Tag: bash

Try Hack Me – Cyber Security Challenges

Try Hack Me – Cyber Security Challenges

Sometimes I just stumble across these random resources that I immediately want to share with fellow geeks. If you like computers and programming, you should definitely have a look at…


TryHackMe started in 2018 by two cyber security enthusiasts, Ashu Savani and Ben Spring, who met at a summer internship. When getting started with in the field, they found learning security to be a fragmented, inaccessable and difficult experience; often being given a vulnerable machine’s IP with no additional resources is not the most efficient way to learn, especially when you don’t have any prior knowledge. When Ben returned back to University he created a way to deploy machines and sent it to Ashu, who suggested uploading all the notes they’d made over the summer onto a centralised platform for others to learn, for free.

To allow users to share their knowledge, TryHackMe allows other users (at no charge) to create a virtual room, which contains a combination of theoretical and practical learning components.. In early 2019, Jon Peters started creating rooms and suggested the platform build up a community, a task he took on and succeeded in.

The platform has never raised any capital and is entirely bootstrapped.


I don’t have any affiliation or whatever with the platform, but I just think it’s a super cool resource if you want to learn more about hands-on computer stuff.

Here’s a nice demo on an advanced programmer taking on one of the first challenges. I definitely still have a long way to go, but it’s fun to watch someone sneak into a (dummy) server and look for clues! Like a proper detective, but then an extra nerdy one!

There are many “hacktivities” you can try on the platform.

And if you’re serious about learning this stuff, there are learning paths set out for you!

If you like their content, do consider taking a paid subscription and share this great initiative!

How a File Format Exposed a Crossword Scandal

Vincent Warmerdam shared this Youtube video which I thoroughly enjoyed watched. It’s about Saul Pwanson, a software engineer whose hobby project got a little out of hand.

In 2016, Saul Pwanson designed a plain-text file format for crossword puzzle data, and then spent a couple of months building a micro-data-pipeline, scraping tens of thousands of crosswords from various sources.

After putting all these crosswords in a simple uniform format, Saul used some simple command line commands to check for common patterns and irregularities.

Surprisingly enough, after visualizing the results, Saul discovered egregious plagiarism by a major crossword editor that had gone on for years.

Ultimately, 538 even covered the scandal:

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this talk on Youtube.

Saul covers the file format, data pipeline, and the design choices that aided rapid exploration; the evidence for the scandal, from the initial anomalies to the final damning visualization; and what it’s like for a data project to get 15 minutes of fame.

I tried to localize the dataset online, but it seems Saul’s website has since gone offline. If you do happen to find it, please do share it in the comments!

Step up your Coding Game

Step up your Coding Game

A friend of mine pointed me to this great website where you can interactively practice and learn new programming skills by working through small coding challenges, like making a game.

CodinGame.com is an gamified learning community and website that allows you to learn new concepts by solving fun challenges. Pick from over 25 programming languages, including Python, C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Go, and many more. In a matter of hours, you will work on hot programming topics, discover new languages, algorithms, and tricks in courses crafted by top developers.

Comprehensive Introduction to Command Line for R Users

Comprehensive Introduction to Command Line for R Users

Too little time, too many things of interest. Here’s a resource that’s still on my to-do list: A Comprehensive Introduction to Command Line for R Users by rsquaredacademy.com

In this tutorial, you will be introduced to the command line. We have selected a set of commands we think will be useful in general to a wide range of audience. […] after completing this tutorial, readers should be able to use the shell for version control, managing cloud services (like deploying your own shiny server etc.), execute commands in R & RMarkdown and execute R scripts in the shell.


If you want a deeper understanding of using command line for data science, the original authors suggest you read Data Science at the Command Line. Moreover, Software Carpentry has a lesson on shell. More references are listed at the end of the original tutorial. Use the clickable table of contents to quickly browse to the topic of your interest: