31337 hAx0r strikes overt.org

We are still trying to identify the cracker who defaced peace-loving overt.org several days ago. While we do not have a complete description, we are fairly certain that he or she is an 31337 mAs73r and should be treated as potentially able, as one of our analysts put it “to hack his way out of a paper bag.” The ultra-high assurance security storage system for posting updates to overt (which relies primarily on such techniques as hard-coding passwords into public scripts and choosing hard-to-crack passwords such as the first name of a significant other) was compromised by the networking expert, who used the access to post confidential information about the personal relations of site administrators. Since the cracker went to great lengths to protect his identity and overt.org has a policy against IP logging, details on the attacker are sketchy at best. “We only know that his name is Jonathan Waltz, a resident of Houston, Texas pursuing two degrees at the University of Texas at Austin, with an affinity for creating swank-ass desktops with the gimp. We will have to do further research to determine what, if anything, he ate for breakfast this morning. He is a slippery one.”

Trip website officially worth looking at

We’ve updated the trip map to include more maps and the actual hotels we’re staying at in the cities along the way to Redmond, and I’ve gotten the Picture Uploady ThingyTM working, so we’ll be able to put pictures up from the road. There are already some pictures up in the preparations section, check them out. Also note the convenient link on the sidebar.


I have been working a a picture uploading system for overt. I have finally gotten it working (sort of). For an example check out the fledgling climbing pictures page. I set it up to allow uploading of files from a web browser, and associate a date taken, title, and description with each picture. In the future, everyone (with access) should be able to upload. What fun.

Road trip!

Well, we’re driving to Redmond. We bought a swank digital camera (canon powershot s10) and we plan to document the heck out of the trip. I’ve started a page, and I’ll be developing more content for it as I get the time. Of course, the really fun stuff won’t come until we leave. For now, I’ve only posted the planned route.

Where, oh where are the mirrors?

Here is a PDF of the court order I was sent that scared me enough
to take down my mirror of cp4break. I’m currently working with student judicial services here at UT
to get the mirror back up. I may have to get my own lawyer in order to be able to ask the questions
I need to ask, and since I can’t afford one, the big corporations win again. Sigh.

As you may have noticed, overt.org’s DeCSS mirror has folded along with the cp4break mirror.
This removal is because of action taken to contact my school (ISP) by the MPAA via email. After
they were contacted, my site was and account were disabled until I spoke with a site administrators
here on campus, who reinstated my account on order that I not post DeCSS. I might say to UT’s credit
that while some within the school would support me ideologically, they cannot compete with the legal
barrage fired by the MPAA against the program. I’m breathlessly awaiting a final ruling expected this
summer regarding the legality of DeCSS and its distribution.

You can read more about this and other advocacy issues on the advocacy page.

More banned Stuff!

Australia is notorious for their censorship policies against the public, but even I had trouble beliving this one:

“As a result of blatant abuse of political power, the editors of a student newspaper called Rabelais were prosecuted for publishing this article. It is republished here as an act of civil disobedience and an illustration of the appalling reach of Australia’s censorship system.

To the best of my knowledge this page violates no NSW law, nor is it in violation of Sydney University’s Code of Conduct for content providers. The Rabelais issue was classified before the “uniform national scheme” for publications came into effect, and it was classified ‘Restricted Category 1’ in NSW and ‘Refused Classifiction’ in other states. (If this page were classified ‘Refused Classifcation’ in NSW, then it would be in breach of Sydney University’s Code but would still not be in breach of NSW censorship law, which simply doesn’t cover web sites for most materials – Crime Stopper vigilantes please take note!)

This is just luck, however. Even viewing this page is probably an offence in some states of Australia (e.g. Western Australia) and its publication would be an offence in others (e.g. Victoria). And any new legislation is likely to make it illegal here, too. This article is therefore an important test case online as well as for print publications. I am encouraging mirroring of this page, to display the futility of attempting to ban information which is perfectly legal in other countries.”

You can read more about the article here.

Overt’s mirror is here.