Happy New Year 2018!

Hello Beautiful Party People!

To kick off the new year,
I want to give helpful tips and tricks to protect yourself online.


To start with, I want to encourage folks to look at their online foot print.

I am going through the book,

“The Smart girls guide to Privacy, Practical tips for staying safe online” by violet blue.



I started this book last year, and I though I had been doing a good job of protecting my self online.

I found out I was wrong, and in the first few chapters how I could change that.



I want to share with you my adventures and help you down the right path.

So this will be an on-going post with update and what I am doing.



I hope that you will join me in the adventure,

and help educate ourselves and then share the knowledge.



Until next time,


Posted by Gater_Byte in BLOG, 0 comments

VPN For The Win!

DEFCON is around the corner!


And now it’s time to be prepping you gear.

Wipe the laptop, phone, tablet, you name it.

Install a fresh copy of the OS, Factory reset, update and patch at home.

After you do so, Make sure to “Forget” you Home Wifi network from your devices.

Otherwise your devices will continue to look for it, leaving breadcrumbs of who you are and where you live.

Now, to talk about making or buying a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Instead of me rehashing what a vpn is, check up the EFF’s definition.


I did personal research and compared a few different implementations.




I am a fan of spinning your own using OPENVPN on a linux box in the “Cloud”.

It really doesn’t matter what service you use. AWS, GODADDY, Digital Ocean, etc….

I have been happy with Digital Ocean, It only cost $5 a month for their base model, to have your own server up and running.

If you want to try them out, Here is the $10 credit link

And there are great step by step guides on how to set it up,


But why do that, when you can get up and running in 5 minutes!

There is a script that helps automate this process,

It’s called OpenVPN road warrior.

It was made by Nyr on github.


But I found this guy who took that and did a few more steps to secure you.

You can check out his comments in his github to see what he changed.


The other route you can take is with a paid for vpn service


One of Holon Members did a case study on a bunch of paid for services, and by far Mullvad was the clear choice.

“BOB” said that he has been using mullvad while torrenting and has never had a problem.

And there is a ton of documentation on how to get it up and running.

When I set up my VPN, I wanted to connect back to my home lab. Most things work just fine in the VPN, but when I try to watch Netflix, it is blocked.

With Mullvad, you won’t have that problem. It’s meant to connect around the world and give you access to an otherwise blocked area.



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Book’s To Start With


By Daniel Suarez

Daemons: computer programs that silently run in the background, waiting for a specific event or time to execute. They power almost every service. They make our networked world possible. But they also make it vulnerable…

When the obituary of legendary computer game architect Matthew Sobol appears online, a previously dormant daemon activates, initiating a chain of events that begins to unravel our interconnected world. This daemon reads news headlines, recruits human followers, and orders assassinations. With Sobol’s secrets buried with him, and as new layers of his daemon are unleashed, it’s up to Detective Peter Sebeck to stop a self-replicating virtual killer before it achieves its ultimate purpose—one that goes far beyond anything Sebeck could have imagined…


Freedom tm

By Daniel Suarez

The Daemon is in absolute control, using an expanded network of shadowy operatives to tear apart civilization and build it anew. Even as civil war breaks out in the American Midwest in a wave of nightmarish violence, former detective Pete Sebeck—the Daemon’s most powerful, though reluctant, operative—must lead a small band of enlightened humans in a movement designed to protect the new world order.

But the private armies of global business are preparing to crush the Daemon once and for all. In a world of shattered loyalties, collapsing societies, and seemingly endless betrayal, the only thing worth fighting for may be nothing less than the freedom of all humankind.

You can Find where to buy these book on His Site.



Or you can get the audio books

Daemon on Audible

Freedom on Audible


Posted by Gater_Byte in Book-List, 0 comments

First Time To DEFCON?

How to Survive and Thrive at DEFCON: Part 1


First a little background:

My Name is Gater_Byte and this is my opinion on how to do DEFCON Right!

The first DEFCON I attended was 17 and haven’t missed one since,

and I have been helping out with the DCDARK.NET group for the last 4 years.


So I am going to impart some con wisdom that I have learned over the years.

If this is your first DEFCON, you are in for a treat, It’s the 25th anniversary of DEFCON!


This is a condensed list of things to help you get started.


#1 Find out how many days you want to be in Vegas.

BSides LV is on July 25 – July 26, DEFCON is officially from July 27 – July 30. For those who have deep pockets or get your corporate overlords to pay for your trip, you can get into Blackhat before DEFCON.


#2 Hotel: If you haven’t got a room yet, you need to.

For DEFCON, the sooner you get the room the better. Some folks get the room booked for the next year at the end of the con. If you are on a budget, there are plenty of option, including splitting a room. You do not have to stay at the con hotel, but someplace within 20 minute walking distance is a good idea. You still might be able to use the DEFCON block rate in one of their partnered casinos.


#3 Flight or car rental

After you have Hotel booked plan your travel to get to the con in time, with some extra time for any unplanned issues.  A cheap way to get there is to carpool with other folks that are interested in going. On Flights, book as early as you can. In my case I have started the trip the day before, and then rested up once I got there, and plan on heading home the day after to miss the major traffic. You are NOT GOING TO GET OUT OF VEGAS QUICKLY if you are driving back home on Sunday afternoon. Everyone and their Grandmother is trying to get back home for the work week on Sunday evening.



#4 Look at the schedule

Right about this time, 2 months before the con, they start announcing more of the talks. Look at which talks you really want to see. I would strongly suggest, don’t go booking all your time in talks. They are important, but most of them will be online with-in a few months on youtube or you can buy the “boxed set” and have it 2 weeks after the con. I would suggest you go to the villages, workshops, contest, Hallcon (Waiting to get into a room) and the few talks that are not recorded Like SKYTALKS. If you are looking to get a little bit of everything, you will want to checkout the DEFCON 101 Track and the DCDARK.NET contest.


