Zattoo as backup for satellite TV

June 25, 2008

Today is the first semifinal of the EURO 2008 (=soccer – Germany vs Turkey) which is a big deal here in Europe, and today it was a really sunny day. But just 1h before the game starts it started raining strong in my home town together with lightnings. This leaded to a bad reception of my satellite TV. As the internet via ADSL was working without any problems I started searching for a backup solution and I found Zattoo. And I couldn’t believe it. They support Linux, specially (K)Ubuntu! Wow! I downloaded the .deb file for the 3.20 version but it didn’t work I got a

robert@darksun:~$ zattoo_player
(process:9626): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: /build/buildd/glib2.0-2.14.1/gobject/gtype.c:2242: initialization assertion failed, use IA__g_type_init() prior to this function
(process:9626): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_new: assertion `G_TYPE_IS_OBJECT (object_type)' failed
(process:9626): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_ref: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

I searched a little bit in the internet and found out that the 3.11 should work which I downloaded it from here. And yes it worked without any problems. One important side note: Your IP address needs to be in one of the countries for which the service is available. Ah and as I use Kubuntu and not Ubuntu I installed following packages before installing Zattoo.

apt-get install libgtkglext1 libgnome-keyring0 libgnomeui-0 libcurl3 libxul0d libgdk-pixbuf-dev

Do you know what a Host Protected Area (HPA) is?

June 17, 2008

It is sometimes also called Hidden Protected Area and it is an area of your hard disk which is normally not visible for the operating system and therefore the applications. It was first introduced in the ATA-4 standard and is defined in ATA-5 as optional feature which is supported by most modern hard disks. The normal use case of this is for system recovery and the backup of important configuration data.

So why is this security relevant? For law enforcement agencies and forensic experts it is important to detect HPAs and recovery data from it. For one someone could hide some sensitive data in it or there could be evidence or traces if the owner does not know about the HPA.

But it is also important for any business and home user, e.g. if you want to fully override your hard disk you need to make sure you also override the HPA. If you’re a user of a current Linux kernel you’re lucky – the kernel will deactivate (temporary) the HPA during booting and so can override everything without problems.

Here are some links which will help you do detect / remove the HPA from your hard disk:

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