Automating VirtualBox Snapshots

Pinterest-AutomationI depend a lot upon VirtualBox for my security-related research and testing. That being the case I make a lot of changes to my VirtualBox VM’s and losting a given state and not being able to rollback to last known good state would be very bad. Yes, you can take snapshots manually via the GUI or even by the means of the CLI. When you have over 20 VM’s that you manage this can be pain in the butt.

This is where scripting comes in, so I built some simple Bash scripts to automate this process and have it run hourly via Cron.

The first script simply outputs to STDOUT a list of all the VirtualBox VM’s in the system:

vboxmanage list vms 

This will simply produce the name and registration number of each VM you have defined on the system.

Now to automate the snapshot process we simply craft something like:

for i in `vmlist | awk '{print $1}' | perl -pi.orig -e 's/\"//g'`
   do
      echo "Creating snapshot for $i"
      vboxmanage snapshot $i take $i-`date +%Y%m%d%H%M%S`
   done

This will create a snapshot for each VM with the snapshot name of each VM followed by a date/time stamp. Put this script in your crontab and your good to go.

Do We Now Need to License Digital Sermons?

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Christianity Today has an article that expounds T.D. Jakes decison to file a lawsuit against a rapper that has referenced a portion of one of his sermons. To quote the justification for this:

“The “Holy Ghost” remix by Jeezy featuring Kendrick Lamar was produced without the knowledge or consent of T.D. Jakes, TDJ Enterprises, Dexterity Music, or its associated companies. We are taking the necessary legal actions to stop the unauthorized use of T.D. Jakes’ intellectual property.”

It will be interesting how the case actually works out in the courts and if it goes in Mr. Jakes favor, this could set a dangerous precedent for DRM and in particular for SermonAudio. I think an important point of reference is that T.D. Jakes does indeed consider his sermons intellectual property and that it’s not to be used without some form of royalty to be paid out. This is disturbing as we are instructed not to peddle the Word of God for profit:

2 Cor 2:17: "For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God;
but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ."

I would exhort pastors everywhere if your going to license your digital sermons, please use the GPLV3 since as we have freely received, we should freely give.

Hope I don’t get sued over this blog post.

Assurance is not for Arminians

I have been reading through Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth and the book has been focusing a lot on the doctrine of assurance and thought I would share some tid bits.

“This precious ruth thus proved, looks sourly and wishly upon all those that affirm that believers cannot in this life attain unto a certain well-grounded assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness, as papists and Arminians; all know that know their writings and teachings, that they are in arms against this Christ-exalting, and soul-cheering doctrine of assurance. ‘I know no such thing as assurance of heaven in this life’, saith Grevinchovius the Arminian. Assurance is a pearl that they trample under feet; it is a beam of heaven that hath so much light, brightness, and shining glory in it, that their blear-eyes cannot behold it.”

“Arminians are not ashamed to say, that God may crown a man one hour, and uncrown him in the next.”

So we see in this excerpt from Mr. Brooks work that what the Arminian professes is actually antithetical to the gospel and brings if not bad news, then most certainly questionable news. From this we can see why the Roman Catholic church places such emphasis on purgatory; they have no hope of assurance without a meritorious work of penance that cannot ever be met since only Christ was sinless to pay the offenses against an infinite God would take an infinite amount of time to satisfy and that would never bet met and hence no hope at all.

What saith the scripture? In John 10:29, Christ says, “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

Notice that Christ assures the believer that salvation is not dependent upon the believer in that God’s electing purposes take precedence over man’s efforts to earn salvation. This does not make man an autonomous robot requiring no action on his part; it just means that God’s grace is sufficient to secure the believers position in Christ.

Let the reader consider.

Am I Evil?

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“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5 (KJV)

 

Before I became a Christian I was a big heavy metal fan of Metallica and one of their songs off of their first albums, was a song titled, “Am I Evil?”

Years later, I am now a Reformed Christian and Calvinist and I thought that this song as bad as the lyrics are morally, does teach a fundamental Christian doctrine; Total Depravity.
So what is the definition of Total Depravity?
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2013 Security Reading List

reading_owlDuring the second week of December I realized that our group had not used their 2012 training budget. Realizing that there was not enough time to get a formal security class under way before the end of the year, I suggested to my manager that our group use the funds to order security-related books. He gave us the green light and behold the list below. Goal is to finish them by December 31, 2013. We’ll see what happens.
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Whole Disk Encryption Principles

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All of the components associated with managing the Whole Disk Encryption (WDE) infrastructure should be classified as a High Value Asset (HVA). The backend assets contain the components involved for protecting the encryption and decryption keys that are used to encrypt hard drives. Treating the backend components of the Disk encryption environment as HVA, will ensure that the cryptographic keys are protected through a layered approach to securing the environment. This of course assumes you are architecting your security environment around various layers and are classifying certain assets as HVA’s and others at lower classifications.

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A Security Perspective on the Conneticut Shootings

Given the horrible tragedy that took place yesterday in our nation, I have been given a lot of thought to how to mitigate these shooting incidents. Given the fact that my career has been centered around protecting company resources and putting plans, processes, and procedures in place to respond to security incidents, I thought I would provide a similiar approach for dealing with school shootings.

It’s important to note when I’m referencing “assets” I”m referring to the victims involved in the given incident. Please do not take this as an insensitive term to those victims, it’s just easier as a point of reference. I would also point out that I have two boys (12 & 8) that have just as easily been victimized as those from yesterday’s incident. When I use the term “threat vector” I’m speaking mainly of the perpetrators involved in the shootings.
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