Luke 2:8-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
Posted in Biblical Accounts, Christian, Holiday
Should I switch my current DNS resolver?
If you are just a regular Internet user (not self-hosting anything), and you are currently using your ISP’s DNS resolver, I would switch to a 3rd party DNS service (e.g., Cloudflare).
However if you are self-hosting anything (e.g., email), then I would opt for running my own DNS resolver for reliability.
Here are my opinions on the three typical ways to get DNS.
ISP DNS Resolver: usually OK performance / no privacy
- Works out-of-the-box with your Internet service.
- Since you are using servers they control, always assume your ISP is logging your DNS requests (no privacy).
- Sometimes an ISP actually has worse DNS resolvers (slower, less secure) than a 3rd party DNS service.
- I used to make use of my ISP’s DNS resolvers. They would occasionally go down every few months. It made it look like the Internet was down, but it was just their DNS resolvers that were down, which caused software to fail since they could not resolve domains to connect to services.
- Some ISPs will redirect you to their own online search engine, if the domain you are looking for does not exist. That is real tacky. They should just give the standard DNS error response, instead of – effectively – hijacking your DNS service.
Third-Party DNS Resolver (e.g., Cloudflare, OpenDNS): good-to-excellent performance / potentially less private
- Can be faster than your ISP’s DNS resolvers. This is due to 3rd party DNS services having a very large network infrastructure. They can handle large amounts of traffic with ease.
- Cloudflare does support DNS-over-TLS. However this is just encrypting your connection to Cloudflare. When Cloudflare retrieves the DNS records for you – assuming they do not have a cached copy – that connection of theirs is unencrypted. This means the DNS records Cloudflare gets for you can be manipulated by a 3rd party, outside of Cloudflare’s control.
- Encrypting your DNS does not prevent your ISP from seeing what domains you are going to, if the web-server you are connecting to does not support both the TLS 1.3 protocol and the ESNI extension. This is due to the fact the SNI (Server Name Identification) gets sent from the web-server in plain text. With this information, your ISP can effectively see which domains you are visiting, regardless if your DNS is encrypted via Cloudflare or another 3rd party service.
- Unless you are using a VPN service, your ISP will still have to route your connection to the website (they can see the web-server’s IP address). This may give away where you are going on the Internet, even if your ISP cannot read your DNS queries.
- There are some free public DNS resolvers, run by volunteers (read: no large corporations), who claim they do not log your domain lookups. Just like I mentioned before, you must take their word for it.
Self-Hosted DNS Resolver (e.g., Unbound): OK-to-good performance / potentially more private
- Useful if you want to have reliable lookups, since you are cutting out the middle-man handling your DNS requests (you are going directly to the source, instead of having someone else do it for you).
- If you are self-hosting web services (e.g., web and email), it is recommended to run your own DNS resolver. While not necessary, this will help prevent interruptions to your services.
- While there is no worry about the DNS resolver keeping logs (you are running it, after all), there still is the possibility of your ISP and/or other entities sniffing your DNS lookups and keeping a log that way. This is because DNS is inherently insecure (not encrypted).
- Unbound runs on many different operating systems (e.g., FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, MacOS, Linux and Microsoft Windows).
- Unbound does require some knowledge of DNS to be setup properly. Users who have little to no experience with DNS servers may find setting up Unbound to be difficult.
- Something to keep in mind. When doing your own DNS lookups, usually you are contacting the Root DNS servers, domain TLD nameservers, and of course one of the domain’s nameservers using your public IP address from your ISP. This means all three of those services may log your IP address when doing lookups.
- For example, if I lookup my domain computerlagoon.com via Unbound, it will first ask a Root DNS server for a nameserver belonging to the .com TLD. From there it will ask one of the TLD’s nameservers for one of my nameservers to get the webserver’s IP address.
- There is a very good chance the .com TLD nameserver, run by Verisign, is logging domain lookups. This means someone, somewhere is more than likely logging your lookups (associating your lookups with your IP) even if you opt to self-host your own DNS resolver.
|Easiest out-of-the-box solution | best for people who just want things to work
||ISP DNS resolver
|Best performance | good for people who want more performance than what their ISP provides
||3rd-party DNS (e.g., Cloudflare, 220.127.116.11)
|Best reliability | best for people who self-host web services (e.g., email)
||self-hosted solution (e.g., Unbound)
Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems, Security
Many people use web browser add-ons (such as Ad-blockers) for their everyday browsing. What most people are unaware of is that many of these add-ons have permissions that allow the add-on to view the content of the web pages the user is viewing.
The problem? If someone has installed a malicious add-on, their web browsing data (e.g., browsing history, password credentials, what they type into a website, etc.) would have been sent to the add-on’s creator. Now I am not implying that every single web browser add-on does this, but there is a very high potential that this can happen.
Would only using open-source browser add-ons be a safe option? Well open-source add-ons would definitely lower the chance that someone would get away with spying on you. However open-source projects do not have a spotless security track record either. There is still some risk.
Even Mozilla themselves warn about this problem with web browser add-ons (also called extensions).
Here is an example of what I am talking about (https://www.zdnet.com/article/mozilla-removes-avast-and-avg-extensions-from-add-on-portal-over-snooping-claims/).
Posted in Android, Computers, General, Internet and Servers, Security, Software