Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

Check your Server Download / Upload Internet Speed from Console on Linux / BSD / Unix howto

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

tux-check-internet-network-download-upload-speed-on-linux-console-terminal-linux-bsd-unix
If you've been given a new dedicated server from a New Dedicated-Server-Provider or VPS with Linux and you were told that a certain download speed to the Server is guaranteed from the server provider, in order to be sure the server's connection to the Internet told by service provider is correct it is useful to run a simple measurement console test after logging in remotely to the server via SSH.

Testing connection from Terminal is useful because as you probably know most of Linux / UNIX servers doesn't have a GUI interface and thus it is not possible to test Internet Up / Down Bandwidth through speedtest.net.
 

1. Testing Download Internet Speed given by ISP / Dedi-Server Provider from Linux Console

For the download speed (internet) test the historical approach was to just try downloading the Linux kernel source code from www.kernel.org with some text browser such as lynx or links count the seconds for which the download is completed and then multiple the kernel source archive size on the seconds to get an approximate bandwidth per second, however as nowdays internet connection speeds are much higher, thus it is better to try to download some Linux distribution iso file, you can still use kernel tar archive but it completed too fast to give you some good (adequate) statistics on Download bandwidth.

If its a fresh installed Linux server probably you will probably not have links / elinks and lynx text internet browers  installed so install them depending on deb / rpm distro with:

If on Deb Linuz distro:

 

root@pcfreak:/root# apt-get install –yes links elinks lynx

 

On RPM Based Linuz distro:
 

 

[root@fedora ~]# yum install -y lynx elinks links

 

Conduct Internet  Download Speed with links
root@pcfreak:/root# links https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.x/linux-3.19.1.tar.xz

check_your_download_speed-from-console-linux-with-links-text-browser

(Note that the kernel link is current latest stable Kernel source code archive in future that might change, so try with latest archive.)

You can also use non-interactive tool such as wget curl or lftp to measure internet download speed

To test Download Internet Speed with wget without saving anything to disk set output to go to /dev/null 

 

root@pcfreak:~# wget -O /dev/null http://pc-freak.net/~hipo/hirens-bootcd/HirensBootCD15/Hirens.BootCD.15.0.zip

 

check_bandwidth_download-internet-speed-with-wget-from-console-non-interactively-on-linux

You see the Download speed is 104 Mbit/s this is so because I'm conducting the download from my local 100Mbit network.

For the test you can use my mirrored version of Hirens BootCD

2. Testing Uplink Internet speed provided by ISP / Server Provider from Linux (SSH) Console

To test your uplink speed you will need lftp or iperf command tool.

 

root@pcfreak:~# apt-cache show lftp|grep -i descr -A 12
Description: Sophisticated command-line FTP/HTTP client programs
 Lftp is a file retrieving tool that supports FTP, HTTP, FISH, SFTP, HTTPS
 and FTPS protocols under both IPv4 and IPv6. Lftp has an amazing set of
 features, while preserving its interface as simple and easy as possible.
 .
 The main two advantages over other ftp clients are reliability and ability
 to perform tasks in background. It will reconnect and reget the file being
 transferred if the connection broke. You can start a transfer in background
 and continue browsing on the ftp site. It does this all in one process. When
 you have started background jobs and feel you are done, you can just exit
 lftp and it automatically moves to nohup mode and completes the transfers.
 It has also such nice features as reput and mirror. It can also download a
 file as soon as possible by using several connections at the same time.

 

root@pcfreak:/root# apt-cache show iperf|grep -i desc -A 2
Description: Internet Protocol bandwidth measuring tool
 Iperf is a modern alternative for measuring TCP and UDP bandwidth performance,
 allowing the tuning of various parameters and characteristics.

 

To test Upload Speed to Internet connect remotely and upload any FTP file:

 

root@pcfreak:/root# lftp -u hipo pc-freak.net -e 'put Hirens.BootCD.15.0.zip; bye'

 

uploading-file-with-lftp-screenshot-test-upload-internet-speed-linux

On Debian Linux to install iperf:

 

root@pcfreak:/root# apt-get install –yes iperf

 

On latest CentOS 7 and Fedora (and other RPM based) Linux, you will need to add RPMForge repository and install with yum

 

[root@centos ~]# rpm -ivh  rpmforge-release-0.5.3-1.el7.rf.x86_64.rpm

[root@centos ~]# yum -y install iperf

 

Once having iperf on the server the easiest way currently to test it is to use
serverius.net speedtest server –  located at the Serverius datacenters, AS50673 and is running on a 10GE connection with 5GB cap.

