Saturday, June 21, 2014

Do you know who your phone is talking to when you're not looking?

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my gadgets.  It's not enough to have a gadget.  I must know how it works from the inside out, every hidden easter egg from the developers, every possible menu item.  I have had phones that I have rooted, installed custom ROMs, I have left some completely stock.  The same goes for applications for my phone.  I tend to gravitate to android based phones, sorry Apple, no offense, I love your products too.  Over the years I have beta tested many an android app.  some good, some.. well..

All of that to prep for this.

I recently jumped on the #Sophos bandwagon due to work and my general curiosity of learning something new.  What does this mean?  Well for me, its downloading everything I can get my hands on, and Sophos offers loads of free stuff for folks to test their wares.

I installed Sophos UTM 9.2 (the free for home use virtual appliance) on my wifes mac mini since it was the closest to the router and had an extra thunderbolt connection... <She is/was not amused with this but that is a different story>

After the initial setup, turning every setting on, having fun with the kids (captured wifi portals are cool), I finally have the setup in what I would call a stable run condition.

Now we come to the title of  this post.

It became quite clear very quickly that there are WAY too many applications, networks, protocols trying to talk to devices within my network.  Come on Apple, do you *have* to have that many UDP ports to make things happen?  I remember when it was easy enough to put a rule in that said, if my laptop started the conversation, NAT the return requests and allow them through.  Well that works.  What doesn't work is when you have an app that registers you on a service, then who knows what network or port will attempt to send you a push update, or poll your device to see if you are still there.

When it comes to my android phone, I have many apps that I have grown to depend on, these apps pretty much go dormant when I am connected to my Wifi now, then wake up when I turn wifi off or go outside.  I have been going through the logs and making rules to allow the applications and protocols through that I deem worthy but then I came across a few networks that were blacklisted, based out of country, and not so savory.  Taking inventory of my phone I do not see any obvious contenders.  In fact, I recently received a new tablet from my employer and have taken great care to only install corporate-ish type apps that I would use for work purposes only.  But yet, there it is in my firewall log file, unsolicited inbound connection attempts to this device as well.

I will follow up with another post when I find out the culprit, but to all my friends, make sure you are using some kind firewall at home.  Use antivirus/antispyware on EVERY device, yes even your phone.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Obtained a new domain name

Went out today and obtained for the sole purpose of posting my up-to-date résumé.
So if you are so inclined, take a peek.

Phil's Résumé

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hosting your domain on Google services

OK, so some of you may have known this but has been around for a loooooong time.  My buddy Bill and I came up with the name and over the years it has lived in many locations.... (even a gigantor server in my bedroom that sounded like a plane.

Well, as soon as Google started letting other domains host their email services through them I have had Intrasection hosted there.  Better spam protection and better kid protection.  Boy did Joshua Morrison LOOOOOVE to flip that big old red switch.

Well speed up to a few weeks ago, Intrasetion got Google "+" ified.  And all kind of bells and whistles started going off.

Now, from my phone, I can put into my calendar (Pick Phil up from Airport).  I can put in a 30 min warning notification, I can even put an estimated travel time when I invite my lovely wife to the meeting invitation...

Then in a few seconds (since my account is the admin of the domain) I see (in a different color) my wife's calendar entry.  Tap on it, click "Accept" and poof, her phone will remind her to do something that I might forget to ask when I am physically close enough to ask her about it.

Kind of cool I must say....

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Plex Cloud Sync

All the Plexy goodness in the cloud!!!!!  No more dealing with the fact that my home upstream limit buffers too much.  Now I just need to get more cloud space..  Or start the cloud shuffle.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Smart Bus

"Finland's Algorithm-Driven Public Bus"

Reminds me of the phone a ride at Thule...