the phones and turn them on, factory wipe them, and then yeah, then get rid of them. just because, I guess we put so much on our, on our phones now and particularly those old ones that the encryption’s know near as good as they would be today. So yeah, it’s just a matter of going through and checking it all, which is just another hassle that I’ve got to add my list. So I could push it to 2023, but I do drive out on the 6th so it’ll be tight, or they just move with me and I do it in Queensland.

Si: Have you seen, there was a guy who messed with Google Maps Traffic by basically what he did is he put a bunch of cell phones into a car then dragged it down the street. Yeah, yeah. You should do that. Just take, take it for a walk, and mess up the traffic.

Desi: I don’t know whether Adelaide has enough traffic but 10 phones would make a difference. I think I’d need a few more to create some kind of traffic jam. But it is funny, the car GPS. So we’ve got a Subaru Outback and I forget the brand of GPS that does it, but it’s this company that essentially does everyone because whether the newer models just run on Android and you have Google Maps in your car. But this car, when it turns into a red light, it tells you that it’s a traffic jam, rather than we’re just stopping at a red light and it’s going to change in 30 seconds. which is always funny cause it pops up with a little warning. But it seems to know because as soon as the light turns red, it only takes two seconds and then the car GPS is like, “Traffic jam ahead” and I’m like, I don’t know who programmed this, but it’s…

Si: Yeah. A: who programmed that? And B: what else is it talking to in the traffic ahead of you that makes it think that?

Desi: Yeah, and it’s funny because  it’ll do it even if you are the only car that’s pulling up to the red light, it’s just like, “Traffic jam” I’m like, “Okay.”

Si: Interesting. We’ll have to get somebody who does car forensics on. I don’t know anyone, but I’m sure there’s somebody out there we can find.

Desi: Yeah, I’m sure there is.

Si: Anybody listening who does car forensics, come and have a talk with us definitely would love to hear from you.

Desi: But in terms of other things for 2023, so always it’s like, I’ll buy a course to do in cyber or I’ll buy,  I’ve still got Michael Basil’s book on extreme privacy. I got halfway through that. I still need to read the rest of it. The most difficult thing I find about that is you can’t get a digital copy of the book. He just doesn’t sell, which is fair enough because it’s a stream of revenue and you’d lose that being an ebook. but it’s so big. So it’s one of those weird,it’s not as tall as an A4, but it’s like the A4 volume.

Si: It’s that size, but the other book. In fact, it’s in the other room.

Desi: Yeah, and it’s just like, you can’t really take that kind of book when you’re on a train to read on a train.

Si: Yeah. It’s a bit uncomfortable.

Desi: When you’re lugging around a book that size all day. So I kind of only read when I’m at home. Yeah, that’s on my list of things to read. I’ve got a reverse engineering course that I bought right at the start of the year and I did the intro lesson and then didn’t really do any more of it. But those kinds of things always roll over, like, three years until I get the motivation to finally do one.

Si: Yeah, that’s fair. I mean, I’ve asked for Christmas for a book on Raspberry Pi or assembly programming, which will roll over into next year without a doubt. But it’s something I’ve always been meaning to do. I mean, I learned to program in C and never really got into assembly. I mean, I’ve done bits of it over time, but actually I quite want to to play with something from bare metal up and I mean that like totally no operating system, just actually, you know, boot, get code running and, you know, implement various things as it goes up.

I mean, I’ve taught operating systems, I’ve taught Linux and I’ve taught it from, you know, boot process through, but I’ve never actually done it myself. And I quite want to have a go at doing that. So that’s on my list for next year is to try and get something to boot. Raspberry Pis are reasonably affordable and you know, should be fairly straightforward.

Desi: Can you program the microprocessors on a Raspberry Pi in assembly? Does it allow it? I suppose it would. There’d be some flash interface that you could use, right?

