Archive for December, 2012

Holy 20000 Martyrs for Christ / Living of the Holy 20000 Christ Martyrs of Nicomedia

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Holy martyrs of Nicomedia Menologion of Basil II orthodox christian icon

On 28 of December, just a day after the Nativity of Christ in Bulgarian Orthodox Church, we mark up the feast of 20000 Holy Martyrs for Christ from Nicomedia.

Here is the story shortly re-told.

When Emperor Maximian (284-305) returned victorious from a battle wtih the Ethiopians and desired to offer thanks sacrifice to the idols, he ordered all around the Roman Empire people from Nicomedia to gather, to bow down the pagan gods. Christians of Nicomedia refused to Sacrifice to the idols knowing the idols are not God but demons who pretend to be different gods making fake miracles to cloud the spiritual eye sight of their worshippers. Antim bishop of Nicomedia at these time, hearing for the order, gathered all Christians in Nicomedia and the whole night before the Nativity of Christ, he served a night vigil and Holy Liturgy teaching the people in trutful Christ faith. Finding out about this Maximian ordered Roman soldiers to surround the whole Cathedral Church with dry twigs and bushes and fire them up.in order to burn all the Christians inside. Knowing about the bonfire prepared for him and Christ's flock, he hurried up to baptize the newly believed Christians still unbaptized believing Christians (the so called углашени), and present them with the Holy Eucharist (mysteries). This happened in year 302. This fearful event  completed  the most fierce persecution against Christians that continued for 10 years. The early Church persecution ended with the enthronement of the new emperor Saint Constantine.
 

20000 holy martyrs for Christ burned in Nicomedia

20000 Thousand of Martyrs for Christ in a day is one of the greatest victory for Christ's Church. It is a clear indication of the truthfulness of our faith. As never in whole human history has been 20000 of innocent people were killed for sharing one and the same believe.

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29 Dec: Holy 14 000 infant Martyrs day in Bulgarian Orthodox Church – The biggest infants slaughter in human history

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

The Risen Jesus Christ collecting the souls of the infant martyrs killed for his Holy Name

Just a day after the 3 days of Joy of Nativity, on 29-th of December, in Bulgarian Orthodox Church we remember the massacre of 14000 innocent infants in Bethlehem.
Those unhuman act was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies in the Book of Prophet Jeremiah.

The murder of the 14000 infants  by Herode's sent soldiers in his futile attempt to kill the new born king The Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was in a panical fear that the new born child might put him off from the throne. Being driven by his lust for power being unable to find the infant Jesus, he ordered to kill all the infants in Betlehem in age less than 2 year.

Herode, did not succeeded, as by God providence for salvation of mankind through his only begotten son Jesus Christ, sent Angel to warn for the coming of the soldiers. And the Holy Virgin Marry and saint Joseph (being around age 80 at that time) fled to Egypt.

And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Matthew 2:13-15

Russian icon 01012 Begstvo v Egipet. Nachalo_XVII

Here is the text from the Holy Gospel according to Mathew describing the terrible act of the Holy innocents.

A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.

Matthew 2:18
(KJV Holy Bible)

 

Today the sadness of the day is double as it is a date in which we co-memorate the killing of 14000 innocent children killed in the name of lust for power and greed as well as the usual Friday fasting we have in the Church in remembrance of the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ on Golgotha cross.

The 14000 infants are considered the first baby Christian martyrs for the name of Christ. The rage of Herod fell also on Simeon the God-Receiver, who declared in witness in front of everyone in the Temple that the Messiah had been born. When the holy elder died, Herod would not give permission that he be properly buried.

On the orders of king Herod, the holy prophet and priest Zachariah also was killed: they murdered him in the Jerusalem Temple betwixt the Offertory and the Altar – because he would not tell the whereabouts of his son John, the future Baptist of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Herode looking to kill the saviour Jesus Christ killing the 14000 infant martyrs in Bethleem

GodÅ› righteous punishment came forth quickly upon Herod himself: an horrid condition struck him down and he died – devoured by worms while still alive. Before his death the impious king accomplished full measure of his wicked deeds: he murdered chief-priests and scribes among the Jews, and also his brother by birth, and his sister and her husband, and also his own wife Mariam and three of his sons, and likewise 70 men of wisdom that were members of the Sanhedrin.

14 thousands infant martyrs Herode killed the biggest infant martyrdom in Human History

The 14000 infants are the ChurchÅ› major prayer intercessors for all children killed in abortions. The 14000 infant martyrs are great prayer intercessors for people who sinned with the sin of Abortion. Let the 14000 Holy infant Martyrs pray the Lord to have mercy on all us sinners and by their holy prayers to protect new born children from becoming a victim of abortion.

Orthodox Christian icon of the infants martyrs of Bethleem the biggest infants slaughter in history
 

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24 / 25th of Decemter Nativity of Christ celebrated in the Orthodox Church – Beautiful Christmas songs in Bulgarian, Romanian, Greek and Croation language

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012


 

Рождество Твое (Български) (Rojdestvo Tvoe Troparion Bulgarian)

Твоето рождество, Христе Боже наш, озари света със светлината на познанието. Защото в него онези, които служеха на звездите, от звездата се научиха да се покланят на Тебе, Слънцето на правдата, и да познават Тебе, Изтока от висините. Господи, слава на Тебе!