 

root@pcfreak:/root# iperf -c speedtest.serverius.net -P 10
————————————————————
Client connecting to speedtest.serverius.net, TCP port 5001
TCP window size: 16.0 KByte (default)
————————————————————
[ 12] local 83.228.93.76 port 54258 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  7] local 83.228.93.76 port 54252 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  5] local 83.228.93.76 port 54253 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  9] local 83.228.93.76 port 54251 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  3] local 83.228.93.76 port 54249 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  4] local 83.228.93.76 port 54250 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[ 10] local 83.228.93.76 port 54254 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[ 11] local 83.228.93.76 port 54255 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  6] local 83.228.93.76 port 54256 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  8] local 83.228.93.76 port 54257 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  9]  0.0-10.2 sec  4.05 MBytes  3.33 Mbits/sec
[ 10]  0.0-10.2 sec  3.39 MBytes  2.78 Mbits/sec
[ 11]  0.0-10.3 sec  3.75 MBytes  3.06 Mbits/sec
[  4]  0.0-10.3 sec  3.43 MBytes  2.78 Mbits/sec
[ 12]  0.0-10.3 sec  3.92 MBytes  3.18 Mbits/sec
[  3]  0.0-10.4 sec  4.45 MBytes  3.58 Mbits/sec
[  5]  0.0-10.5 sec  4.06 MBytes  3.24 Mbits/sec
[  6]  0.0-10.5 sec  4.30 MBytes  3.42 Mbits/sec
[  8]  0.0-10.8 sec  3.92 MBytes  3.03 Mbits/sec
[  7]  0.0-10.9 sec  4.03 MBytes  3.11 Mbits/sec
[SUM]  0.0-10.9 sec  39.3 MBytes  30.3 Mbits/sec

 

You see currently my home machine has an Uplink of 30.3 Mbit/s per second, that's pretty nice since I've ordered a 100Mbits from my ISP (Unguaranteed Bandwidth Connection Speed) and as you might know it is a standard practice for many Internet Proviers to give Uplink speed of 1/4 from the ISP provided overall bandwidth 1/4 would be 25Mbi/s, meaning my ISP (Bergon.NET) is doing pretty well providing me with even more than promised (ordered) bandwidth.

Iperf is probably the choice of most sysadmins who have to do regular bandwidth in local networks speed between 2 servers or test  Internet Bandwidth speed on heterogenous network with Linux / BSDs / AIX / HP-UX (UNIXes). On HP-UX and AIX and other UNIXes for which iperf doesn't have port you have to compile it yourself.

If you don't have root /admin permissions on server and there is python language enterpreter installed you can use speedtest_cli.py script to test internet throughput connectivity
speedtest_cli uses speedtest.net to test server up / down link just in case if script is lost in future I've made ownload mirror of speedtest_cli.py is here

Quickest way to test net speed with speedtest_cli.py:

 

$ lynx -dump https://raw.github.com/sivel/speedtest-cli/master/speedtest_cli.py > speedtest_cli.py
$ chmod +x speedtest_cli.py
python speedtest_cli.py

speedtest_cli_pyhon_script_screenshot-on-gnu-linux-test-internet-network-speed-on-unix

How to password encrypt / decrypt files on Linux to keep and pass your data private

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

how-to-password-protect-encrypt-decrypt-files-linux-tux-logo.png
If you have a sensitive data like a scan copy of your ID card, Driving License, Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate or some revolutionary business / idea or technology and you want to transfer that over some kind of network lets say Internet vie some public unencrypted e-mail service like (Gmail.com / Yahoo Mail / Mail.com / (Bulgarian Mail Abv.bg)) etc. you will certainly want to transfer the file in encrypted form to prevent, someone sniffing your Network or someone having administrative permissions to servers of free mail where your mail data is stored.

Transferring your files in encrypted form become very important these days especially after recent Edward Snowden disclosures about American Mass Surveilance program PRISM – for those who didn't yet hear of PRISM (this is a American of America's NSA – National Security Agency aiming to sniff and log everyone's information transferred in digital form via the Internet and even Mobile Phone conversations)…

First step to mitigate surveilance is to use fully free software (100% free software) OS distribution like Trisquel GNU / Linux.
Second is to encrypt to use encryption –  the process of transforming information (referred to as plaintext) using an algorithm (called cipher) to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing special knowledge, usually referred to as a key.
There are many ways to encrypt your data on Linux and to later decrpyt it, I've earlier blogged about encryping files with GPG and OpenSSL on Linux, however encryption with GPG and OpenSSL is newer as concept than the old-school way to encrypt files on UNIX with crypt command which in Linux is replaced by mcrypt command.

mcrypt is provided by mcrypt package by default on most if not all Linux distributions, however mcrypt is not installed by default so to start using it you have to install it first.