Si: Yeah. So, I mean, what happens in the Raspberry Pi, you have your SD card, which is effectively the boot disk. So it will go to that and it’ll pull the boot sector from that and that boot sector will then tell it to load the various other stuff. So in fact it’s a standardly formatted FAT 32 well, no, it’s a boot sector, so the, it’s pre-FAT 32 partitions. But you know, that boot sector is read by the BIOS to start with.

So whatever you put into that boot sector will then execute. So you write it to the SD card, put the SD card into the Raspberry Pi, and then hopefully the Raspberry Pi will boot. The trick is figuring out how to get something out of it so that you know that it’s actually done it. Because otherwise, you know, unless you’ve written something to write out to an interface or flash a little light, you have no clue whether it’s actually worked or not. So there’s a bit more to it than that, but yeah, so…

Desi: Yeah, the troubleshooting LED, it was, when I did low-level kind of engineering at uni and that was the first thing that they, you was, you put your microchip in your breadboard, wire everything up, and then you put an LED in and you write some real basic code and just put the LED on one of the output pins and you get it to send to the output to that output pin. And if it turns on, you’re like, “Okay, good. I haven’t blown up any components and it’s working.”

Si: Yeah. So, there is a blinky light on the Raspberry Pi. I will be trying to get that to blink.

Desi:  That’ll be really cool. There are some really cool projects for Raspberry Pi out there these days. I saw, there was  an article that I was reading today or yesterday about IoT, so it’s like the ICS space but with internet connected stuff that’s not quite operational technology. And the article was saying, Arduino is moving into some of that space or something like that. So yeah, that’ll be interesting particularly for stuff that  you may need to control some low-level things and you’re just sticking the Raspberry Pi there to manage it that’s not safety critical or anything. Yeah, you can make a smart home with your Raspberry Pi. That’d be pretty cool.

Si: Yeah. My home’s not very smart at the moment. I have to say Si: Funnily enough, one of the things that I kickstarted was is something called, his brain disappears, it’s an open source Amazon Alexa, basically.

Desi: Oh, okay.

Si: Yeah. I’ll put a link in the show notes afterwards, but yeah, so it’s privacy-focused. So instead of sending all your stuff off to Amazon, it does Mycroft, named after Sherlock Holmes’ brother. So it does all of the processing inside the device and then, so you’re not losing all of that data, in theory, we’ll see when it actually arrives. That will be the smartest thing in the home, apart from the unplugged Alexa in the drawer behind me that I got for testing ages and ages ago.

Desi: Actually, yeah, on a side note, I had a friend over for dinner the other night and we were chatting about something that, what was it? It was something that I’d bought ages and ages ago and I haven’t received emails from this company in years. And I get all the mail to my inbox, including spam cause I like to unsubscribe and block a whole bunch of stuff. And hadn’t heard for ages. And after my friend left a couple hours later I got an email for a special for that item and I was like, “What device was listening?”

So,  I went through my phone because I have an iPhone now, so I was pretty good and I have all the stuff turned off. But we do have a Google Home that sits on the counter and I was like, “I bet it’s the Google Home.” Cause it was a Gmail account as well. So I was like, “I bet it’s listening and sending me specials for stuff that I don’t need.” It’s, I don’t know, unsettling. And now when I move I’m going to get rid of all that.

Si: Yeah. It’s unsettling. I think that’s the thing is that I love convenience. I’m a big fan of convenience and, yeah, anything that makes life easier and more straightforward, huge fan. But yeah, it’s that insidious creepage into private life that I think is concerning for you.

Desi: Yeah. It’s that being eavesdropped on when you’re not expecting it and then not knowing to what extent when they’re just like, “Oh, it’s personalized ads” and all that kind of thing. But then what else are they really doing with that data?

Si: Yeah, absolutely.

Desi: It’s worrying which I find ironic with the US trying to ban TikTok at the moment. cause I’m like, every other American company scrapes data.

Si: Yeah. It’s just because it’s a Chinese company and they don’t want to lose all of that opportunity to make money. That just won’t work anyway. We’ll see.

Desi: So what are you excited for in 2023? Not podcast stuff, maybe it’s a work thing coming up or, you know, take a holiday somewhere…

Si: Holiday, that’d be nice. I haven’t got a holiday coming anywhere. No, I’m hoping to take up a new academic post or two in the coming year. A few things in the fire. So I will let you know when, if and when those happen. But I have high hopes of those coming to fruition in the next year that I’m really excited about. Because as we talked before, you know, there are so many advantages to being able to access university resources as well as the colleagues to have and people to talk to and things. But, you know, back at access to libraries and yep, all of the good stuff and seeing students again. I miss teaching. I’m looking forward to being in the position to do so again.

Desi: Yeah, it is always really good teaching.

Si: Yeah. So that, shooting that 4×5 camera at some point next year. Other than that no, not a lot. Not a lot planned at the moment. You know, good life, life goes on. You know, two children are still at home. So, you know, life is full and busy with children. I say children, he lives with us, but he’s an adult and it’s just convenient for everybody at the moment. So that. And I’m really looking forward to just getting another good year done. I mean, this year’s been good to us, I think, all in all. So yeah, like that. What about yourself? Moving to Adelaide, moving somewhere else. Yeah.

Desi: Yeah. Moving, and definitely part of that. So there’s a good cyber community down here. It’s only small, but I’ve got some really good friends in Brisbane that I’ve worked with before. So I’m keen. I’ve already hit them up and I’m keen to get involved in the community up in Brisbane and especially the more technical side of the community. So there’s always BSides, which is the technical conference, one of the ones that they run in Canberra. So that’s not until September next year. So that’ll be a lot of fun. What else?

I started writing my own blog recently, so I’ve been trying to commit myself to write something every fortnight at least and post that out. So, a lot of it again is just me talking crap or a random shower thought that I’ve had through the week and kind of wanted to write something about it. So not always necessarily cyber-focused. Yeah, just doing more of that stuff, getting settled. Yeah. I think that’s about it.

I think this was the first year for me at least since the pandemic started where it felt like we had a year where I can look back and go, I remember where I was in January and then the 11 months after that, whereas the previous two years you were kind of just, it was this blur of I lost time and I don’t know where everything went, which was hard, I think, for everyone. But yeah, it’s weird when you lose that time.

Si: It hasn’t quite kicked in for me yet. I still, yeah, for this year I still struggle. Throughout this year I’ve still struggled where it’s been, something happened in January or something happened in spring and I don’t know whether it was spring this year, spring last year, or spring the year before. And it’s kind of like I’m hoping next year we will re-straighten that again. But I’m not quite where you are yet. It has been more normal, but historical events are still not a clear timeline for me.

Desi: Yeah. I think for Australia especially, and everyone has such different experiences because I’ve got  friends from China and for them they’re still getting severe lockdowns and they’ve had their protests recently, whereas Australia did that really early on and Melbourne was really locked down for ages, but then it kind of just finished. And especially in SA [South Australia] we had a few small lockdowns, but they weren’t like anywhere else in the world where it was just really bad. But then because they locked down the borders so quickly and had a good containment procedure, the pandemic around the rest of the world was getting really bad with the really bad strains of Covid.

Whereas Australia was kind of like, we’ve got bad numbers, but the deaths aren’t that high. And then they kind of just became this balance of, all right, well we’ve got all these restrictions where you can only have 50% of the people in the workplace, but you can still go to the shops with the mask on.

So it was like this, you kind of reached this balance for a long time. And that was in 2021. And finally now  it’s just accepted and it’s when you get on planes now you notice it a lot because masks aren’t mandatory anymore, but please respect everyone’s choice of what they want to do. And it’s accepted that you don’t always shake hands with people anymore. Like, that’s not a given, because I think for us it’s become a social norm that some people just aren’t comfortable still to kind of shake hands because of it. Because I still know people that get Covid and they have a week off work and have to stay at home and kind of isolate from their family and stuff. But it’s just like an accepted thing now. People are just , “Okay, cool.”

Si: Yeah, my brother-in-law had it last week, actually.

