Raspberry Pi as UniFi Controller

Our last house was big. Or at least, long. Long enough that your average router’s built-in WiFi wouldn’t reach every room properly. Since we moved in to that house in 2013, the wireless network I built predated today’s wonderful collection of mesh-based WiFi systems. The likes of the Netgear Orbi, Linksys Velop and Google Wifi devices didn’t yet exist. So I bought a bunch of Ubiquiti‘s UniFi kit (four access points in total) and spread them through the house.

This setup wasn’t as seamless or quick to set up as these new systems appear to be, but once configured it has been rock solid. The controller for these devices started life as the default install of Ubiquiti’s Java app on a Windows server, then later as a Docker image on a Synology Diskstation. For various reasons (mostly to do with constrained bandwidth) I’m not running that Synology or a powerful permanent server in the new house, but I still wanted a controller for the UniFi kit – especially as I intend to try their USG as a gateway device.

So, what were my options? Continue reading

Using Hashcat to Crack Hashes on Azure

More than one friend recently has had their social media account compromised or stolen. Often this is a consequence of a combination of bad password hygiene and a third party data breach. If you use the same password on multiple sites, and one of those sites suffers a breach, you run the risk that your account on every other site where you reused that password is vulnerable to compromise. As an excuse to try out the new Azure N series VMs with their NVidia GPUs, I found an email I recognised in one of the breaches, and followed it from hash through to brute-forced password to prove the point. Continue reading

Impatience as Impetus: Building Alexa Sonos Integration

I’m impatient. I like new toys and new technologies and I generally don’t want to wait to play with them. We’ve been happy Sonos customers for years now, and Alexa customers since the UK launch. So when Sonos and Amazon announced a partnership to directly integrate the two in August last year, I was cautiously optimistic, albeit impatient to see it working. They promised a beta in 2016 and a launch in early 2017. I didn’t hear anything for the rest of that year, and wondered when we’d get an update on progress… Continue reading