Archive for the ‘Computer Security’ Category

Upgrade old crappy Windows 7 32 bit to Windows 10 32 bit, post install fixes and impressions / How to enter Safe Mode in Windows 10

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Upgrade-Windows-7-Vista-XP-to-Windows-10-upgrade-howto-observations-post-fixes

However as I've been upgrading my sister's computer previously running Windows 7 to Windows 10 (the process of upgrading is really simple you just download Windows-Media-Creation-tool from Microsoft website and the rest comes to few clicks (Accept Windows 10 User Agreement, Create current install  restore point (backup) etc.) and waiting some 30 minutes or so for the upgrade to complete.

windows-7-to-10-windows-setup-upgrade-this-pc-prompt

Then it was up to downloading some other updates on a few times and restarting the computer, each time the upgrades were made and all the computer was ready. I've installed Avira (AntiVirus) as I usually do on new PCs and downloaded a bunch of anti-malware (MalwareBytes / Rfkill  / Zemanta)  to make sure that the old upgraded  WIndows was not already infected before the upgrade and I've found a bunch of malware, that got quickly cleared up.

Anyways I've tried also another tool called ReimagePlus – Online Computer Repair in order to check whether there are no some broken WIndows system files after the upgrade

Reimage_Repair-Windows-fix-windows-failing-services-and-broken-windows-installations-clear-up-malware
(here I have to say I've done that besides running in an Administrator command prompt (cmd.exe) and running
 

sfc /scannow


command to check base system files integrity, which luckily showed no problems with the Win base system files.

ReimagePlus however showed some failed services and some failed programs that were previously installed from Windows 7 before the upgrade and even it showed indication for Trojan present on computer but since ReImagePlus is a payed software and I didn't have the money to spend on it, I just proceeded to clean up what was found manually.

After that the computer ran fine, with the only strange thing that some data was from hard drive was red a bit too frequently, after a short call with a close friend (Nomen) – thx man, he suggested that the frequenty hdd usage might be related to Windows Search Indexing service database rebuilt and he adviced me to disable it which I did following this article How to speed up Windows by disabling Search Index Service.

One issue worthy to mention  stumbled upon after the upgrade was problems with Windows Explorer which was frequently crashing and "restarting the Desktop", but once, I've enabled all upgrades from Microsoft and Applied them after some update failures and restarts, once all was up2date to all latest from Microsoft, Explorer started working normally.

In the mean time while Windows Explorer was crashing in order to browse my file system I used the good old Win Total Command or Norton Commander for Windows – WinNC (with its most cool bizzarre own File Explorer tool).

Windows-Total-commander-tool-running-on-MS-Windows-10

As I wanted to run a MalwareBytes scan and Antivirus under Windows Safe-Mode, I tried entering it by restarting the Computer and pressing F8 a number of times before the Windows boot screen but this didn't work as Safe-Mode boot was changed in Windows 10 to be callable in another way because of some extra Windows Boot speed up optimizations, in short the easiest way I found to enter Windows 10 Safe Mode was to Hit Start Button -> Choose Restart PC and keep pressed SHIFT button simultaneously
that calls a menu that gives you some restore options, along with safe mode options for those who want to read more on How to Enter Safe mode (Command Prompt) on Windows 10 – please read this article.

Windows-10-enable-Safe-Mode-options-screen

Once the upgrade was over and all below done unfortunately I've realized her previously installed WIndows 7 is x86 (32 bit) version and the Acer notebook 5736Z where it is being installed is actually X64 (64 bit), hence I've decided to upgrade my dear sis computer to a 64 Bit Windows 10 and researched online whether, there is some tool that is capable to upgrade WIndows 10 from 32 bit to Windows 10 64 bit just to find out the only option is to either use some program to creaty a backup of files on the PC or to manually copy files to external hard drive and reinstall with a Windows 10 64 bit bootable USB Flash or CD / DVD image, so I took my USB flash and used again Windows Media Creation Tool to burn Windows and re-install with the 64 bit iso.

If you're wonder about why I choose to re-install finally Win 10 32 bit with Win 64 bit, because you might think performance difference might be not really so dramatic, then I have to say the Acer notebook is equipped with 4 Gigabytes of RAM Memory and Windows 10 32bit  (Pro) could recognize a maximum of 3 Gigabytes (2.9 GB if I have to be precise) and 1 Gigabyte of memory stays totally unusued all the time with  Winblows 10 32 bit.

