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

More good news for Alexa users in the UK

There is a huge discrepancy between the huge list of Alexa “skills” available in the US, and those available to us using Alexa on the other side of the pond. In encouraging news this week, Amazon looks set to automatically create UK instances of existing US only skills.

Amazon have emailed developers (yes, I registered as a US developer early on) to say that the migration will begin on Feb 16th. Developers can opt out, but unless their skill only makes sense in the US, I don’t see why they would.

As you’d expect, Amazon have a comprehensive FAQ on all this.