Рождество Твоè, Христè Боже наш, возсия мùрови свет Ñ€àзума: в нем бо звездам служàщии звездòÑŽ учахуся Тебè клàнятися Солнцу правди, и Тебè вèдети с висотù Востòка: Господи, слава Тебè.

Девицата днес ражда Свръхестествения,
и земята поднася на Непристъпния пещера;
Ангелите с пастирите славословят,
а мъдреците със звездата пътешестват –
понеже
заради нас се роди Младенец – Предвечният Бог.
(Св. Роман Сладкопевец)

 

Икос

 

Витлеем отвори рая, елате да видим, намерихме храна на тайно място: елате да вземем истинска райска храна в пещерата. Там се яви корен ненапоен, който покарва отпущение (на греховете). Там се намери неизкопан кладенец, от който някога Давид пожела да пие. Там Девицата като роди детенце, утоли жаждата на Адам и Давид. Нека сега към пещерата да идем, там където се роди Младенец – Предвечния Бог.

Рождество Христово! Nativity of Christ! Тропар / Troparion

In Bulgaria, many old people call Christmas / RojdestvoKoleda. It was quite interesting to learn in Belarus, the word for Christmas is also Koleda. In Bulgaria and as well as I heard from my Belarusian girlfriend (Svetlana), there is the Christmas tradition of Koledari. Koledari are a group of people going from home to home (primary in Villages) knocking on people's doors and singing Christmas blessings songs wishing the family God bless the house and enrich the possession of the house. I still remember, when young we used to be going from house to house wearing some to "Koleduvame". it is a very pious tradition, which unfortunately due to the globalization and people's migration to live in cities is in a serious decay in Bulgaria. However in many mostly middle and large sized villages, the tradition lives on.


 

Коледари 24.12.2011 – Koledari 24.12.2011

The Koledari, songs are a mixture of songs containing Christ's birth news lyrics and traditional song themes. They contain plenty of funny words especially if one understands Bulgarian.


 

 

Hristos Se Naste (tropar) – La Vifleem colo-n jos (colind)

The Romanian Christ's Birth Troparion has deeply touched me, I listened it multiple times and I believe is one of the most beautiful songs, one can hear in a lifetime as short as it is. It may something to do with the fact, my grandfather-grandfathers used to be living near the Bulgarian border de-facto in territory of nowadays Romania.


 

 

Christmas Croatian Orthodox Church Troparion (Christ's Birth church song)


 

Christmas Troparion (English and Greek)


 

Jesus Christ is born – γέννηση – Nativity of Christ Church song Greek

Of course as Greece used to be a cradle of Orthodoxy, the deepness and spirituality the song as sung in the language of ancient Byzantine (ex-Eastern Roman) is felt.

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The Nativity in Christ Evangelical story of the birth of the saviour Jesus Christ in Russian language

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Rojdestvo Hristovo romanska ikona - Romanian Holy mosaic of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ
I Wish Happy Christmas, to my dear readers. I wish to anyone who reads around. The Lord Jesus Christ to give good faith, peace, joy, health and heavenly blessings.

While checking various Church troparions on Nativity of Christ (including some Troparions) of the Russian Church I come across a short story, retelling the glorious events occuring around the birth of the Saviour of the world Jesus Christ! I'm currently having as a guest a girl from Belarus which and Belarusians speak Russian as their mother language. Thus I have the opportunity to learn a lot of Russian. In that relation finding such a video re-telling the story of Messiah (Christ's) birth was great opportunity to both improve my Russian language comprehension and enrich and strengthen my faith. The video is enjoyful so I hope it might help others in situation similar to mine. Enjoy!

Рождество Христово – Short Movie re-telling the Glorious story of Christ's video in Russian language

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How to record microphone input sound (only) using good old ffmpeg

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

The good old ffmpeg, along with being able to capture sound and video from your Linux Desktop or a certain Window and Skype whatever WebCamera input is also able to record sound from both camera or embedded laptop microphone. Here is how:

# ffmpeg -f alsa -ac 2 -i pulse   -acodec pcm_s16le -vcodec libx264 -vpre lossless_ultrafast -threads 0  -y  myVOICE.wav

This as you can see from arguments, uses GNOME's pulseaudio (audio service) and ALSA. Sound is first streamed through alsa and then the sound inflow is passed to be processed and multipled in a separate sound channel by pulseaudio. This method though said to be working fine on Ubuntu Linux is not working well on some other Linux distributions like Debian if one is using ALSA configured to use a software sound multiplexor via the so called – alsa dsnoop interface (previously I write how to use it in order to make Skype and other programs use SoundBlaster proper – article is here)