Windows-10-4gb-memory-present-only-3gb-usable-why-reason-and-solution

I've tried my best actually to not loose time to fully upgrade Windows 7 (32 bit) -> Windows 10 (64 bit) but to make Windows 7 32 bit Windows to use more than the default Limitation of 3GB of memory by using this thirt party PAE Externsion Kernel Patch
which is patching the Windows Kernel to extend the Windows support for PCs with up to 128 GB of memory however it turned out that this Patch file is not compatible with my Windows Kernel version once I followed readme instructions.

It seems the PAE (Physical Address Extension) is supported by default  by Microsoft only on 32 bit Windows Server 10 to read more on the PAE if interested give a look here.

Well that's all folks, the rest I did was to just boot from the USB drive just burned and re-install WIndows and copy my files from User profile / Downloads / Pictures / Music etc. to the same locations on the new installed Windows 10 professional 64 bit and enjoy the better performance.

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Howto to Unlock Mtel locked Mobile Phone ZTE Blade 3 IMEI 866643012872768 to connect to Telenor and Vivacom mobile networks in Bulgaria

Friday, January 20th, 2017

howto-unlock-zte-from-mtel-encoded-to-work-with-telenor-mobile-imei-866643012872768

How to unlock Unlock Mtel locked Mobile Phone ZTE Blade 3 IMEI 866643012872768


Thanks to this little forum after a very thoroughful research on the topic howto unlock my ZTE Blade 3
in Russian Google.ru / United Stated Google.US and UK Google.Co.Uk I've figured out a number of ways recommended

I've lost some time watching also few videos illustrating howto unlock the phone for other non MTEL mobile operators with

some third party cracker software  which seemed like a good way to infect your PC with spyware for example
videos:
Direct Unlock ZTE BLADE 3 & ZTE RACER 3 – YouTube
Unlock ZTE Blade 3, Blade V & Blade Q Mini – YouTube

there are a number of ways and paid software that could do various non-conventional things like unlock the phone for example:
GB Key

gbstream-gbkey-fast-unlocker-zte-blackberry-huawei-apple-motorola-alcatel-lg-unlock

Here is description of GB Key

You can Call it UNLIMITED – Direct Unlocker, Code Calculator, Code Reader, is fast, easy to use, encrypted, more than 200 models supported and most of it is it's UNLIMITED use. Updates come on regular basis with addition to new models and features.

Supported Models

More than 500 supported models from mobile phones to modems and growing.

Currently supports around 260 MEPs & more than 9500 PRDs (and growing..) .

FREE & UNLIMITED: Huawei, Huawei Modem, BlackBerry, Alcatel MTK, Alcatel U7, Alcatel Modem, LG, Samsung Swift, Samsung 3G, ZTE Qcom-Android, ZTE MTK, and many many more..

There is also a number of services online that offer remote paid services to Unlock any smart phone remotely by paying with a card and providing the IMEI.
I guess this services either use Android Emulator with manually setting the respective IMEI of the phone and then uses some software (box) as they call it to generate the code using the respective algorithm. etc.

 

However as I didn't wanted to spend money on something on such non-sense I digged a little bit more and I found out that according to Bulgarian Legislation encoding a sold mobile phone by the mobile operator is already illegal and all mobile operators in Bulgaria (that used some kind of encoding software to prevent a bought phone from them to be used with another mobile operator should provide openly the mobile phone codes freely).

As MTEL had to fit the new wall they made a small online generator Database with Unlock codes for all prior sold mobiles encoded.

I've used the URL (using my website access previosuly freely registered on website in order to track and send free SMS-es in MTEL and check out my mobile phone money balance spent in inbound and inbound calls etc.)

https://www.mtel.bg/unlock-phone

and found out my mobile ZTE according to the imey:

5803701350365278 ZTE Blade III Поставете карта на друг оператор в телефона и директно ще Ви бъде изискан отключващият код.

Just switched on my ZTE Blade 3 phone and inserted the code and got a message it is wrong but immediately I phone able to connect to Telenor (the ex Globul Mobile operator ) Mobile network Voila! 🙂 Hope this helps small article helps someone else too. Enjoy !