Desi: Yeah, one of my colleagues had it and it was super weird. They were just like, “Oh yeah, I just had Covid.” And it seems like, I don’t know the fear and uncertainty of it now, it just feels like someone’s just like, “Oh, I just had a cold.” But I think the good thing out of it now is when, you probably would’ve noticed it in workplaces before the pandemic, but when people are sick and they still turn up to work and they’re coughing everyone and you’re just like, just go home, don’t get everyone else sick. Whereas now, people that don’t have covid but have a cold will stay home. It’s just, I think people are more respectful of others and not getting sick, which is a good thing.

Si: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I think the fact that everybody had to adjust to this concept of working from home during the lockdowns and stuff now means that, okay, they’ll still expect you to work, but at least they don’t expect you to work from an office while you’re spreading germs. So the idea of sick leave is still a little bit alien that, you know, you should take time off and recover and get your health back.

But the expectation of being there, you know, well, you should be, well, you know, while you’re at death’s door and whether you should be in bed and actually turning up somewhere is no longer the requirement. And so yeah, unless you work for Twitter, in which case you know, that’s a different cat.

Desi: Do they even have a job anymore or is it just sales and Elon Musk?

Si: Yeah, I think that may well be it. I’m impressed how long it’s kept going, actually. I thought it was going to fall over sooner than that, I must admit.

Desi: Yeah. Who knows? It’d be interesting to see what other drama comes out of next year, ccause it seems like it’s always an interesting new story.

Si: There is no, I keep getting surprised at what comes up. I didn’t think more was possible until yesterday when in Germany they arrested a bunch of people for attempting to overthrow the state or for plotting to overthrow the state, they didn’t actually get around attempting to do it, and to install some tenuous prince as the new Head of State. So yeah, that was not on my bingo card for this year of things I was expecting to happen. So yeah, we’ll see some more, you know, major security breaches next year. That’s always a given.

Desi: More Chrome zero days. I feel like I’m updating Chrome every second day at the moment.

Si: Yeah.

Desi: Just one after the other. Maybe I just need to switch browsers.

Si: Oh, just cut the internet off. It’s by far the safest, I’m getting new broadband in a couple of weeks, actually. It’s going from, we’re on 40 mbps at the moment and I’ll be getting gigabit at the end of this month, so on the 19th.

Desi: I’m jealous.

Si: Yeah, I can’t wait. This is going to be fantastic. It’ll be just in time for streaming all that stuff at Christmas.

Desi: Yeah, it gets windy here in Adelaide and my internet cuts out, so I’ll be looking to hopefully get, I don’t know, fiber, they messed up the whole fiber rollout in Australia, so still hit and miss whether you can get it or not, but we’ll see. Your fingers crossed. I guess what’s your, I guess we’ll make this the last one, but what are your hopes and dreams for the podcast in 2023 and beyond? So, I know probably offline we’ve had a lot of chats, but I guess where do you want to see it go?

Si: I mean, I think what I’d like to see is to continue as the regular thing that it has been. I think you and I have both discussed that we enjoy doing this and therefore, you know, the informal discussions of things and yeah, today it doesn’t have a technical topic, but the informal discussions of technical topics or personal things as opposed to sponsored content and sponsored interviews I think is good. I’d really like to continue that on a regular basis. I’m really looking forward to talking to some great people and I’m looking forward to moving potentially into more interactive events.

Either if we do a sort of an online conference or something we’ve talked about previously or yeah, you know, live events where, you know, we can have an audience or some audience participation to come in and you know, ask questions or observe live or whatever. That would be great. Yeah, I’d love to have Christa back, to come and tell us how she’s doing and catch us up on her life and what’s going on with her. That would be wonderful, and getting back people who we’ve talked to who’ve been good friends. That would be wonderful. I’m really excited for next year and going forward. We’re certainly, you know, in it for the long run. I believe the standard is if you do more than eight you have a podcast, anything up to eight episodes and you haven’t done it properly yet, eight or more and you actually have a podcast.