Below is the output warning I got whether trying ffmpeg with -f alsa and -i pulse arguments:

hipo@noah:~/Desktop$ ffmpeg -f alsa -ac 2 -i pulse   -acodec pcm_s16le -vcodec libx264 -vpre lossless_ultrafast -threads 0  -y  myVOICE.wav
FFmpeg version SVN-r25838, Copyright (c) 2000-2010 the FFmpeg developers
  built on Sep 20 2011 17:00:01 with gcc 4.4.5
  configuration: --enable-libdc1394 --prefix=/usr --extra-cflags='-Wall -g ' --cc='ccache cc' --enable-shared --enable-libmp3lame --enable-gpl --enable-libvorbis --enable-pthreads --enable-libfaac --enable-libxvid --enable-postproc --enable-x11grab --enable-libgsm --enable-libtheora --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-libx264 --enable-libspeex --enable-nonfree --disable-stripping --enable-avfilter --enable-libdirac --disable-decoder=libdirac --enable-libschroedinger --disable-encoder=libschroedinger --enable-version3 --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libvpx --enable-librtmp --extra-libs=-lgcrypt --disable-altivec --disable-armv5te --disable-armv6 --disable-vis
  libavutil     50.33. 0 / 50.43. 0
  libavcore      0.14. 0 /  0.14. 0
  libavcodec    52.97. 2 / 52.97. 2
  libavformat   52.87. 1 / 52.87. 1
  libavdevice   52. 2. 2 / 52. 2. 2
  libavfilter    1.65. 0 /  1.65. 0
  libswscale     0.12. 0 /  0.14. 1
  libpostproc   51. 2. 0 / 51. 2. 0
[alsa @ 0x633160] capture with some ALSA plugins, especially dsnoop, may hang.

where concrete programs, are run which take use of OSS (Open Sound System) – an already obsolete sound architecture. By the way on current Debian / Fedora etc. Linux-es OSS is managed and played only, whether few kernel modules are already  pre-loaded, below are the ones as pasted from my Debian Squeeze:

# lsmod | grep -i oss
snd_pcm_oss            32591  0
snd_mixer_oss          12606  1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_pcm                60487  3 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd                    46526  15 snd_hda_codec_analog,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hwdep,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq,snd_timer,snd_seq_device

The oss processed sound recording from ffmpeg is not working, well on my Linux, cause I have my custom (non-Debian) native binary Firefox downloaded and installed from Firefox's website.The browser is compiled to open automatically /dev/dsp which in practice uses the above-mentioned OSS listed modules, which on their behalf when used break out the sound processed by alsa and respectively pulseaudio (those who use Linux for longer time should remember in the times of OSS only one certain sound stream was possible to be processed / played on Linux historically before ALSA come to scene to be "defacto" standard kernel sound processor. Well ofcourse firefox developers who compiled the Firefox for Linux probably was using Slackware or some other Linux distro which probably used to play sound still via OSS or maybe they compiled it so thinking OSS because of its historical importance is still supported by more Linux distributions than alsa is. I like the custom compiled Firefox to run on my Debian instead of default Debian Squeeze (IceWeasel) cause firefox.org ,Firefox version is much newer and supports better latest HTML5  as well as it includes ability to download and apply automatic updates to the latest version provided by Firefox team. However I fou

Thus for Linux users like me using latest firefox binary from firefox.org (in parallel) with opened Firefox browser to record sound from Webcam or Embedded notebook mic the obsolete OSS has to be used, here is how:

# ffmpeg -f oss -ac 2 -i /dev/dsp   -acodec pcm_s16le -vcodec libx264 -vpre lossless_ultrafast -threads 0  -y  my-recorder-VOICE.wav

Enjoy ;)

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His all Holiness Patriarch Maxim Patriarch of Bulgarian Orthodox Church – a silent life of a holy man who headed the Bulgarian Church in one of its most difficult times of 12 centuries existence

Friday, December 21st, 2012

 

On Saturday 15.12.2012, 40 days has passed since our first along equal Bishops patriarch Maxim passed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Just like his humile living his passing to Christ went in humility and without much publicity.

 

 

The "death-remembrance" prayer service was served 40 days after his passing to Christ in his favorite monastery the Troyan Monastery.

Troyan monastery the monastery where the holy body of patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria was buried and his memory remembrance service was served

Many  people blamed the patriarch for not being canonically chosen for breaking the Church order for being responsible for the bad state of our Bulgarian Orthodox Church, for all the mostly bad things that happened in our country over the last 21 years since the fall of communism regime.

Our patriarch, however behaved like a true, monk he keep silent in all people's lies on his account, he kept silent when people has called him agent of the Social regime, he just kept silent for all except for things which were directly being enforced against the Church canonical apostle's succession and the ancient Orthodox Church tradition and liturgical Church slavonic language and the centuries kept since the baptismal of Bulgaria Church order and canonical rules.

He was a head on the "ruling steel" of the Church during a severe communism atheistic regime and even though the multiple attempts of communist power to destroy the Church from within by installing many priests and bishops as their spies, and doing all in the party's power to make people disbelief the Church and trust in communism, they all failed and the Church win. The Church win just in accordance with Christ's words as the Lord Jesus Christ said in his Holy Gospel – "The gates of hell will not prevail over my Church".

Besides being ahead of the Bulgarian Church in this difficult times of trial for the Church, our patriarch's care for the Church continued even after fall of communism in times. Under Patriarch's Maxim Patarichship, the BOC (Bulgarian Orthodox Church) has survived over the difficult times of great Schism which continued in its peak from 1997 to 1998, though the schism itself in some kind existed without much publicity from years 1992 to 1998. The Schism in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was caused by some regularly chosen Bishops, who claimed that patriarch Maxim which was chosen during Communism was not chosen according to canons but chosen by Communists.

