E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


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Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

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At least 237138 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

The dawn of OS X malware

sign It's been almost five years since the release of OS X 10.0.0, and along the way there's been very little to worry about in the way of malware. That changed last week with the announcement of a trojan that propagates via iChat in a semi-automated way, then a Java worm that attempts to disseminate itself via Bluetooth.

Both of these are relatively innocuous, but there's not much standing in the way of copycat efforts with more dangerous payloads.

It's a good time to get familiar with ClamXav, the open source anti-virus package.

Saturday, February 18th, 2006
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0 comments pending approval
Comment from Matt Rose , 1 day later

OS X malware? It's a social engineering hack, if anything at all.

The first: 1. It doesn't disguise the fact that it's an application, other than saying it's a tarball of pictures. 2. It asks for your password to install itself. 3. If you're not an admin user, it does nothing.

malware usually uses some kind of trickery to install itself, other than REALLY dumb users.

The second hasn't actually been seen in the wild, and expires on thursday.

I realize that this is something of a huge deal for a platform that hasn't seen an attack yet, but if this is anywhere near the cream of the crop for black-hat exploits, I'm still not worried.

Comment from Paul , 1 day later

That's the thing -- I don't think these get anywhere near what a more determined, careful, and/or mean perpetrator might accomplish. My advice about installing ClamXav is definitely about the (presumed) next wave, not this one.

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