I

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Enable TLS 1.2 Internet Explorer / Make TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 web sites work on IE howto

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Internet-Explorer-cannot-display-the-webpage-IE-error
 

Some corporate websites and web tools especially one in DMZ-ed internal corporation networks require an encryption of TLS 1.2 (Transport Layer of Security cryptographic protocol)   TLS 1.1 protocol   both of which are already insecure (prone to vulnerabilities).

Besides the TLS 1.2 browser requirements some corporate tool web interfaces like Firewall Opening request tools etc. are often are very limited in browser compitability and built to only work with certain versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer like leys say IE (Internet Explorer) 11.

TLS 1.2 is supported across IE 8, 9, 10 and 11, so sooner or later you might be forced to reconfigure your Internet Explorer to have enabled the disabled by OS install TLS 1.2 / 1.1.

For those unaware of what TLS (Transport Layer of Security) protocol is so to say the next generation encryption protocol after SSL (Secure Socket Layer) also both TLS and SSL terms are being inter-exchangably used when referring with encrypting traffic between point (host / device etc.) A and B by using a key and a specific cryptographic algorithm.
TLS is usually more used historically in Mail Servers, even though as I said some web tools are starting to use TLS as a substitute for the SSL certificate browser encryption or even in conjunction with it.
For those who want to dig a little bit further into What is TLS? – read on technet here.

I had to enable TLS on IE and I guess sooner others will need a way to enable TLS 1.2 on Internet Explorer, so here is how this is done:
 

Enable-Internet-Explorer-TLS1.2-TLS-1.1-internet-options-IE-screensho
 


    1. On the Internet Explorer Main Menu (press Alt + F to make menu field appear)
    Select Tools > Internet Options.

    2. In the Internet Options box, select the Advanced tab.

    3. In the Security category, uncheck Use SSL 3.0 (if necessery) and Check the ticks:

    Use TLS 1.0,
    Use TLS 1.1 and Use TLS 1.2 (if available).

    4. Click OK
   
     5. Finally Exit browser and start again IE.

 

Once browser is relaunched, the website URL that earlier used to be showing Internet Explorer cannot display the webpagre can't connect / missing website error message will start opening normally.

Note that TLS 1.2 and 1.1 is not supported in Mozilla Firefox older browser releases though it is supported properly in current latest FF releases >=4.2.

If you  have fresh new 4.2 Firefox browser and you want to make sure it is really supporting TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 encrpytion:

 

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste TLS and pause while the list is filtered

(3) If the security.tls.version.max preference is bolded and "user set" to a value other than 3, right-click > Reset the preference to restore the default value of 3

(4) If the security.tls.version.min preference is bolded and "user set" to a value other than 1, right-click > Reset the preference to restore the default value of 1

The values for these preferences mean:

1 => TLS 1.0 2 => TLS 1.1 3 => TLS 1.2


To get a more concrete and thorough information on the exact TLS / SSL cryptography cipher suits and protocol details supported by your browser check this link


N.B. ! TLS is by default disabled in many latest version browsers such as Opera, Safari etc.  in order to address the POODLE SSL / TLS cryptographic protocol vulnerability

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Change website .JS .PHP Python Perl CSS etc. file permissions recursively for Better Tightened Security on Linux Webhosting Servers

Friday, October 30th, 2015

change-permissions-recursively-on-linux-to-protect-website-against-security-breaches-hacks

It is a common security (breach) mistake that developers or a web design studio make with dedicated or shared hosted websites do to forget to set a nice restrictive file permissions.

This is so because most people (and especially nowdays) developers are not a security freaks and the important think for a programmer is to make the result running in shortest time without much caring on how secure that is.
Permissions issues are common among sites written in PHP / Perl / Python with some CSS and Javascript, but my observations are that JavaScript websites especially that are using some frameworks such as Zend / Smarty etc. and are using JQuery are the most susceptible to suffer from permission security holes such as the classic 777 file permissions, because of developers who’re overworking and pushed up for a deadlines to include new functionality on websites and thus often publish their experimental code on a Production systems without a serious testing by directly uploading the experimental code via FTP / WinSCP on Production system.