One of the Bulgarian Orthodox Chruch (Holy Synod) Metropolitans self-proclaimed himself as patriarch claiming that he was supposed to be chosen as patriarch but the communists change it in favour of Maxim. It was God's providence (not without the prayers of many and the prayers of his holiness Maxim) which solved the created long lasting conflict inside the Bulgarian Church.
The self-proclaimed "Patriarch" Pimen died and the Bulgarian Police force came to power and put out a few of the left shismatic priests who had occupied over some of the Church buildings and claimed the Church buildings belonged still to the Schismatic Synod and not to the regular Bulgarian Orthodox Church Synod headed by Maxim. It is very interesting fact that just in short it appeared Patriarch Maxim (even though the accusations) has never had a dossier and according to communist archives is not in the list of the Bishops who have signed a declaracy to be working with the Communist Government and behave according to the planned agendas of the Communist Authorities.

Patriarch Maxim of Bulgarian Orthodox Church a holy man of our times

This is the best evidence that patriarch Maxim was a Holy Man not chosen by communists as many pseudo-Orthodox Christians and even a lot of devoted ones were deluded to believe but chosen by God's great providence of the Bulgarian nation and the autocephalous BOC. It is interesting facts concerning the schism in the Church during 1997-1998, that many don't know but can be clearly researched in the many documentations (video materials, archives and newspapers) that the ruling then "Democratic Party" – Syiuz na Demokratichnite Sili (Съюз на Демократичните Сили) – (SDS), has carefully fostered and was initiator of the Shism in our Church.

The reason for the schism was evident there were people who didn't wanted the Bulgarians to go to Church and have faith, and more concretely there were people not wanting Bulgaria to have a strong Orthodox Church and the climate after communism fall was giving an opportunity for BOC to rise and lead many of the BG populations who were baptized but never had the opportunity to attend the Church and get to know the Church teaching due to the atheistic communist regime back in the "bosom" of the Church.

Bulgarian politics from The Democratic – "Blue Party" – SDS (Syiuz na Demokratichnite Sili – Ally of Democratic Forces), were openly supporting the so called "Alternative Church Synod", leaded by Pimen, even until the moment where the sanity and God's providence overbear and the schismatics (many of which had their illegal business with prostitution or narcotics), were driven out of the Church and many of which in their attempt to escape police trial went abroad in the "Western World", stealing a big multitudes of Church money. During the whole schism the Church's all bank accounts were frozen. So during those almost 1.5 year during "schism", Church's money couldn't be used by the Church.

Just to give you an idea on how bad and harmful to the Church this was, imagine if some a government of USA "froze up", all accounts belonging to a big company provider lets say IBM. Imagine what would be the eventual short time consequences for IBM – the answer is their business will probably be broken so badly, that after that it is not very likely they recover. However as the Church is not a normal organization but is an organization established by the Saviour Jesus Christ himself and lead by the Holy Spirit, all this couldn't destroy the Church.

Yes it is true it badly harmed the Church, and the Churches went empty, it is true that the confidence in the Church authority was damaged, but the Church itself continued operating and even after the few consequential years of desolation in which mostly noone visited the Church except on big feasts (and even on big feasts was scared to go to Church because could happen to be in a Schismatic Church) – as for regular people there was no clear understanding which of the Church buildings belongs to Patriarch Maxim's Canonical old times synod in which they baptized and which belongs to the self proclaimed Pimen and his assembly of deluded good Christians (most of which came back to Church) and the big part of wolf's in sheep's clothes which wanted to use the Church as aim to advance their power authority in society and financial acquisitions.

The shism is a topic which is little researched and little spoken of after that as Patriarch Maxim with his monk's silence was able to mitigate the harshness of the situation so just 14 years after almost no-one in Bulgaria remembers the times of Schism – except ofcourse the Christians who lived over it.
As with many of the great saints patriarch Maxim went mostly unnoticed by society and his death hour was little spoken and not quickly forgotten. However historically I'm sure he will always, be remembered as the person who take the "Church" ship over one of their hardest historical times since y. 870 to present time.

Patriarch Maxim led the Church in year 1971 – 2012, 1971 to about 1985, were years of severe communism, where police was prohibiting people to visit the Churches and pray or take the sacraments. If one does so he often lost his, job or was asked to go to police for a check up. Some devoted Christians were severely threatened and some were sent to the state Prisons like Belene.
During his reign-ship patriarch Maxim had to rule over a Church without layman, the word Church itself comes after Ecclesia (A gathering of the faithful), during Patriarch Maxim's reign he had to however rule over a Church which from a good working huge Ecclesia (a gathering of believing people), to a Ecclesia of mostly few thousands of priests and maybe few thousands of old people who, were under a pension and therefore were allowed to go to Church and pray or take active participation in the Church.

