Remove Exif data from Images in Linux, How to


Images usually contain metadata referred to as exif data. Nowadays this includes your camera or phone name and model. Also the location where the image was taken is also included if the GPS is enabled and you did not turn off geo-tagging.

Here’s how such exif data looks like (excluding location which I have disabled):

exiftool IMG_20171010_223446.jpg

Continue reading


Hack Academy – French Awareness Project on Online Security


Below are 4 interesting videos for the “Hack Academy” raising people’s awareness on the basic techniques “crackers”, rather than “hackers”, use to exploit you.

Continue reading

Purism introduces the “Pure OS” and its “Pure” privacy-respecting laptops


Purism Offers Free (as in Freedom) Laptops (Video)

Purism uses its own OS, PureOS, which is a Debian derivative by way of Ubuntu and other members of the Debian-derivative family, but with no taint of proprietary code. Now imagine all the binaries stripped out of the Linux kernel, making it closer to the FSF ideal of a 100% free operating system than the Linux kernel in use almost everywhere else.

They’re still using a proprietary BIOS, but have people working on a Free one. The main thing, though, is that Purism is working to give you all the privacy and freedom they can — with more coming as they keep working to replace proprietary bits of the OS, BIOS, and hardware drivers with Free Software. Best of all, even if you don’t need a new laptop right now, you can download PureOS and run it on any compatible hardware you already own.

This is something nice to hear. What’s even more appealing is the hardware switches for the microphone/webcam and bluetooth/wireless and the focus on the screen hinges.

PS: The 15″ model doesn’t come with an RJ45 but does come with a usb adapter, as per the website.

Official Website

When power is provided, all hardware components spin up, and load the firmware they have burned onto them, such as the hard drive or solid state drive, the BIOS then loads firmware for additional components, be that the memory controller, system management controller, embedded controller, USB, and/or GPU. At this point the BIOS hands off to a boot loader, Purism uses GRUB, which is a completely free boot loader. A boot loader is the first software program that runs when a computer starts. It is responsible for loading and transferring control to the operating system kernel software, Purism uses a completely free version of Linux. The kernel, in turn, initializes the rest of the operating system, Purism uses a completely free version of GNU. GNU allows for thousands of free software applications to run on top of it, and the distribution that Purism uses to bundle completely free software applications is Trisquel.

Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters [TED talk]

Some important quotes

Now, there’s all kinds of things to say about that mentality, the first of which is that the people who say that, who say that privacy isn’t really important, they don’t actually believe it, and the way you know that they don’t actually believe it is that while they say with their words that privacy doesn’t matter, with their actions, they take all kinds of steps to safeguard their privacy. [eg; Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg]

Now, there’s a reason why privacy is so craved universally and instinctively. It isn’t just a reflexive movement like breathing air or drinking water. The reason is that when we’re in a state where we can be monitored, where we can be watched, our behavior changes dramatically. The range of behavioral options that we consider when we think we’re being watched severely reduce. This is just a fact of human nature that has been recognized in social science and in literature and in religion and in virtually every field of discipline.

society in which people can be monitored at all times is a society that breeds conformity and obedience and submission

What all of these seemingly disparate works recognize, the conclusion that they all reach, is that a society in which people can be monitored at all times is a society that breeds conformity and obedience and submission, which is why every tyrant, the most overt to the most subtle, craves that system. Conversely, even more importantly, it is a realm of privacy, the ability to go somewhere where we can think and reason and interact and speak without the judgemental eyes of others being cast upon us, in which creativity and exploration and dissent exclusively reside, and that is the reason why, when we allow a society to exist in which we’re subject to constant monitoring, we allow the essence of human freedom to be severely crippled.

Update: In early July 2015 it was announced that AshleyMadison, a cheating site, was hacked and data of users has been leaked or is being threatened of being leaked. In 2014, Gmail passwords were also leaked. And in 2013 data of 6 million users were leaked from Facebook. These are just a few examples.

Remember: NOTHING you put online is ever safe, No matter how secure systems are or how smart those are who built it. There will always be smarter people, smarter way, and new tools to de-cripple security systems. EVERYTHING you put online is there to stay.

Recommendations: If you care about the security of your accounts, and want to make them more secure, I sugges you use a password generator and manager software like KeePass and KeePassX or others (choose one that is local; I don’t trust online services like LastPass since they are equally hackable as other services). This way all you have to remember is one password.

For your convenience, use a browser with a password manager and master password like Firefox.

Also make sure to make most of your passwords at least 35-40 characters long (anything less is computationally crackable through brute-force attacks; also see Rainbow table).