1. Install mcrypt on Debian / Ubuntu / Mint (deb based) Linux

apt-get install –yes mcrypt

 

2. Install mcrypt on Fedora / CentOS rest of RPM bases Linux

yum -y install libmcrypt

 

3. Encrypting file with mcrypt

To get a list with all supported algorithms by mcrypt:
 

mcrypt –list
cast-128 (16): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
gost (32): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
rijndael-128 (32): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
twofish (32): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
arcfour (256): stream
cast-256 (32): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
loki97 (32): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
rijndael-192 (32): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
saferplus (32): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
wake (32): stream
blowfish-compat (56): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
des (8): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
rijndael-256 (32): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
serpent (32): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
xtea (16): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
blowfish (56): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
enigma (13): stream
rc2 (128): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb
tripledes (24): cbc cfb ctr ecb ncfb nofb ofb

 

 

mcrypt < File-To-Crypt.PDF > File-To-Crypt.PDF.cpy

 

Enter the passphrase (maximum of 512 characters)
Please use a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers.
Enter passphrase:
Enter passphrase:


If crypt is invoked to create the encrypted file without OS redirects (< >), i.e.:
 

mcrypt -a blowfish File-To-Crypt.PDF

Please use a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers.
Enter passphrase:
Enter passphrase:

File File-To-Crypt was encrypted.

 


mcrypt outputs encrypted file in .nc extension and the new file and file default mode of 0600 (read write only for root user) are set, while new file keeps the modification date of the original.


4. Decrypting file with mcrypt

Decryption of files is done mdecrypt

mdecrypt File-To-Crypt.PDF.cpy
 

Enter passphrase:
File File-To-Crypt.PDF.cpy was decrypted.

To make mcrypt behave in a certain way when invoked modify ~/.mcryptrd

mcrypt is also available as a module for php5 (php5-mcrypt).

ping “General Failure” no internet connection Windows 7 on HP work computer – Reasons for general failure and solution

Monday, May 26th, 2014

windows-7-general-failure-error-fix-on-hp-workbook
Out of a sudden today after running Malware Bytes – Free Anti-Malware & Internet Security Software, and after it found some Malware (Pup.Optional.Opencandy) and removed it it WI-FI internet on my work computer HP Elitebook 8470p mysteriously stopped working.

That's quite nasty because today I'm working from Home – well known among Hewlett Packard employees under WFH abbreviation. I couldn't connect normally to my home Access Point and tried pinging Google from command line just to get an error:
 

Transmit Failed: General Failure


and first I thought it is a wi-fi router related problem and restarted my WIFI RouterD-Link DI524. As I could normally connect to the WIFI and I see there is an internet IP assigned running:

ipconfig /all
...
Wireless LAN adapter Wireless Network Connection:
Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) Centrino(R) Ultimate-N 6300 AGN
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 3C-A9-F4-4C-E7-98
DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::5d2f:97b8:9e1a:2b13%63(Preferred)
IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.159(Preferred)
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : May 23, 2014 14:19:01 PM
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : May 30, 2014 14:32:49 PM
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.1
DHCPv6 IAID . . . . . . . . . . . : 1094494708
DHCPv6 Client DUID. . . . . . . . : 00-01-00-01-19-CB-1A-5D-A4-5D-36-5A-EB-84
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 8.8.8.8
192.168.2.1
NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled

As you see in above output I have notebook IP, default gateway and DNS IP assigned – i.e. all seems fine, so as I got General Failure from pinging the Internet in order to make sure my Linux router is not the bottleneck I tried pinging Default GW

C:UsersGeorgi> ping 192.168.2.1 Pinging 192.168.2.1 with 32 bytes of data:
PING: transmit failed. General failure.
PING: transmit failed. General failure.
PING: transmit failed. General failure.
PING: transmit failed. General failure.
Ping statistics for 192.168.2.1:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss)

Just to realize I'm continually getting General Failure error

I tried trying to renew IPs, to make sure there is no some kind of IP assignment conflict with my other WIFI connected devices,reflushing DNS and resetting WinSock stack, hoping this could help:

> ipconfig /renew
> ipconfig /flushdns
> netsh winsock reset

Then I tried restarting the PC a couple of times, but unfortunately none of those helped the shitty error:
 

PING: Transmit failed. General Failure

continued …

I was totally out of idea .. and red some people managed to fix the issue after booting Windows into Safe mode with Networking. I tried booting in Safe mode, but as Hard Drive data is encrypted with Bitlocker encryption I was asked about some kinf of Serial Key – which I don't have at hand – hence I couldn't boot into Safe mode …

Here is moment to say even loopback device was returning "General Failure"!