The huge consequence of this is evident in the Bulgarian Church even to this day, as the Church is mostly filled with old people and you can rarely see a young people or families visiting the Church. Bulgarian devoted youngsters, therefore even joke-up saying that our Church is a "grandma's Church". Even though the empty Churches and the unbelief of many still, many people are baptized and are continuously being baptized in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church even to this where most of the Bulgarian population is Orthodox and had received the initial grace of Christ. Thus even though due to the little layman attendance, the Church is not in bloom still it is living in most of the Bulgarians and their families and in that sense it is still in continous bloom. Also it is a good idea that we Bulgarians, take an honest look to ourselves and ask ourselves the question is the weak state of the Bulgarian Church attendance, due to the non-stop journalist made-up scands, or it is because of us which we didn't supported our Church both financially and with our participation in Holy Sacraments and Church life and deeds.

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How to get full host and IP address of last month logged in users on GNU / Linux

Friday, December 21st, 2012

This post might be a bit trivial for the Linux gurus, but for novices Linux users hopefully helpful. I bet, all Linux users know and use the so common used last command.

last cmd provides information on last logged in users over the last 1 month time as well as shows if at present time of execution there are logged in users. It has plenty of options and is quite useful. The problem with it I have often, since I don't get into the habit to use it with arguments different from the so classical and often used:

last | less

back in time when learning Linux, is that whether run it like this I can't see full hostname of users who logged in or is currently logged in from remote hosts consisting of longer host names strings than 16 characters.

To show you what I mean, here is a chunk of  last | less output taken from my home router pc-freak.net.

# last|less
root     pts/1        ip156-108-174-82 Fri Dec 21 13:20   still logged in  
root     pts/0        ip156-108-174-82 Fri Dec 21 13:18   still logged in  
hipo     pts/0        ip156-108-174-82 Thu Dec 20 23:14 - 23:50  (00:36)   
root     pts/0        g45066.upc-g.che Thu Dec 20 22:31 - 22:42  (00:11)   
root     pts/0        g45066.upc-g.che Thu Dec 20 21:56 - 21:56  (00:00)   
play     pts/2        vexploit.net.s1. Thu Dec 20 17:30 - 17:31  (00:00)   
play     pts/2        vexploit.net.s1. Thu Dec 20 17:29 - 17:30  (00:00)   
play     pts/1        vexploit.net.s1. Thu Dec 20 17:27 - 17:29  (00:01)   
play     pts/1        vexploit.net.s1. Thu Dec 20 17:23 - 17:27  (00:03)   
play     pts/1        vexploit.net.s1. Thu Dec 20 17:21 - 17:23  (00:02)   

root     pts/0        ip156-108-174-82 Thu Dec 20 13:42 - 19:39  (05:56)   
reboot   system boot  2.6.32-5-amd64   Thu Dec 20 11:29 - 13:57 (1+02:27)  
root     pts/0        e59234.upc-e.che Wed Dec 19 20:53 - 23:24  (02:31)   

The hostname last cmd output as you can see is sliced, so one cannot see full hostname. This is quite inconvenient, especially, if you have on your system some users who logged in with suspicious hostnames like the user play which is a user, I've opened for people to be able to play my system installed Cool  Linux ASCII (text) Games. In normal means, I would skip worrying about the vexploit.net.s1…..  user, however as I've noticed one of the ascii games similar to nethack called hunt was kept hanging on the system putting a load of about 50% on the CPU   and was run with the play user and according to logs, the last logged in username with play was containing a hostname with "vexploit.net" as a hostname.

This looked to me very much like a script kiddie, attempt to root my system, so I killed hunt, huntd and HUNT hanging processes and decided investigate on the case.

I wanted to do whois on the host, but since the host was showing incomplete in last | less, I needed a way to get the full host. The first idea I got is to get the info from binary file /var/log/wtmp – storing the hostname records for all logged in users:

# strings /var/log/wtmp | grep -i vexploit | uniq
vexploit.net.s1.fti.net

To get in a bit raw format, all the hostnames and IPs (whether IP did not have a PTR record assigned):

strings /var/log/wtmp|grep -i 'ts/' -A 1|less

Another way to get the full host info is to check in /var/log/auth.log – this is the Debian Linux file storing ssh user login info; in Fedora and CentOS the file is /var/log/secure.

# grep -i vexploit auth.log
Dec 20 17:30:22 pcfreak sshd[13073]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser= rhost=vexploit.net.s1.fti.net  user=play

Finally, I decided to also check last man page and see if last is capable of showing full hostname or IPS of previously logged in hosts. It appears, last is having already an argument for that so my upper suggested methods, turned to be useless overcomplexity. To show full hostname of all hosts logged in on Linux over the last month:
 