Such scenarios are very common for small and middle sized companies websites as well as many of the hobbyist developers websites running on ready CMS system platforms such as Joomla and WordPress.
I know pretty well from experience this is so. Often a lot of the servers where websites are hosted are just share-servers without a dedicated sysadmin and thus there are no routine security audits made on the server and the security permissions issue might lead to a serious website compromise by a cracker and make your website quickly be banned from Google / Yahoo / Ask Jeeves / Yandex and virtually most of Search Engines because of being marked as a spammer or hacked webiste inside some of the multiple website blacklists available nowdays.

Thus it is always a good idea to keep your server files (especially if you’re sysadmin) with restrictive permissions by making the files be owned by superuser (root) in order to prevent some XSS or vulnerable PHP / Python / Perl script to allow you to easily (inject) and overwrite code on your website.

1. Checking whether you have a all users read, write, executable permissions with find command

The first thing to do on your server to assure you don’t have a low security permissioend files is:

find /home/user/website -type f -perm 777 -print

You will get some file as an output like:

./www/tpl/images/js/ajax-dynamic-list/js/ajax-dynamic-list.js
./www/tpl/images/js/ajax-dynamic-list/js/ajax_admin.js
./www/tpl/images/js/ajax-dynamic-list/js/ajax_teams.js
./www/tpl/images/js/ajax-dynamic-list/js/ajax.js
./www/tpl/images/js/ajax-dynamic-list/js/ajax-dynamic-list_admin.js
./www/tpl/images/js/ajax-dynamic-list/lgpl.txt

2. Change permissions recursively to read, write and exec for root and read for everybody and set all files to be owned by (root) superuser

Then to fix the messy permissions files a common recommended permissions is 744 (e.g. Read / Write and Execute permissions for everyone and only read permissions for All Users and All groups).
Lets say you want to make files permissions to 744 just for all JavaScript (JQuery) files for a website, here is how:

find . -iname ‘*.js’ -type f -print -exec chown root:root ‘{}’ \;
find . -iname ‘*.js’ -type f -print -exec chmod 744 ‘{}’ \;

First find makes all Javascript files be owned by root user / group and second one sets all files permissions to 744.

To make 744 all files on server (including JPEG / PNG Pictures) etc.:

find . -iname /home/users/website -type f -print -exec chown root:root ‘{}’ \;
find . -iname /home/users/website -type f -print -exec chmod 744 ‘{}’ \;


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How to update macos from terminal / Check and update remotely Mac OS X software from console

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

../files/how-to-update-mac-osx-notebook-from-terminalsoftware-update-command-line-mac-screnshot-1

If you happen to have to deal with Mac OS X (Apple) notebook or Desktop PC (Hackintosh) etc. and you’re sysadmin or console freak being pissed off Mac’s GUI App Store update interface and you want to “keep it simple stupid” (KISS) in an Debian Linux like apt-get manner then you can also use Mac’s console application (cli) terminal to do the updates manually from command line with:

softwareupdate

command.

how-to-update-mac-osx-notebook-from-terminalsoftware-update-command-line-mac-screnshot

To get help about softwareupdate pass it on the -h flag:

softwareupdate -h

1. Get a list of available Mac OS updates

Though not a very likely scenario of course before installing it is always a wise thing to see what is being updated to make sure you will not upgrade something that you don’t want to.
This is done with:

softwareupdate -l

However in most cases you can simply skip this step as updating directly every package installed on the Mac with a new version from Apple will not affect your PC.
Anyways it is always a good idea to keep a backup image of your OS before proceeding with updates with let’s say Time Machine Mac OS backup app.

2. Install only recommended Updates from Apple store

softwareupdate -irv


Above will download all updates that are critical and thus a must to have in order to keep Mac OS security adequate.
Translated into Debian / Ubuntu Linux language, the command does pretty much the same as Linux’s:

apt-get –yes update

3. Install All Updates available from AppleStore

To install absolutely all updates provided by Apple’s package repositories run:

softwareupdate -iva

One note to make here is that always when you keep updating make sure your notebook is switched on to electricity grid otherwise if due to battery discharge it shutoffs during update your Mac will crash in a very crappy hard to recover state that might even cost you a complete re-install or a need to bring a PC to a Mac Store technical support guy so beware, you’re warned!