I tried even connecting the laptop directly into my homelan with UTP cable, but though everything got connected, there was no local network and internet. I tried even connecting via Vivacom's mobile network 3G modem and even there I got the "General Failure" error …

Running out of options, I decided it might be that Malware Bytes broke something during Malware removal hence I put out back Quarantined Malware files – but this didn't solve it either.

solution-to-no-internet-general-failure-ping-error-firewall-off-screenshot.png

Finally I found this post and this thread talking that reason for "General Failure" might be firewall related. After checking my firewall settings in Windows Firewall and Advanced Security, surprisingly I realized everything related to firewall – e.g. Default Profile, Inbound, Outbound connections are Turned off!!!

windows-firewall-off-reason-for-general-failure-no-internet

I switched everything back and my Internet and local connection came back! THANKS GOD! Pfuu, now I can continue working. It seems HP work computers are patched with software / configured to not allow Internet connection in case if Firewall is Off. If you happen to be an HP Employee and you get the PING: Transmit failed. General Failure, be sure the first place to check is whether Windows Firewall is enabled? – if not enable it and this will solve your connectivity issues. Cheers ! 🙂

Make Viber calls with no smartphone from Mobile to PC and from PC to Mobile – Bluestacks install android mobile apps on PC

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Viber-for-smartphones-connect-freely-through-internet-voip-on-your-mobile

Since I've bought ZTE smat phone and I have Android on it, decided to install   Viber – iOS, Android and Desktop PC – Free Calls, Text and Picture sharing through the internet app. Viber is used by a lot of my people including many friends already so I installed it as well to be possible to speak for free with close friends …

Why Viber?


What makes this nifty app so great is its capability to make free calls over mobile phones through the Internet Viber.
Viber saves you a lot of money as calls are handled only through the Internet (you need Wifi on your mobile or Mobile 3G Internet access on phone) and you don't need to pay to your mobile operator 0.10 – 0.15 euro / cents per minute. Besides being Free another advantage of Viber is conversations sound quality which is much better than a regular phone call

Viber doesn't need a special registration, but as (login) identificator uses your mobile phone number – you just need to have a working Mobile operator phone num. Once registered under a number even if you change your mobile sim card to other operator (for example moving from country to country) still the Viber account will continue work. Another good reason to use Viber is it makes possible price free calls between different countries (for example if you travel a lot and you want to regularly speak with your wife) – in my case right now I'm in Bulgaria and my wife is in Belarus, so to save money and keep talking daily we use Viber daily.

What Devices and Operating System Viber Supports and what is Viber advantages / disadvantages ?


Another reason why Viber is so great is its multi-platform support it works on iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Nokia (Symbian), Windows, Mac OS and even (Korean own OS-ed) Bada devices. Some might argue that Viber is inferior to Skype and interms of Voice and Video quality its better because of its enhanced HD voice enhanced codecs, besides that Viber's video is still in Beta. However Viber has one big advantage it makes easy possible to reach people using just their Mobile Phone numbers where in Skype it takes time and effort to register in Skype install application on your Mobile keep yourself logged in in Skype and have all contacts previously added, all this happens automatically in Viber in time of installation of Viber App on your mobile.
 

Which Is Cheaper Viber or Skype?

Skype_VS_Viber-VOIP-Prices-which-is-cheaper-skype-or-viber


Once installed Viber could integrate itself with rest of your Mobile OS Call Manager and in time of call a friend number you have the opportunity to make it free Viber call. Viber are also selling Viber Credits so if you want to use your Viber Voice Over IP you can call external mobile operator numbers on a very very cheap price. Viber Calls to landline or mobile phones could be up to 400% cheaper than Skype! Whether you own a Smartphone it will be nice to give Viber a try.

Viber – How to make Phone calls between Desktop PC and Smarphone Mobile

 

One not so standard Viber use is to make Viber calls with no smartphone (at hand) from PC to another Viber equipped Mobile and vice versa.
I needed to make Viber calls from my ZTE Android running mobile to my wife's MacBook Air PC because her mobile is an old Nokia running obscure Symbian version which is not supporting Viber + she doesn't have an Internet access tariff switched on her mobile.