# last -a |less

root     pts/2        Fri Dec 21 14:04   still logged in    ip156-108-174-82.adsl2.static.versatel.nl
root     pts/1        Fri Dec 21 13:20   still logged in    ip156-108-174-82.adsl2.static.versatel.nl
root     pts/0        Fri Dec 21 13:18   still logged in    ip156-108-174-82.adsl2.static.versatel.nl
hipo     pts/0        Thu Dec 20 23:14 - 23:50  (00:36)     ip156-108-174-82.adsl2.static.versatel.nl
root     pts/0        Thu Dec 20 22:31 - 22:42  (00:11)     g45066.upc-g.chello.nl
root     pts/0        Thu Dec 20 21:56 - 21:56  (00:00)     g45066.upc-g.chello.nl
play     pts/2        Thu Dec 20 17:30 - 17:31  (00:00)     vexploit.net.s1.fti.net
play     pts/2        Thu Dec 20 17:29 - 17:30  (00:00)     vexploit.net.s1.fti.net
play     pts/1        Thu Dec 20 17:27 - 17:29  (00:01)     vexploit.net.s1.fti.net
play     pts/1        Thu Dec 20 17:23 - 17:27  (00:03)     vexploit.net.s1.fti.net
play     pts/1        Thu Dec 20 17:21 - 17:23  (00:02)     vexploit.net.s1.fti.net
root     pts/0        Thu Dec 20 13:42 - 19:39  (05:56)     ip156-108-174-82.adsl2.static.versatel.nl
reboot   system boot  Thu Dec 20 11:29 - 14:58 (1+03:28)    2.6.32-5-amd64
root     pts/0        Wed Dec 19 20:53 - 23:24  (02:31)     e59234.upc-e.chello.nl

Listing all logged in users remote host IPs (only) is done with last's "-i" argument:

# last -i
root     pts/2        82.174.108.156   Fri Dec 21 14:04   still logged in  
root     pts/1        82.174.108.156   Fri Dec 21 13:20   still logged in  
root     pts/0        82.174.108.156   Fri Dec 21 13:18   still logged in  
hipo     pts/0        82.174.108.156   Thu Dec 20 23:14 - 23:50  (00:36)   
root     pts/0        80.57.45.66      Thu Dec 20 22:31 - 22:42  (00:11)   
root     pts/0        80.57.45.66      Thu Dec 20 21:56 - 21:56  (00:00)   
play     pts/2        193.252.149.203  Thu Dec 20 17:30 - 17:31  (00:00)   
play     pts/2        193.252.149.203  Thu Dec 20 17:29 - 17:30  (00:00)   
play     pts/1        193.252.149.203  Thu Dec 20 17:27 - 17:29  (00:01)   
play     pts/1        193.252.149.203  Thu Dec 20 17:23 - 17:27  (00:03)   
play     pts/1        193.252.149.203  Thu Dec 20 17:21 - 17:23  (00:02)   
root     pts/0        82.174.108.156   Thu Dec 20 13:42 - 19:39  (05:56)   
reboot   system boot  0.0.0.0          Thu Dec 20 11:29 - 15:01 (1+03:31)  

One note to make here is on every 1st number of month last command  clear ups the records storing for user logins in /var/log/wtmp and nullifies the file.

Though the other 2 suggested, methods are not necessary, as they are provided in last argument. They're surely a mus do routine, t when checking a system for which doubting it could have been intruded (hacked). Checking both /var/log/wtmp and /var/log/auth.log / and /var/log/auth.log.1 content and comparing if the records on user logins match is a good way to check if your login logs are not forged. It is not a 100% guarantee however, since sometimes attacker scripts wipe out their records from both files. Out of security interest some time, ago I've written a small script  to clean logged in user recordfrom /var/log/wtmp and /var/log/auth.log – log_cleaner.sh – the script has to be run as a super to have write access to /var/log/wtmp and /var/log/auth.log. It is good to mention for those who don't know, that last reads and displays its records from /var/log/wtmp file, thus altering records in this files will alter  last displayed login info.

Thanks God in my case after examing this files as well as super users in /etc/passwd,  there was no  "signs", of any succesful breach.

 

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Fixing (NULL unable to write in comments box) error. / Solving unable to write more than 2 nested (threaded) comments in WordPress blog

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

 

Earlier I've blogged how to fix NULL error appearing in comments box, when someone tries to comment in WordPress (Comments) section. As you can read from my previous post the whole issue, was caused by wordpress-threaded-comments plugin which as of time of writing this post is incompatible with modern WordPress versions.

Recently one of my blog readers Jem, reported the same NULL comments issue happens again in my WordPress (thanks for that Jem).

 Over the last 2-3 months I didn't added or removed plugins from my wp blog, so I excluded the possibility that the error, might be due to Enabling new plugins.
Since I only blogged in those 2-3 months it was completely, incomprehensible for me why this NULL comments err happens again?

I've remembered, that few months ago along with the last changes I made to my blog, was enabling FCKEditor, for comments to aid Comments with possibility to change easily, font size, add color or make bold and italic their comments, ie. – for those who didn't tried yet FCKEditor yet I warmly recommend you this plugin, below is a screenshot of FCKEditor from 1 of my comments:

fckeditor comments bold italic set style and font wordpress comments

As I supposed, the problem might be caused by FCKEditor (advanced comment editor) wp plugin. I tried disabling the plugin, to see if this will solve the issue. Contrary to my expectations, the same NULL error kept hanging in the comment. However as the html form for default WordPress Comments is simplistic instead of displaying the NULL in comments box, Comments form was blank, with no ability for the user to type in anything. Here is the screenshot of it:

wordpress nested threaded comments showing blank message box null wp error
 

 

