Backtrack 5 – More how-to stuff

by kriggins on May 12, 2011

in Announcement

For the full disk encryption how-to, you will need to use blkid instead of vol_id and you can use the ext4 filesystem instead of ext3 if you like.

It also appears that a 300MB boot partition will work.

Some are having good luck and some are having problems. Again, a full update will be out some time this weekend. Probably a new how-to for 5 so we can leave the 4 how-to in place.



InfoSec Ramblings has been a one man show since it's inception in 2008.

Side Note: Wow, almost three years. Just about forgot the blog birthday is coming up πŸ™‚

Anyhoo, I have longed toyed with the idea of allowing/looking for folks to do guest posts on InfoSec Ramblings.

This is even better.

I am really excited to introduce you to Jill Van Zelfden, the first official contributor to InfoSec Ramblings. I met Jill through Infosec Mentors where we were paired together.

I'm not going to give much away about her other than to mention that she manages a group of infosec professionals for a managed systems security provider. I feel this gives her a great perspective which she can leverage to help us all learn more.

Her first post will be coming out this afternoon.

You can reach Jill at and she is @JillVann on Twitter.

Stayed tuned.

As always, comments are encouraged below or you can email me at if you prefer.

If you are interested in getting our content regularly, go ahead and subscribe to the RSS feed. You can also subscribe to have posts emailed to you if you prefer.


{ 1 comment }

Hey folks.

I just completed a pretty massive update of the Backtrack 4 Full Disk Encryption How-to.


  • Increased the boot partition to 200MB just to make it an even number :).
  • Removed all references to Backtrack Final.
  • No longer creating a swap partition.
  • Changed the root partition to mount as ext2 instead of ext3.
  • Changed the way we configure the encrypted filesystem for booting.

Removing the swap partition and changing the root partition to mount as ext2 are to increase performance a bit and to reduce unnecessary writes to the drive to extend its life.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments, particularly if you notice any issue, typos or errors with the document.



On May 17th, 2008, I published the first Interesting Bits post on this blog. Since that time, I have pointed out 2400+ items that I thought you might find interesting.

As you may have noticed, the bits posts have been coming less and less frequently and with less and less commentary from me. There is a reason for that which really didn't gel until this past weekend. I was having a very nice diner with my friends Ron Woerner and Hal Pomeranz when, somehow, the topic of the bits posts being sporadic came up. It was at that point that I vocalized what had been at the back of my mind for a while.

The bits posts have become a chore and frankly detrimental to my own continued learning.

How's that you ask?

For the bits posts, I track and skim the posts of over 630 blogs in the information security space. That's a lot of blog posts. It has become a slog to just get through the list which means that I often can't devote enough time to really dig into some of the meatier content that exists out there. That is bad.

I don't know if you have ever experienced this, but saying something out loud that has been buzzing around in the back of your head can really crystallize things. Hence the reason for this post.

I will no longer be doing the Interesting Information Security Bits posts. I am also going to really trim down the number of blogs that I follow so I can concentrate on the content and not just getting through my queue.

However, do not lament the lack of the bits posts. Something new is taking its place, 'What to Read Wednesdays.'

What was that? I didn't hear you...oh...what's the difference between the bits posts and 'What to Read Wednesdays?'

Every Wednesday, I will point you to a blog that I think deserves your attention along with why I think so. As mentioned above, I follow quite a few and you might enjoy some of them too.

Some you will be familiar with, some you might not be.

Finally, I will still point out interesting things now and again. Hopefully, with a little more of my own thoughts included, and the @InfosecRamblins Twitter feed will continue to point to some things that I am reading.

To those who have appreciated the bits posts, thank you for reading. I apologize for taking something away from you. I hope you enjoy the new feature.

To those who were annoyed by the bits post, your welcome πŸ™‚

Look for the first 'What to Read Wednesday' post next week.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments below or via email at


PS - If you know of a blog you think deserves a place in the Wednesday posts, let me know that too.


Move Successful!

by kriggins on October 4, 2010

in Announcement

It looks like everything went smoothly with the move to a new hosting platform. InfoSec Ramblings now lives on a VPS from Linode. BTW - I highly recommend Linode if you are looking for a VPS provider. Their support has been absolutely fabulous.

There may be hiccups as I mess around making some changes I couldn't do on a shared hosting platform.

For those interested, I will be posting how InfoSec Ramblings is setup under the covers in a post in the near future.



InfoSec Ramblings is Moving

by kriggins on October 2, 2010

in Announcement

Hi all.

InfoSec Ramblings is moving to a new home in the very near future, very near beingΒ  tomorrow, October 3rd, most likely. Hopefully the move will be transparent, but things do happen. If things look a little wonky around here for the next few day, you now know why.Β  I will let everybody know when the move is finished.


Photo courtesy: idogcow


Security BSides Kansas City is Friday!

by kriggins on September 15, 2010

in Announcement, Conferences

I have talked about Security BSides conferences before. They are a lot of fun and free. Free is good πŸ™‚

Because they are small conferences, the atmosphere is very conducive to great conversations and interactions with your fellow information security inclined folk.

BSides Kansas City is this Friday the 17th. The line up looks good and, remember, it's FREE.

They do ask that you indicate if you are coming by either updating the page here or by emailing That helps plan for some things.

I'll be there. You should show up and introduce yourself πŸ™‚ I would love to meet some of my readers!



Where Did the IISB Go?

by kriggins on September 9, 2010

in Announcement

Hi folks. As you may have noticed, there has not been an IISB post in the last week or so.

Unfortunately, this is going to continue for a little bit. I am taking a break from the IISB.

There is some other stuff that is taking some of my attention right and I also have some other posts I would like to get out of my head.

The news isn't all bad though. I am not going to leave the one or two of you that read the IISB in the lurch. As you may or may not know, all the links that I include in the IISB get tweeted by @InfosecRamblins, this site's Twitter account. That practice will continue. It is just the daily post with my few words of commentary that will be missing.

But wait, there's more. If you are a RSS fan, you can subscribe to my Delicious IISB feed here.

My apologies if the IISB has become a part of you routine. It will come back, I promise.

As always, if you have something to say,Β  feel free to leave a comment or email me at kriggins _at_ infosecramblings dot com.



It turns out that the install of R1 pretty much uses up close to 8GB, actually about 7, but who's counting. Thanks to Tim who left a comment to this effect.

Anyway, this doesn't leave enough room to do much of anything, including install future updates. For that reason I have increased the minimum drive size to 16 GB for R1 and change the lvcreate command to use '-l 100%FREE' which makes it a bit easier.

This does not affect the how-to that uses persistence.

Backtrack 4 - Bootable USB Thumb Drive with "Full" Disk Encryption



Minor Update to the Backtrack 4 How-tos

by kriggins on August 9, 2010

in Announcement, Tips

Both Backtrack 4 how-tos have had minor updates made. The Full Disk encryption how-to has had the boot partition increased to 120 MB and the USB/Persistent Changes/Nessus how-to has had the FAT partition increased to 2500 MB.

So far these are the only two changes that had to be made. There will be further updates coming in the near future to help with common problems and questions.

Backtrack 4 - Bootable USB Thumb Drive with "Full" Disk Encryption

Backtrack 4 - USB/Persistent Changes/Nessus