4. Installing all updates except Specific Softwares from Terminal

Often if you have a cracked software or a software whose GUI interface changed too much and you don’t want to upgrade it but an update is offered by Apple repos you can add the -i ingnore option:

softwareupdate -i [update_name(s)]

For example:

softwareupdate -i Safari-version-XXXX

5. View Mac OS Software Update History

The quickest way to see the update history is with System Information app, e.g.:

/Applications/Utilities/System Information.app


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Redirect www to non www with .htaccess Apache rewrite rule

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

http://www.pc-freak.net/images/redirect_domain_name_without_changing_url_apache_rewrite_rule_preventing_host_in_ip_mod_rewrite_
Sometimes it happens that some websites are indexed in Search Engines (Google, Yandex, Yahoo, Bing, Ask Jeeves etc.) with www.website-name.com and you want to get rid of the www in the hostname in favour of just the hostname in terms of Apache .htaccess redirect. I knwo redirect www to non-www, might seem a bit weird as usually people want to redirect their website domain without www to point to www but there is a good reason for that weirdness, if you're a Christian and you dislike the fact that WWW is being red as Waw Waw Waw's or Vav / Vav Vav letters in Hebrew which represents in hebrew 666 or the mark of the beast prophecised in last book of Holy Bible (Revelation) written by saint John, the book is also called often Apocalypse.

Using Apache mod_rewrite's .htaccess is a good way to do the redirect especially if you're in a shared hosting, where you don't have direct access to edit Apache Virtualhost httpd.conf file but have only access to your user's home public_html directory via lets say FTP or SFTP.

To achieve the www to non-www domain URL redirect, just edit .htaccess with available hosting editor (in case if shell SSH access is available) or web interface or download the .htaccess via FTP / SFTP modify it and upload it back to server.

You need to include following mod_rewrite RewriteCond rules to .htaccess (preferrably somewhere near beginning of file):
 

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.Your-Website.org [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://Your-Website.org/$1 [L,R=301]


As .htaccess is being dynamically red by Apache's mod_rewrite module no Apache webserver restart is required and you should see immediately the affect, hopefully if the webhosting doesn't imply some caching with mod_cache or there is no some cache expiry setting preventing the new .htaccess to be properly redable by webserver.
Also in case of troubles make sure the new uploaded .htaccess file is properly readable e.g. has some permissions such as 755. Also in case if it doesn't immediately works out, make sure to clean up your browser cache and assure your browser is not configured to use some caching proxy host (be it visible or transparent).
Besides this would work and your Search Engines in future will hopefully stop indexing your site with WWW. in front of domain name, there is a downside of using .htaccess instead of including it straight into Apache's VirtualHost configuration is that this will cause a bit of degraded performance and add some milliseconds slowness to serve requests to your domain, thus if you're on your own dedicated server and have access to Apache configuration implement the www to non www hostname redirect directly using VirtualHost as explained in my prior article here

 

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Adding another level of security to your shared Debian Linux webhosting server with SuPHP

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

suphp_improve-apache-security-protect-against-virus-internal-server-infections-suphp-webserver-logo

There are plenty of security schemes and strategies you can implement if you're a Shared Web Hosting company sysadmin however probably the most vital one is to install on Apache + PHP Webserver SuPHP module.

# apt-cache show suphp-common|grep -i descrip -A 4

Description: Common files for mod suphp Suphp consists of an Apache module (mod_suphp for either Apache 1.3.x or Apache 2.x) and a setuid root binary (suphp) that is called by the Apache module to change the uid of the process executing the PHP interpreter to the owner of the php script.

So what SuPHP actuall  does is to run separate CPanel / Kloxo etc. Users with separate username and groupid permissions coinciding with the user present in /etc/passwd , /etc/shadow files existing users, thus in case if someone hacks some of the many customer sites he would be able to only write files and directories under the user with which the security breach occured.

On servers where SuPHP is not installed, all  systemusers are using the same UserID / GuID to run PHP executable scripts under separate domains Virtualhost which are coinciding with Apache (on Debian / Ubuntu  uid, gid – www-data) or on (CentOS / RHEL / Fedora etc. – user apache) so once one site is defaced  exploited by a worm all or most server websites might end up infected with a Web Virus / Worm which will be trying to exploit even more sites of a type running silently in the background.  This is very common scenarios as currently there are donezs of PHP / CSS / Javasripts / XSS vulnerability exploited on VPS and Shared hosting servers due to failure of a customer to update his own CMS  scripts / Website  (Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal etc.) and the lack of resource to regularly monitor all customer activities / websites.