Desi: Yeah, well, I think we’ve both done eight, but have we done eight of these? I’m not even sure.

Si: No, I don’t think we have. I think we’ve probably done about five, actually.

Desi: Yeah, I think you’re right. I think once we get settled in the new year, yeah, the more regular ones and once we find out cadence and figure out whether we can do the live platform to have people, or even if we just had  a Discord server up where people could post chats while we’re doing this live on, I don’t know, even Twitch or something, which would be fun.

Si: Yeah, that would be fun. I’m going to say the other thing I would like at some point is actually to get Jamie on. He has fairly resolutely managed to keep himself in the background of Forensic Focus and of the podcast and you sort of see him crop up. And, you know, I’ve said it before, but people have actually asked me whether he really exists or not because people have never actually done anything other than speak to him on the phone.

Desi: For all the listeners at home, it’s just Si in a wig is: that’s Jamie.

Si: Jamie has the same amount of hair as I do. Having been one of the people who has actually met him, I can assure you he has the same amount of hair as I do. So, I’d love to get him on and actually, you know, it would be great to talk to him about the origins and the background of Forensic Focus because, you know, he set this up and this is a community that’s now been going for tens of years or decades as other people like to call them, and, you know, it’s a resource that a lot of people are aware of and I mean, you are obviously aware of it cause you’re listening to this podcast, people. So, you know, it’d be nice to have him on to explain his actions and justify himself for putting us in this position, basically. So I think that would be fun. We’ll have to get him scheduled in.

Desi: Have a live session and he can explain why he’s tormenting everyone by having us as co-hosts.

Si: Yeah, that’s it. He can answer the questions. Yeah.

Desi: Yeah. I think the other thing that we discussed offline, but, and I had forgotten about it until just now, but one of our community members on LinkedIn was part of a game development. So I’ll post the link in the show notes as well for that, because you can get it on Steam, but I think we were talking about it.

Si: Oh yeah. That was it. I remember this.

Desi: What prompted my mind was Twitch, because we were going to have a go of playing it. Cause it’s like a cyber analyst’s focusing. So not only can you now have a good screen bad screen for your work and your gaming, but you can actually do work as an analyst and then go to your good screen and do more work as an analyst, which is the fun part. So that’ll be cool. I’ll probably tee that up for maybe next year and we’ll do three or four weeks in a row.

Si: Let’s do a gaming episode as well, because this isn’t the first for want of a better word, hacking game or security-focused game. Let’s talk about, because there are others, I’m trying to remember what it was called. I remember playing one years ago.

Desi: So I was chatting to a guy today who I work with. He used to work for Electronic Arts I think in the security space. But yeah, maybe talking to someone about forensics from the gaming industry would be really cool.

Si: I mean, it’s interesting. I did have a request once. I didn’t get the case, but somebody asked me to quote on it, was that the guy wanted to use the fact that he was busy playing FIFA at the time on his PS whatever number it was and thus he couldn’t have been committing the robbery that was somewhere else because he was busy playing FIFA? Could we please show that he was logged in and playing FIFA at this point in time? I think I sent back a response, something along the lines of maybe we could show it was being played, but we sure as hell wouldn’t be able to show it was him playing it. But, you know, unfortunately I never got around to actually doing it, So yeah. I mean, forensics of games could be a fascinating conversation. Yeah.

Desi: You know why you could have proved it because there’s less storage on a PlayStation than there is in a roller door, so…

Si: Yeah. That’s all. Yeah. yeah, so gaming episode, right, we’ll put that in the spreadsheet for future scheduling. I look forward to that one.

Desi: Yeah, definitely. I think that’ll be cool. I think that’d be another good idea for, or if there’s a really interesting individual story, but even maybe a panel of people who have worked to share stories with it would be really cool. But yeah, there’s definitely a lot of cool ideas that  both of us have and even Jamie and all that in the background have got some really cool ideas. So pull it all together and make some really cool content next year. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.

Si: Yeah, it’s going to be good fun. Really good fun.

