The North Bay Linux Users’ Group is a computer users serving the San Francisco North Bay and surrounding areas.
We strive to promote Linux, Free Software, Open Source, open standards, and to generally have a good time by hosting social events that educate, allow members to share ideas and knowledge and to build friendships.
We hold regular meetings on the second Tuesday of each month with a selected topic presented by a guest speaker.
Meetings and membership are free and open to the public.
Please sign up for the announce mailing list to receive notifications of upcoming events, or join us on the talk mailing list or in IRC to get help with Linux.
Having a trustworthy boot process is the foundation of the rest of your
system’s security. If your BIOS, kernel, or initrd have been tampered with,
an attacker can hide their backdoor from the rest of the system. This talk
will discuss the security threats against the boot process and briefly
cover some other approaches to protect against boot-time attacks but the
talk will primarily focus on Heads, an open source project that provides
tamper-evident boot. I will discuss how Heads works, how it differs from
other secure boot approaches, and demonstrate how it protects against tampering.
Unless there are security concerns Allan Cecil will stream the
talk at https://twitch.tv/dwangoAC — see you there either in person or virtually!
Are you frustrated with the model/router/switch your ISP provides? Curious what your options are to improve performance or regain control? NBLUG will be holding a panel discussion about home networking, focusing on the humble router. We have representatives of several options:
Improving existing hardware by flashing OpenWRT or similar
Building your own router from an old PC or single-board computer
Commercial products aimed at IT professionals
We expect a wide-ranging discussion of the pros and cons of each of these approaches, touching on the effort required, security implications, and flexibility of each option. Questions from the audience are welcome.
It’s time for another GPG key signing. We had one in May 2003 & August 2014.
The point of this is to create a web of trust. By signing someone’s
public key, you state that you have checked that the person that uses a
certain keypair, is who he says he is and really is in control of the
private key. This way a complete network of people who trust each other
can be created. This network is called the strongly connected set.
Information about it can be found at http://pgp.cs.uu.nl/
Before the meeting:
Generate a public/private keypair with the gpg --gen-key
command (accept the defaults), see man gpg for more info.
Upload your key to a keyserver:
gpg --send-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com
Print out the key fingerprint with gpg --fingerprint
Also include your full name, email address, and Key ID#.
Bring this to the meeting,
and optionally make extra copies to hand out.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the fingerprint, email address, full
name, and Key ID. I’ll have a list of everyone’s info to hand out.
During the meeting:
Verify your GPG key fingerprint on the list I hand out and
verify your identity (with photo ID).
After the meeting:
Download the all of the keys for the fingerprints verified at the meeting
With more and more information coming out about how insecure nearly
every computer is, come find out how to make your computer use just a
bit more secure…
In this presentation, Robert will go over how to setup and use a Yubikey
to store PGP keys and PKI certs such that without physical access theft
of the keys is just about impossible, and even difficult with physical access.
Other security enhancements like hardware password stores (Mooltipass)
and air-gapped machines will be covered. Further, I’m sure there will be
discussion of the recently disclosed Meltdown and Specter attacks.
Chromebooks and Chromeboxes are cheap, easy to use, and pretty secure; but after a while the shortcomings of Chrome OS get annoying and I want my Linux.
Crouton is a script which installs Debian, Kali, or Ubuntu Linux into a chroot container that runs under Chrome OS.
It’s easy to install, and it works great.
You’ve probably heard of the mythical “Year of the Linux Desktop” for quite some time by now with the year seemingly always just around the corner. With Linux just now crossing the 3% install base threshold we may not be “there” yet but that’s not to say there aren’t some great companies out there making Linux-specific hardware. Case in point is the topic of this talk - System76 (http://system76.com) ships laptops in a range of sizes and configurations with Linux preloaded.
In this talk, I’ll demonstrate a new System76 Oryx Pro laptop and show off the current Out-Of-Box experience as well as their plans for their own distribution named Pop!_OS which is now in development. I’ll talk about what works well with their current software loadout and areas that still need improvement. I’ll also give an overview of the current state of driver support and touch on how that support dictated the hardware build of the laptop. I’ll leave plenty of time at the end for everyone to get some hands-on time as some things (such as what the keyboard and button layout feels like) can’t be demonstrated well from a projector.
Have you ever wondered what is clogging your Internet connection? Or if
you ever use (or get) the bandwidth you pay for? The best way to know is
This presentation will discuss how to retrieve data from sources ranging
from Linux hosts to network and IoT devices using collectd, then storing
and graphing the data using InfluxDB and Grafana. The intended audience
is technically-inclined home users and system administrators.
Most of what we’ve been told over the years about what makes a good
password has been wrong, so it’s no surprise most people pick bad
passwords. This talk will cover the history of password policy and password
cracking starting from the days when Richard Stallman hacked the passwords
forced on his MIT computer lab because he considered passwords an
authoritarian method of control. Next I’ll discuss the golden days of
password guessing featured prominently in movies like Hackers and WarGames.
Then I’ll move to the tech boom and the introduction of draconian IT
policies like password rotation and password complexity and the dirty
little leet-speak password secrets they led to. As we get closer to the
modern day I’ll discuss the “correct horse battery staple” password
renaissance and more modern approaches to password cracking spawned by
tools like oclhashcat and giant password databases dumps like the RockYou hack.
I’ll finish up with modern attempts to fix the password auth problem such
as new approaches to secure password generation in password managers or
schemes such as diceware as well as cover password auth reinforcements like
the different forms of 2FA (including U2F) and Facebook’s new approach to
“I forgot my password” workflows. By the end everyone should have plenty of
ammunition to take back to their IT department and get rid of those
horrible password policies.
Description: Let’s Encrypt is a way for anyone to enable TLS (as in, HTTPS) support to a webserver at no cost.
However, there are many security considerations involved with everything from certificate renewal to safe handling of the various files involved.
In this talk and live demo I’ll cover how to create a reverse proxy using the nginx webserver that simultaneously allows multiple webservers to exist at one IP address and show how isolating Let’s Encrypt to a different system increases security.
The talk will also cover more secure (and less risky) methods of automatic key renewal than the official, somewhat invasive renewal tool.