Therefore installing SuPHP Apache module is essential one to install on new serverslarge hosting providers as it saves the admin a lot of headache from spreading malware across all hosted servers sites ..
Some VPS admins that are security freaks tend to also install SuPHP module together with many chrooted Apache / LiteSpeed / Nginx webservers each of which running in a separate Jailed environment.

Of course using SuPHP besides giving a improved security layer to the webserver has its downsides such as increased load for the server and making Apache PHP scripts being interpretted a little bit slower than with plain Apache + PHP but performance difference while running a site on top of SuPHP is often not so drastic so you can live it up ..

Installing SuPHP on a Debian / Ubuntu servers is a piece of cake, just run the as root superuser, usual:
 

# apt-get install libapache2-mod-suphp


Once installed only thing to make is to turn off default installed Apache PHP module (without SuPHP compiled support and restart Apache webserver):
 

# a2dismod php5 …

# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart


To test the SuPHP is properly working on the Apache Webserver go into some of many hosted server websites DocumentRoot

And create new file called test_suphp.php with below content:

# vim test_suphp.php
<?php
system('id');
?>

Then open in browser http://whatever-website/test_suphp.php assuming that system(); function is not disabled for security reasons in php.ini you should get an User ID, GroupID bigger than reserved system IDs on GNU / Linux e.g. ID > UID / GID 99

Its also a good idea to take a look into SuPHP configuration file /etc/suphp/suphp.conf and tailor options according to your liking 

If different hosted client users home directories are into /home directory, set in suphp.conf

;Path all scripts have to be in

docroot=/home/


Also usually it is a good idea to set 

umask=0022 

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Secure your work PC internet traffic using SSH Dynamic Tunnel as Proxy to get around Corporate Spy Proxy and Site Filtering

Friday, March 20th, 2015

use-ssh-dynamic-tunnel-as-socks5-proxy-to-get-around-corporate-website-filtering-restrictions

If you work for some huge corporations such as IBM / Sony / Toshiba / Concentrix / HP etc. and you're using a Windows Work Computer (notebook), pre-installed with a custom Company software which is by default configured to use a Proxy Server for all your Browsing activities and at a certain point you start being filtered some of the websites you love to visit so much because of some Corporate policies (limitations) at some filtered sites you will start getting empty pages or some   nasty filtering messages.

Even if you don't get a filtering message but you know all your Company Internal Network traffic is proxified for the sake of keeping your personal (privacy) high stop browsing using company's default proxy, because all your access requests (passwords) and queries to the internet are probably logged for later (review) in case if you enter the company's paragraph of "non-compliant employee".
If you fail on time to get around the default set "Corporate Proxy", sooner or later you will start getting filtering messages to some of the regular websites you use daily, as I did today while trying to open my personal blog (to check if there are new user comments):

Your request was denied because of its content categorization: "Hacking;Malicious Sources/Malnets;Religion"
For assistance, contact your network support team.

Screenshot of above message from today here

You see this guys or automated Proxy filter became so prudent that my site was filtered because it contains some Proof of Concept (PoC) security tools and content related to Christian (Faith) Religion. I guess its the time to think seriously is there a censorship in large corporations and how far could censorship go and if such censorship so easily adopted in large companies wouldn't same happen also on a backbone ISP level in short future??
If today my site is being filtered out to be unable to open from a corporation network because it contains "Religious" contain I would not be surprised if tomorrow, I've been prohibited to confess publicly my faith in salvation power of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ or even already in a blacklist because I'm trying to be a dedicated Orthodox Christian …
The fact that Religion is already perceived in same light as Hacking and Malicious Source or Malnet bots is also very eloquent and shows how very big part of people nowdays (including the person that added my site to this proxy filtering rules) think of religion and in what bad state our society and understanding of freedom and respect for others went.

Obviously it is time to react to this censorship and stop the evil corporation from spying on your traffic and logging all that matches there "kilometer long" prohibited sites filter lists. There are few ways to do that and the most straight forward is to set-up and use a Own Proxy server such as Privoxy / Polipo or Squid Proxy, however the proxy method requires that your company local network doesn't have too strick (restrictive) firewall rules (e.g. you need some port opened to the Internet such as 8080, 3128, 8118, 1080 standard port for (socks) etc.