Here is what I had to do to make Phone calls between my Mobile Viber App and my wife's MacbookAir Notebook PC:
 

  • Install BlueStacks Web App Player

     

     

     

    BlueStacks_emulate-google-appstore-on-Windows-and-Mac-OS-android-emulator_Logo
    BlueStacks App Player is a software designed to enable Android applications to run on Windows PC, Apple Macintosh Computers and Windows tablets. BlueStacks is something like (VMware, Qemu) Virtual Machine which allows you to install and run any Android App on your Desktop PC.
    Its curious that app was created by Rosen Sharma in 2008 an ex CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of McAfee
     

  •  A mobile phone with a working SIM card (Nokia 6310 or any old mobile no need to be a smartphone
     
  • Desktop PC with Windows 7, 8 or PC with Mac OS


Install Bluestacks

BlueStacks is needed in order to emulate a smartphone on your PC, therefore once setupped Bluestacks. Launch it and  inside its necessary to login with your Gmail (Google Account) in order to allow access to Google Play Appstore on your PC.
viber with no mobile phone bluestacks
 

Installing and Verifying Viber

This is the most crucial and tricky part in order to make Viber working on any device you need to receive a special Viber verification code, you need to fill in this code to confirm Viber installation on PC. Here I assume you have BlueStacks running with Viber Application installed.

viber-running-under-bluestacks-on-windows-7-8-screenshot

First will be prompted to Agree with Terms and Conditions and provide Mobile Phone number for verification. Tell the Viber app that you have a smartphone with Viber already when prompted. After receving Viber Verification Code you need to fill in this code into BlueStacks Window (inside Viber should be running), go further to next step and you should be done with Desktop PC Viber number registration.

N.B. ! One brackets to open here is you need to have a working Mobile Phone number where you will receive the verification code as SMS, otherwise you cannot get the verification. On your filled in mobile phone number you will get the verification code as SMS.

Making Viber Calls to (Windows Mac) PC without Smartphone

There is no more further need for BlueStacks so you can uninstall it, however I preferred to keep it as its useful to be able to install Android Applications straight on your Desktop PC. To start using Viber on Desktop, just launch Viber application (not through BlueStacks) but the direct install.

Use Viber dial pad to dial your desired remote Smartphone number with Viber equipped.
Enjoy the free Internet calls ! 🙂
 

Stop contact form spam emails in Joomla, Disable “E-mail a copy of this message to your own address.” in Joomla

Friday, April 11th, 2014

email-copy-of-this-message-to-your-own-address_Contact_email_form
If you happen to have installed Joomla based website and setup a contact form and everything worked fine until recently but suddenly your server starts mysteriously acting as a spam relay – even though email server is perfectly secured against spam.
You probably have some issue with a website email contact form hacked or some vulnerability which allowed hackers to upload spammer php script.

I have a website based on Joomla and just until recently everything was okay until I noticed there are tons of spam flying out from my Qmail mail server (which is configured to check spam with Spamassassin has Bayesian Filtering, Distributed Checksum Claring House, Python Razor and plenty of custom anti-spam rules.

It was just yesterday I ended into that situation, then after evaluating all the hosted website, I've realized Spam issues are caused by an Old Joomla Website Contact form!

There were two issues in the form

in the contact form you have the field with a tick:

1. Well Known Joomla Form Vulnerability
Currently all Joomla (including 1.5.22 and 1.6 versions) are vulnerable to a serious spam relay problem as described in the official Joomla site.

There is a quick dirty workaround fix to contact form vulnerability –  disable a Joomla Comonent in ../joomla/components/com_mailto/

To disable it I had to:

cd /var/www/joomla/components
mv com_mailto com_mailtoNOT_USED

Above solution was described under a post resolve joomla spam relay earlier by Anatoliy Dimitrov (after checking closely the website it happened he is a colleague at HP 🙂 )

2. Second issue causing high amount of spam sent over the email server
was: "E-mail a copy of this message to your own address." contact form tick, which was practically enabling any Spammer with a list to inect emails and spam via the form sending copies to any email out on the internet!