I pushed forward, to look for what is causing, the strange occurance since it is not directly caused by some conflict with my installed FCKEditor (latest stable version). Checked if I can find something on the internet, but for my amazement the first result I found in Google was actually, my own previous article on Fixing NULL Comments box error 🙂 The rest of the threads, I've saw were not so helpful. So finally I've got the idea to check in the Source Code (CTRL + U) of the returned page with the empty form box. Guess what I found there, a reference to TinyMCE Advanced WordPress editor. I've remembered some, very long time ago. When I started experimenting with WordPress plugins and still was new to wordpress, I've used TinyMCE instead of FCKEDitor which later started using as a substitute for TinyMCE, cause finding it to be more advanced and hence more useful.
Back in the time when I was still using TinyMCE, I found a little TinyMCE addon plugin  called TinyMCEComments, the function of TinyMCEComments, was to add the TinyMCEComments originally available inside snf only to wordpress logged in Administrator user to the non-registered subscribed users (e.g. beautify user comments box with allowing them to easily make comments text bold and Italic etc.).
It seems, even though I switched on to FCKEditor at some point in time and hence switched off TinyMCE plugin from Administrator's

Dashboard -> Plugins -> TinyMCE Editor

Forgot to disable the little extension plugin TinyMCEComments addon to TinyMCE editor!!

Therefore, the NULL box problem occurs cause of conflict between TimeMCEComments Javascript with WordPress default comment engine.


 

Henceforth, the NULL fix is to Deactivate MCEComments.

mcecomments disabled activate screenshot

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Capturing Video from WebCamera in Console and Terminal on Linux with good old ffmpeg

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

 

Capturing video from webcamera in Skype and Desktop on Debian Ubuntu Fedora Linux Desktop - tux director webcamera recording from skype and desktop ffmpeg

Two articles, before I've blogged on how one can take pictures from console / terminal with ffmpeg. It was interesting fact, I've stumbled on ffmpeg is able of capturing video executed from terminal or plain console TTY.

 

The command to do so is:

# ffmpeg -f video4linux2 -r 25 -s 640x480 -i /dev/video0 webcam-movie.avi
FFmpeg version SVN-r25838, Copyright (c) 2000-2010 the FFmpeg developers
  built on Sep 20 2011 17:00:01 with gcc 4.4.5
  configuration: --enable-libdc1394 --prefix=/usr --extra-cflags='-Wall -g ' --cc='ccache cc' --enable-shared --enable-libmp3lame --enable-gpl --enable-libvorbis --enable-pthreads --enable-libfaac --enable-libxvid --enable-postproc --enable-x11grab --enable-libgsm --enable-libtheora --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-libx264 --enable-libspeex --enable-nonfree --disable-stripping --enable-avfilter --enable-libdirac --disable-decoder=libdirac --enable-libschroedinger --disable-encoder=libschroedinger --enable-version3 --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libvpx --enable-librtmp --extra-libs=-lgcrypt --disable-altivec --disable-armv5te --disable-armv6 --disable-vis
  libavutil     50.33. 0 / 50.43. 0
  libavcore      0.14. 0 /  0.14. 0
  libavcodec    52.97. 2 / 52.97. 2
  libavformat   52.87. 1 / 52.87. 1
  libavdevice   52. 2. 2 / 52. 2. 2
  libavfilter    1.65. 0 /  1.65. 0
  libswscale     0.12. 0 /  0.14. 1
  libpostproc   51. 2. 0 / 51. 2. 0


Like you can see in accordance with WebCamera maximum supported resolution, one can change 640×480 to higher in case if attached expensive HD webcam.

Note that the webcamera should not be in use when issuing the command, otherwise because /dev is used you will get:

[video4linux2 @ 0x633160] Cannot find a proper format for codec_id 0, pix_fmt -1. /dev/video0: Input/output error

It is another interesting, topic I thought if if i t is possible to somehow caputre the Video streamed currently, whether for example in Skype there is a Skype conference established, but unfortunately it is not possible to do it with ffmpeg, cause /dev/video0 is in use while Skype Video stream flows.

There is another way to record Skype and other Programs recording from the WebCam (i.e. Cheese) by using  a small command line tool recordmydesktop.

To use recordmydesktop to save (record) Skype Video Conference just run it in advance and afterwardsmake your Skype call. To capture input from the WebCam while it is in use there are two other GUI instruments capturing the Active Desktop – e.g. Istanbul and vnc2swf.  If you never used any of those and you want to read short review on them check out my older article – Best Software Available Today for GNU / Linux Desktop capturing on Debian

The The little problem with recording the desktop is that if you want to record the Skype conference and straight use the software you will catch also the rest of the Desktop, however it is possible to set recordmydesktop to record content from a Windows with specific ID, so recording only skype Video  should be possible too.