Desi: Cool. All right, well, do you want to take us out?

Si: All right, I’ll take us out. Oh, thank you very much for coming and listening to us. We hope that you’ve enjoyed this year. We hope that you’ll come and join us again next year for some of the things that we’ve talked about and we’ve got planned. The only thing I think left to say is we wish all of you the very best of the holiday period. Whatever your religious denominations or beliefs, love to you and your family. Take care, keep well, avoid Covid and have a great time. Be nice to each other, be nice to everyone else and we’ll talk to you in the new year.

Desi: Yeah, stay safe, everyone. Don’t drink and drive. Come back in the new year.

Si: Come back in the new year.

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Magnet Forensics' Matt Suiche on the Rise of e-Crime and Info Stealers

Forensic Focus 12th January 2023 3:00 am

Just like your current holiday shopping for last minute presents a lot of the good stuff has gone off the shelves already. You reach to the back and find the toy nobody really wanted but it’s the thought that counts, you stare down at Si and Desi’s Holiday Special 2022 podcast. 

Please join these two as they lament over the year that was, discuss all the things they didn’t do but promise they will do them next year, query whether putting a NAS in the storage of a roller door is a good idea, and finally arrive at what they’re looking forward to bringing you in the new year.

Show Notes:

Arduino PLC IDE - https://docs.arduino.cc/software/plc-ide
Mycroft Mark II (open source Alexa) - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aiforeveryone/mycroft-mark-ii-the-open-voice-assistant
Christa’s new blog - https://christammiller.com/
Si’s holiday reading - https://amzn.to/3iJyGrR
Desi’s holiday reading -  https://inteltechniques.com/
Strange event for the end of the year - https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/25-suspected-members-german-far-right-group-arrested-raids-prosecutors-office-2022-12-07/
Si’s wishful thinking - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXnRgXclLd0
Si’s list to do before the EOY - https://intrepidcamera.co.uk/products/intrepid-4x5-camera
Desi’s list to do before EOY - https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-reset-your-phone-before-you-sell-it/
“Cleaning your office” - https://www.manfrotto.com/uk-en/vintage-collapsible-1-5-x-2-1m-ink-sage-ll-lb5720/
Conference recorder - https://amzn.to/3UBmre5
Desi’s blog - https://www.hardlyadequate.com/

Just like your current holiday shopping for last minute presents a lot of the good stuff has gone off the shelves already. You reach to the back and find the toy nobody really wanted but it’s the thought that counts, you stare down at Si and Desi’s Holiday Special 2022 podcast.

Please join these two as they lament over the year that was, discuss all the things they didn’t do but promise they will do them next year, query whether putting a NAS in the storage of a roller door is a good idea, and finally arrive at what they’re looking forward to bringing you in the new year.

Show Notes:

Arduino PLC IDE - https://docs.arduino.cc/software/plc-ide
Mycroft Mark II (open source Alexa) - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aiforeveryone/mycroft-mark-ii-the-open-voice-assistant
Christa’s new blog - https://christammiller.com/
Si’s holiday reading - https://amzn.to/3iJyGrR
Desi’s holiday reading - https://inteltechniques.com/
Strange event for the end of the year - https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/25-suspected-members-german-far-right-group-arrested-raids-prosecutors-office-2022-12-07/
Si’s wishful thinking - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXnRgXclLd0
Si’s list to do before the EOY - https://intrepidcamera.co.uk/products/intrepid-4x5-camera
Desi’s list to do before EOY - https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-reset-your-phone-before-you-sell-it/
“Cleaning your office” - https://www.manfrotto.com/uk-en/vintage-collapsible-1-5-x-2-1m-ink-sage-ll-lb5720/
Conference recorder - https://amzn.to/3UBmre5
Desi’s blog - https://www.hardlyadequate.com/

YouTube Video UCQajlJPesqmyWJDN52AZI4Q_BhrBg5_sAKo

Si and Desi Holiday Special 2022

Forensic Focus 16th December 2022 12:00 am

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