As many companies are too restrictive in their outbound firewall rules and you might be in situation like with me where Browsers such as Internet Explorer / Opera / Firefox and Chrome are configured to use by default company proxy host (autocache.proxy-ur-company.hp.com:80) (with a custom Proxy PAC file filtering out a whole ranges of useful domains and IPs) and only allowed firewall access outside of local corporate network in on port 22 (for outside ssh session purposes) only.

Then your best way to get across such restrictive network configuration is to run your own home Linux / BSD / Windows server with opensshd installed and use OpenSSH protocol Dynamic Tunneling (Proxy socks5 like) capabilities to tunnel all your favourite Web Browser Traffic (lets say Firefox's) through your remote-home-host.com:22.

 


In short once you have installed plink.exe on your PC run manually from command line (cmd.exe)

 

plink.exe -ssh UserName@remote-home-host.com -P 22 -pw Secret_Password -D 127.0.0.1:8080 -N


For people who use MobaXTerm it is even easier as there is an integrated SSH tunneling input interface which can be used to create the SSH tunnel.

To have a quick way to Enable SSH Dynamic Tunnel button on your Desktop make a SymLink to Plink with Target below command line:

web-tunnel-maker-with-plink-win-ssh-connection-tool-screenshot-on-ms-windows-7

  • If from Linux / *BSD / Mac OS host to create Dynamic SSH Tunnel to your remote home SSH server host run in a Terminal
     

ssh -D 8080 Username@remote-home-host.com


To start tunneling all your Web traffic via just created Dynamic SSH Tunnel to host remote-home-host.com, just set in browser's proxy options to use as proxy socks5 – localhost:8080

Secure-your-work-PC-notebook-internet-traffic-using-SSH-Dynamic-Tunnel-as-Proxy

To test whether your traffic is going to the Internet from remote-home-host.com open in just set proxy browser www.myip.ru .
You should see your home SSH server IP as IP which made the request to www.myip.ru.

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WordPress Security: Fix WordPress wp-config.php improper permissions to protect your sites from Database password steal / Website deface

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

wordpress-security-Fix-wordpress-wp-config-improper-permissions-to-protect-your-sites-from-Database-pass-steal
Keeping WordPress Site / Blog and related installed plugins up-to-date
is essential to prevent an attacker to hack into your Site / Database and deface your site, however if you're a company providing shell access from Cpanel / Plesk / Kloxo Panel to customers often customers are messing up permissions leaving important security credential files such as wp-config.php (which is storing user / pass credentials about connection to MySQL / PostgreSQL to have improper permissions and be world readable e.g. have permissions such as 666 or 777 while in reality the WordPress recommended permissions for wp-config.php is 600. I will skip here to explain in details difference between file permissions on Linux as this is already well described in any Linux book, however I just will recommend for any Share hosting Admin where Wordperss is hosted on Lighttpd / Apache Webserver + Some kind of backend database to be extra cautious.

Hence it is very useful to list all your WordPress sites on server wp-config.php permissions with find like this:

 

find /  -iname 'wp-config.php' -print1;

 

I find it a generally good practice to also automatically set all wp-config.php permissions to 600 (6= Read / Write  permissions only for File Owner  user 0 = No permissions for All groups, 0 = No Permissions for all non-owner users)

If find command output gives you some file permissions such as:
 

ls -al /var/www/wordpress-bak/wp-config.php
-rw-rw-rw- 1 www-data www-data 2654 jul 28  2009 wp-config.php

 

E.g. file permission has 666 permissions (Readable for all users), then it is wise to fix this with:
 

chmod 600 /var/www/wordpress-bak/wp-config.php


It is generally a very good practice to run also a chmod 600 to each and every found wp-config.php file on server:
 

find /  -iname 'wp-config.php' -print1 -exec chmod 600 '{}' \;


Above command will also print each file to whcih permission is set to Read / Write for Owner (this si done with -print1 option).