I was intrigued by the question if after all Video Capturing is possible while Video is Streamed from WebCam with ffmpeg, so did a quick research for the command line freaks, here is how:
 

ffmpeg -f x11grab -s `xdpyinfo | grep -i dimensions: | sed 's/[^0-9]*pixels.*(.*).*//' | sed 's/[^0-9x]*//'` -r 25 -i :0.0 -sameq recorder-video-from-cam.avi

The only problem with this command line is the video captured from webcamera will be without sound. To take the Video and Sound input with ffmpeg use:

ffmpeg -f alsa -ac 2 -i pulse -f x11grab -r 30 -s 1024x768 -i :0.0 -acodec pcm_s16le -vcodec libx264 -vpre lossless_ultrafast -threads 0 mydesktop.mov

 

On Debian and Ubuntu Linux, there is also GUI recordmydesktop the package name to install is gtk-recordmydesktop. GTK-RecordMyDesktop, works pretty well, so probably for people looking for convenience and ex-Windows GUI oriented Linux
users it is best choice
.

To use it on Debian:

# apt-get --yes install gtk-recordmydesktop

and launch it with cmd:

# gtk-recordmydesktop

recording  Skype and Desktop Webcam Video on Windows program allowing capture / record content from webcam from certain Window

As you can see in above, screenshot GTK-Screenshot can select a Certain Window on Desktop to record, so with it it is a piece of cake to:

1. start the Skype Video  conference
2. Launch gtk-recordmydesktop
3. Press Select Window and Select Skype Video Stream

I'm curious if the pointed Skype + gtk-recordmydesktop, method to capture Skype Active videos will be working on FreeBSD. Unfortunately I don't have FreeBSD Desktop with attached WebCam to give it a, try I will be very thankful, if someone using FreeBSD / NetBSD happen to read this article and take few minutes to test if it works and drop a comment below.

That's all, Enjoy, your captured video with sound 😉

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Windows XP: Fixing External Hard / Pen USB stick Missing Shortcuts (Problem with Shortcut) solution

Monday, December 17th, 2012

windows error problem with shortcut the item 689342.exe  refers has been changed or moved

I was asked today to fix a computer with 682 GB external Hard Drive attached. For some unexplainable reason, many of the Directories storing hundreds of gygas of precious data become showing up as "Broken Links" – Missing Shortcuts. My first logical guess is that maybe, just a simple hard drive re-attach will be enough in order to solve the problem. Detaching and Attaching the external Seagate hard drive made any change, whether opening the hard drive content with Windows File Explorer, most directories were just showing as Missing Shortcuts, like you can see from below screenshot:

windows XP problem with missing windows directory shortcuts screenshot external hard drisk error

I was a bit sleepy and in a hurry, so at first glimpse I didn't well read the Pop-upped Windows exact error, after carefully reading, I've realized the 689342.exe and the rest of ID.EXE that were trying to open, whether clicked on the "questionable", missing shortcuts is for sure some kind of most likely Polymorphous Spyware / Virus or a combination of both.

The person owning the computer, was quite in shock as most of his data was located on the external HD drive. My assumption of course was that the problem is not so severe as it looks, as I've fixed plenty of Windows-es with mixed up registry, which were mixing how Windows understands windows extensions.
My hope was that the problem will be solved by simply Checking the Windows Registry with – Little Registry Cleaner tool and fixing the irregularitieswith current registry, thus I did a quick scan with it fixed a bunch of registry problems, did the usual Windows restart, but this helped not. Thus I, therefore started a Malware Bytes Anti-Malware Spyware "Swiss Army Knife" prog 🙂. Paralelly with scanning I decided to check if physically files are present on Hard Disk, by dir listing the files in Windows command prompt – cmd.exe , there all seemed okay files and directories were present, I can CD into each of the directories incorrectly showing in Win File Explorer as missing shortcut and all inside dirs was just fine.

Dir listing if files are physically present Windows XP Screenshot

 

I checked for "autorun.inf", as it is so common nowadays that external Hard Drives and USB Sticks are infected with Autorun Virus variations and my guess happened to be right, there was F:\autorun.inf. As it is with the Autorun Virus-es the file was set the hidden and read-only atrribs. I checked it is there with:

> dir /a autorun.inf
...

Then I deleted autorun.inf, by reverting the "hidden and read-only attribs:

> attrib -s -h -r autorun.inf
> del autorun.inf

Though, I hoped this would solve the problem, checking f:\ Directories in File Explorer, continued to be showing Folders linked to the unexisting 689342.exe. Then I read some posts online, discussing the weird "Missing Shortcuts" issue and after a while thx God I finally got the fix, which is as simple as:

> attrib -r -s -h /s /d f:\*.*

This command, took about 20 minutes or so, as there are plenty of data on the hard drive. Also I suppose in some rare occasions the removal of read only, system and hidden windows attributes, might create issues of certain programs installed, however in this specific PC case all was okay and it doesn't really mattered as the really important files to rescue were mostly in .DOC's DJVu, PDF and plain text format along with some movies

 attrib cmd attributes command to fix missing shortcuts on windows XP picture shot

As you can see on below screenshot, I had the Malware Bytes running in parallel along with a Working copy of Avira Free Antivirus, while the above command was running Avira immediately detected a bunch of Virus files, which were offered to be Removed or Quarantined.

After removing, all of the badware and testing in Explorer, all folders in F:\ were showing as normal.
However, though all looked fine, after the completion of Malware Bytes scan and the removal of catched Malware, just to be sure something has not left as viruses I run oneanother Avira AV scan of all Computer Hard drives and did a Restart. This is it enjoy 😉

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