In today’s episode I share four fun stay-at-home security projects – three with a security focus and one centered around music. Let’s gooooooooo!


The Folding At Home project helps use your GPU/CPU cycles for COVID-19 research. From the Web site:

We need your help! Folding@home is joining researchers around the world working to better understand the 2019 Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to accelerate the open science effort to develop new life-saving therapies. By downloading Folding@Home, you can donate your unused computational resources to the Folding@home Consortium, where researchers working to advance our understanding of the structures of potential drug targets for 2019-nCoV that could aid in the design of new therapies. The data you help us generate will be quickly and openly disseminated as part of an open science collaboration of multiple laboratories around the world, giving researchers new tools that may unlock new opportunities for developing lifesaving drugs.

It’s awesome! Since I run my cracking rig as a headless Linux install, I followed the advanced install and then used the command line options to run FAHClient standalone (only because personally I don’t really love running extra, always-on services on any of my boxes).

It looks like FAH is having a good problem in that there are more resource donors than research to number-crunch on! Keep tabs on the forums for up-to-date information.

Headless RPi Pi Hole

I recently ripped and replaced my home network with a Dream Machine as the brains of the operation. To make it even more efficient, I wanted to install a Pi-hole to block ads and potential malware. But I was bummed to find out I left my HDMI-to-mini cable at the office. The good news was I found this video that walked me through the whole install process without needing HDMI at all!

The "gotcha" that hung me up for a while (too long, actually) was in the config of Notepad++. First, I can confirm the following wpa_supplicant.conf will work:

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdevupdate_config=1country=USnetwork={ ssid="YOUR-SSID" psk="YOUR-PASSWORD"}

The part that was broken for me was in Notepad++ I had to do the following:

  • Edit > EOL Conversion > Unix (LF)

Once I made that change, the Pi-hole worked like a dirty shirt!

UniFi Dream Machine

I got this bad boy, and while I’m sure I’ll do a full review of it in an upcoming episode, my early opinion can be summed up as follows: I love it.

I used to have the Edge Router X, a UniFi switch and long-range access point. The Dream Machine brings them all together in a pretty white/blue orb thingy that would even make Apple designers jealous.

Anyway, how this relates to security is I’ve carved off an isolated VLAN to offer free wifi to guests in my building. Why? Because I know some of them don’t have Internet. Is it possible they’ll abuse this guest access and surf porn and warez and get me in tons of trouble? Yeah. But you know what, right now I’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.


I was really inspired by the folks in Italy who sing to each other on balconies while in quarantine. So much so that I started doing some acoustic guitar+vocals Facebook concerts for friends and family. Those were a blast, and got me thinking about how I could offer music over the Internet to others. Thus the Q.U.A.C.K. project was born.

Q.U.A.C.K. stands for Quarantined Unplugged Acoustic Concerts of Kindness and you can read more about the project – and sign yourself up for a mini live music concert – at

Written by: Brian Johnson

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