It is a good practice for shared hosting server to always configure a root cronjob to run above find chmod command at least once daily (whenever server hosts 50 – 100 wordpress+ more sites).
 

crontab -u root -l | { cat; echo “05 03 * * * find /  -iname 'wp-config.php' -print1 -exec chmod 600 '{}' \; } | crontab – 


If you don't have the 600 permissions set for all wp-config.php files this security "backdoor" can be used by any existing non-root user to be read and to break up (crack)  in your database and even when there are Deface bot-nets involved to deface all your hosted server wordpress sites.

One of my servers with wordpress has just recently suffered with this little but very important security hole due to a WordPress site directory backup  with improper permissions which allowed anyone to enter MySQL database, so I guess there are plenty of servers with this hidden vulnerability silently living.

Many thanks to my dear friend (Dimitar PaskalevNomen for sharing with me about this vulnerability! Very important note to make here is admins who are using some security enhancement modules such as SuPHP (which makes Apache webserver to run Separate Website instances with different user), should be careful with his set all wp-config.php modules to Owner, as it is possible the wp-config.php owner change to make customer WP based websites inaccessible.

Another good security measure to  protect your server WordPress based sites from malicious theme template injections (for both personal own hosted wordpress based blog / sites or a WordPress hosting company) is to install and activate WordPress Antivirus plugin.

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Microsoft Windows most secure OS for 2014 ? – Short OS and Application Security report for 2014

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

windows-more-secure-OS-for-2014-than-Linux-and-Mac-OSX-and-iOS-operating-systems-short-security-report-2014

It is shocking news for me and probably to many that according to security specialists at National Vulnerability Database, at present moment for year 2014 Windows looks like more secure than both Apple's (iOS and Mac OS X) as well as to Linux.

Windows has been  bullied for its bad OS design and easier to breach Security compared to Linux, there was a constant hype also of Mac OS users claiming the invulnerability of their BSD based OS, but it seems security breach statistics given by  National Vulnerability Database security breach evaluation reports tell us security issues for 2014 Windows OSes while compared to other OS vulnerabilities in different operating systems such as Linux.

statistics-of-Operating-System-security-issues-vulnerabilities-for-2014-windows-most-secure-OS-2014-source-national-vulnerability-database
I will have to disappoint Apple Mac fans but in 2014 Mac OS X was found to be riddled with the greatest number of security problems147 in total, including 64 rated as high severity, and 67 as medium.

iOS's security was also ranked poor with 127 vulnerabilities including 32 high and 72 with a medium rating.

For comparison the latest Windows 8.1 had only 36 vulnerabilities, and its predecessors — Windows 8 and 7 — both had same number.
In Enterprise World (users) Windows Server 2007 and 2008 both have 38 vulnerabilities. Reported vulnerabilities were mainly of middle and high severity.

high-severity-vulnerabilities-graph-of-operating-systems-year-2014

Overall statistics also show there has been a huge increase in the number security vulnerabilities in the NVD security reports database.
In 2013 the number of all logged vulnerabilities were 4,794 while this jumped to 7,038 in y. 2014. The good news is lower percentage of all logged in security issues were rated of critical security importance.
It is mostly third party software not part of OS which contain security issues, 83% of all reported vulnerabilities were laying in 3rd party applications, only 13% percantage were OS specific and 4% hardware related.
Though overall statistics shows Microsoft products more secure than Apple Inc. Products and (Open Source) Linux, though still M$ Internet Explorer is the most insecure web browser, for 2014,  Internet Explorer had  242 vulnerabilities while Google Chrome had 124 security issues and the most secure browser rated for 2014 is (surprising for me) Mozilla Firefox.
It is important to say such statistics are not completely relevant because, for example you can rarely see a Linux desktop user infected with Malware but almost everyone around using Windows OS is malware infected, same goes for Mac OS users, there are plenty of vulnerabilities for Mac but overall security of Mac OS is better as I haven't still met Mac OS users with Viruses and Spyware but I fixed about (30!!) of Microsoft PCs and notebooks infected with various Viruses and badware throughout 2014. Also it should be considered that many securitty bugs are kept secret and actively exploited for a long time by blackhats like it happened recently with Heartbleed and ShellShock vulnerabilities
For those interested, below is a list of top vulnerable applications for 2014

security-issues-vulnerability-report-2012-2013-2014_graph_windows-most-secure-operating-system-for-2014

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