#5 Get the time off

Next you will need to clear with your employer, Significant other, Parents or whoever to make sure you can go. I would strongly suggest using a template like RSA or BLACKHAT justification letters you plan to make a request for your work to pay for it. Why do I say to do this after booking? Those other parts go by fast, and if you can’t make it to DEFCON, there is a high probability that someone else who you know is going.


#6 Know how much cash you need to have on hand

Just to get into the con you will need to fork up $260 CASH, No Debit, No Credit, No Bitcoin, cold hard cash. You might want to get DEFCON Swag, which is also cash only, if you are looking for prices, look at the DEFCON Ebay page and get an idea of what things will cost. Vendors inside of the con don’t get opened to the Public until Friday morning. Some take Plastic, but again, Cash is king.


#7 You need to eat

If you are going on a budget, you can pack High Protein Energy Bars, Beef Jerky, & Nuts instead of going out to eat. There are some great places to eat, Like one of my personal favorites, Burger Brasserie in Paris. I make it a point to go each year, amazing burgers and killer milkshakes.


#8 Drinking

Yes this is a hacker con, so there will be lots of drinking. I have talked with the staff of the different casinos over the years, and they have told me that We are some of the best behaved from a lot of conferences. But if the Bar scene isn’t your thing, an ice chest in your room with your own boo’s is just as good with a few friends.


#9 Get involved

DEFCON is, what you put into it. Talk to other people in line ( aka #LINECON), because you will be in lines one way or another. If you talk to someone, you have made an acquaintance, if you buy someone a drink, you have made a friend. This is by far the most important thing to do at the con. If you Lurk, and don’t engage, you will not have  the full con experience. Stay humble in this crowd, if you don’t know about something, ask questions instead of faking it. There are a lot of people willing to teach you something new. Don’t spoil that opportunity by acting like a know-it-all (1337 h4x0r attitude). Come to learn something.


This is barely scrapping the surface,

but there is the “3-2-1 RULE” at DEFCON.

You need at least:

3 hours of sleep

2 meals a day

1 shower


There is more to cover but for now, I’ll leave you with both the




Till I See You Online,

Signing out

– Gater_Byte

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What Tech Should I Bring To DEFCON?

What should I bring to DEFCON?

TL;DR At a Minimum you should bring:

  1. Laptop
  2. Cell Phone
  3. Tablet
  4. External Battery Pack
  5. Small Surge Protector


From here it depends on what you want to spend your time doing.

If you are going to the hardware hacking side, You might want to bring,

  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • 3rd hand
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Soldering Mat

If you are going to the lock picking village, you might want to bring,

  • Lock pick Kit
  • Bump Keys

If you are going to hang out in the Wifi or SDR village, you might want to bring,

  • An Alfa Card or card compatible of injection mode,
  • Hack RF

How to prepare your gear for DEFCON.

  1. Laptop
    1. Back up your current data
    2. Wipe Hard Drive or Buy SSD dedicated for DEFCON
    3. What OS to install: You will need to have the ability to use and learn new tools on both Windows and Linux. You can dual boot, or You can install Linux onto a thumb drive. It will be slower then installing it on a SSD. Here are a few links to where you can download both Linux and Windows’ ISOs.
      1. Linux
        1. Kali https://www.kali.org/downloads/
        2. Fedora Security Spin https://labs.fedoraproject.org/en/security/
        3. Black Arch https://blackarch.org/downloads.html
        4. Pentoo http://www.pentoo.ch/download/
      2. Windows
        1. Windows 10 https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO
        2. Windows 7 https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7
    4. You can start installing early or on the first night you are in Vegas. After you have downloaded what you want to install, get it updated and patched. Once you have installed this for DEFCON, Do not do your banking, social media, or other personal data on the box. If you build up your laptop at home, make sure to forget your home wifi.
    5. Before you head to to Vegas, I strongly suggest setting up a personal VPN. (More on this later)
    6. When you are at the con, participate in as much as you can, Hit the Villages, Look at the DEFCON Program DVD and Music cd.
    7. When you are ready to head back home, place all of the programs, Notes, and material you got at Defcon onto a DVD or USB Drive. Then wipe your hard drive on the last night you at at Vegas. You don’t want something following you back home that is possibly compromised.
  1. Cell Phone & Tablet: Same Thing
    1. Back up personal info, or just buy a burner phone (with cash)
    2. Factory Wipe
    3. Load Minimum Account Information
    4. Load up useful apps
    5. Use it for taking notes, Recording Talks, Taking Pictures, Etc
    6. On the last night of the con, back up your data to an SD card or Thumb drive
    7. Factory Reset the device


  1. External Battery Pack
    1. These are very helpful in keeping your devices always charged and ready to go, which leads me to…
  2. Small Surge Protector
    1. There are over 20,000 people who are bringing their gadgets, and everyone needs to charge, so bring a small power strip or surge protector, so If you find a wall outlet, you and a few other people can charge at the same time.


Online services and apps cost money, how do I purchase them safely?

So to get a vpn online, a few apps on your defcon ready cell phone or tablet you need to get money.

What I have done, with high success in the past, is using gift cards/PrePaid Cards.

I have tried a few different ones over the years, and the best one thus far has been the OneVanilla PrePaid MasterCard.

https://www.onevanilla.com/ You can buy them at Walmart, It costs $5 to activate the card but has no fees afterward.


This week, I’ll be posting out first Project, Creating a OpenVPN Server for Defcon.


Till I See You Online,

Signing out

– Gater_Byte



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