Digital
Brent.com

Great Computer Viruses of the Past

The other day I jumped on YouTube to look up some videos on raspberry pi projects. I was about to finish typing in my search when I noticed one of the recommended videos.

I typically try to avoid even glancing at these videos if I can help it, because they are usually distracting. As a security and privacy enthusiast, I’m not a very big fan of anything that has to do with Google, but in this case I have to admit – the YouTube algorithm knows me well. It knows what I like and it knows what I want to watch, even before I do.

The video caught my eye because it was the only one on the panel that didn’t have a thumbnail of some kind of tiny development board or other equally intricate little circuit board.

Instead, the thumbnail showed an image of a desktop with 3 small windows open to a website featuring three smiley faces and the mantra, “You are an idiot!” displayed lovingly above them.

The title of the video was: Trojan.JS.YouAreAnIdiot

This awoke some dormant memories of high school, when I had managed to contract a similar looking virus to our family’s only working desktop computer, most likely via Kazaa, or LimeWire, or whatever p2p network kids were using at the time to download illegal music, games, and videos. (Not that I ever did anything illegal of course… Obviously…)

After watching the video I started thinking about some of the great computer viruses of the past. As someone who is trying to break in to the information security realm, learning more about the exploits of the past seemed like a worthy detour from my usual routine of tinkering with the raspberry pi for an evening.

I wanted to gain a greater perspective of the evolution of viruses through the ages, so I decided to research some previously popular methods of infection. That’s when I stumbled across The Malware Wiki.

The Malware Wiki contains over 1600 pages of documentation and historical detail about various malware from the past. It’s a great resource to learn about the history of security and hacking. It’s complete with code examples and handy links to definitions of terms you may not know… (Last night I learned what “fork bomb” is.)

I was so excited after discovering this resource that I spent several hours exploring different links and reading about old viruses. I recommend anyone interested in security go check it out. It’s still a work in progress, but the work done so far has been extensive and carefully curated. The site’s look and design could use a little upgrade but I’ve never built anything on Fandom so I’m not sure how limited they are as far as presentation goes. That was my only real critique of the site. Other than that the content is great and there’s a lot that can be learned from historical hackers.

 

Design Inspiration

I collect scraps of print designs and images that inspire or stand out to me. From time to time I will post them here and discuss what aspects of the design I find noteworthy. I just figure this blog is as good a place as any to store my little scraps and images. I’ll also add a collage of all the images from these types of posts in the near future.

I thought I’d start with some interesting packaging designs for various types of beer that caught my eye at the local supermarket here in Utah. I was particularly impressed with the designs from Uinta Brewing.

(more…)

Compete with Me on Duolingo

Duolingo Dolphin

Lying @$$ dolphin.

Guys, I honestly only thrive at learning languages when I have someone to compete against. Duolingo isn’t the best app for learning languages but it’s free and it’s a good place to get started. If you read this blog (I’m looking at you imaginary friends!) then feel free to follow me. I’d love to learn with people instead of on my own.

duolingo.com/digitalbrent

Currently studying: Lé Españish.

Scan Art

floral scan art by Brent Blackwood

“Spring Arrangement” by Me

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of obscure types of art. Obviously my favorite is graffiti and other forms of street art, but lately it seems like people are discovering more and more ways of expressing themselves creatively. You can practically make art out of anything. Some artistic methods that seem to be growing in popularity are: finger painting (check out these paintings by Iris Scott), egg shell carvings, perspective chalk art (3d optical illusions), artsy food, and a virtual smorgasbord of inspirational craft ideas from sites like Pinterest where you never know what sort of little projects you’re going to find.

As the unofficial greatest web designer in the world, my main medium is the internet. Code is my paint. I also indulge myself in the occasional street art, although that’s more for fun than anything and I’m still kind of a noob (graffiti artists call noobs “toys”). Years ago however I discovered a pretty cool form of art. I had mostly forgotten how much fun scanner art can be until I dug out some of my old art. (more…)

Let’s get this party started!

Down the rabbit hole!

I didn’t draw this rabbit.

Hey people! Thanks for visiting my blog and for maybe reading my posts. To all you internet trolls out there, thanks in advance for all the vitriolic comments you’ll undoubtedly send my way. To my loyal fans, I hope I can write something that you’ll find funny, educational, or interesting. If you like what you see, subscribe to my newsletter, rss feed, or follow me on social media.

But enough about you, let’s talk about me! I’m writing this blog in the hope that I will come into contact with people who share my interests, curiosity for life, and craving for more knowledge. The central themes of my blog will be computers and technology, programming and design, and maybe a pinch of circuitry/electronics projects. I also spend a lot of time thinking about existence, science, and faith, so I’ll be posting frequently about that kind of stuff. Other interests such as DIY projects, traveling, food, and music may also become prominent themes on my blog. I plan on starting a political blog (politicalbrent.com) as well, so keep an eye out for that if you’re into politics (a.k.a. – sports for nerds). (more…)