This is part two of a seven blogs series in my quest to open my locked shut fire safe of which the dial combination was unknown. How I got to obtain this safe and why it was locked in the first place, can be read in an earlier blog of mine.
In my previous blog in this current series, Part 1 – Blog Series Description, my motivation behind the blog series was given. In that blog I also outline the structural approach – which is usually followed in (ethical) hacking – to open the safe.
This current blog will first describe how in general to open a safe when the number combination is known. This is called dialing the combination. After this introduction the internals of the safe lock mechanism is described and the number combination will be dialed again but now the state of the lock is inspected at every step of the dialing process so as to get a thorough understanding of the inner workings of the lock.
In this blog I will show how to renew a SSL certificate for an Azure WordPress blog site. When obtaining or renewing a certificate it is necessary to prove ownership of the DNS domain the certificate will be issued for. In my case the domain is blog.ictnsure.nl.
The website I use to get free SSL Certificates is SSLforFree. They offers several ways you can proof domain ownership. One of these is adding a DNS TXT-record with a specific value and I describe this procedure in a previous blog. I found this DNS-record method a little challenging because my DNS provider does not let me adjust the TTL of DNS records; the TTL is hardcoded to 60 minutes. Furthermore, their DNS replication is slow.
Therefore, when a renewal of the certificate was due I decided to take another route namely Manual Verification. With this verification method you must place a specific text-file in the root folder of your blog web site so as to proof ownership of the domain.
So I obtained the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification and to be honest I found the exam to be very different from what I expected after learning the subject matter from the official resources. Consequently I found the exam quite daunting to pass.
But I did pass the exam so let me recap in this blog how I prepared and how I got to pass the exam successfully. I really owe a lot to the people posting their experience and the sources they used to prepare for the exam. Now it is my time to give back to the community. I hope it is of use to you.
I have been running Windows on my MacBook Pro 17″ Mid2010 for as long as I own this machine. It has been running trouble free for most of the time.
In June 2019 Windows 10 Feature Pack 1903 was available for installation on my MacBook. It installed painlessly, the MacBook booted, I entered my credentials and then after 15 seconds or so, just as the Windows Defender icon appeared in the notification area, …. it crashed with a blue screen of death telling me that a WDF violation had occurred!
So I obtained a solid fire safe for free. Nice! The only problem being that the safe was locked shut and the dial combination unknown. How I got to obtain this safe and why it was locked in the first place, can be read in an earlier blog of mine.
This blog series will describe both how a safe lock works (with focus on my particular type of safe which uses a so called direct entry fence lock) and how to open such a safe through a structured process called manipulation. The lock mechanism of a safe is a very interesting topic and understanding the inner workings is essential in successfully discovering the combination number. You kind of have to “see” in your mind how the different components of the lock mechanism are moving when the safe controls are manipulated.
The MacBook Pro 17″ I bought in 2010 is still an amazing machine. Fun fact: it has been mentioned best Windows laptop in its days and I can 100% confirm. It runs Windows very smoothly, still today!
I decided it was time to install a fresh Windows 10 image on this machine and since I store my data in Office 365 SharePoint and I therefore have no data to worry about on this machine I reconned this would be a rather painless exercise to do.