You would definitely want to disable  "E-mail a copy of this message to your own address."
I wonder why ever any Joomla developer came up with this "spam form"?? 

joomla-disable-email-copy-of-this-message-to-your-own-address

Here is the solution to this:

1. Login to Joomla Admin with admin account
2. Goto Components -> Contacts -> Contacts
3. Click on the relevant Contact form
4. Under Contact Parameters go to Email Parameters
5. Change field E-mail Copy from Show to Hide and click Apply button

And Hooray the E-mail a copy of this message to your own address will be gone from contact form! 🙂

I've seen already plenty of problematic hacked servers and scripts before with Joomla in my last job in International University College – where joomla was heavy used, but I never experienced Joomla Security issues myself 'till know, in future I'm planning to never ever use joomla. Though it is an easy CMS system to setup a website its quite complicated to learn the menus – I remember when creating the problematic website it took me days until I properly setup all the menus and find all joomla components … besides these there is no easy way to migrate between different versions major releases in Joomla like in Wordperss, I guess this Mail Security Issue absolutely convinced me to quit using that piece of crap in future.

In mean Time another very serious Apache security flaw leaked on the Internet just few days ago – The OpenSSL Hearbleed Bug. Thanksfully I'm not running SSL anywhere on my website but many systems are affecting making most of your SSL communication with your Internet banking, E-mail etc. in danger. If you're running Apache with SSL make sure you test it for this vulnerability. Here is description of Heartbleed SSL Critical Vulnerability.

heartbleed_ssl_remote_vulnerability_logo

"The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users."

11

 

Make your WordPress Blog or Site Mobile Friendly with WPTouch plugin

Friday, January 24th, 2014

make your wordpress mobile friendly plugin wordpress mobile seo logo

I bough a new Mobile Phone changing my old Nokia Communicator 9300i (powered by Symbian) with ZTE Blade 3 with Android. I'm not a big fan of big mobility myself. However as I already have it decided to test my blog with Mobile phone default browser and my blog theme looked really crappy. Knowing that the amount of Mobile devices on the Internet is increasing dramatically these days raises the chance my blog is found by Mobile user thus its nice my blog to be Mobile ready well …

To solve that I did a quick search in google and found WPToucha mobile plugin for WordPress that automatically enables a simple and elegant mobile theme for mobile visitors of your WordPress website
To install it downloaded the plugin in usual /var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins , enabled it and refreshed in Android Mobile Browser and my blog appeared great in a theme specially designed for mobile browsers as you can see in below screenshot:

my-blog-outlook-in-mobile-android-browser-with-wptouch-wordpress-plugin-screenshot

If you still haven't tried WPTouch give it a try.

How to make SSH tunnel with PuTTY terminal client

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Create-how to make ssh tunnel with Putty on microsoft windows Vista / 7 XP / 2000
Earlier I blogged how to create SSH tunnels on Linux. Another interesting thing is how to make SSH tunnels on Windows. This can be done with multiple SSH clients but probably quickest and most standard way is to do create SSH tunnel with Putty. So why would one want to make SSH tunnel to a Windows host? Lets say your remote server has a port filtered to the Internet but available to a local network to which you don't have direct access, the only way to access the port in question then is to create SSH tunnel between your computer and remote machine on some locally binded port (lets say you need to access port 80 on remote host and you will access it through localhost tunneled through 8080). Very common scenario where tunneling comes handy if you have a Tomcat server behind firewalled DMZ| / load balancer or Reverse Proxy. Usually on well secured networks direct access to Tomcat application server will be disabled to its listen port (lets say 11444). Another important great think of SSH tunnels is all information between Remote server and local PC are transferred in strong SSH crypted form so this adds extra security level to your communication.
Once "real life" case of SSH tunnel is whether you have to deploy an application which fails after deployment with no meaningful message but error is returned by Apache Reverse Proxy. To test directly tomcat best thing is to create SSH tunnel between remote host 11444 and local host through 11444 (or any other port of choice). Other useful case would be if you have to access directly via CLI interface an SQL server lets say MySQL (remote port 3306 filtered) and inaccessible with mysql cli or Oracle DB with Db listener on port 1521 (needed to accessed via sqlplus).

In that case Putty's Tunneling capabilities comes handy especially if you don't have a Linux box at hand.
To create new SSH tunnel in putty to MySQL port 3306 on localhost (3306) – be sure MySQL is not running on localhost 😉
Open Putty Navigate in left pane config bar to:

SSH -> Tunnels

Type in

Source Port

– port on which SSH tunnel will be binded on your Windows (localhost / 127.0.0.1) in this example case 3306.

Then for

Destination
– IP address or host of remote host with number of port to which SSH tunnel will be opened.

N.B. ! in order to make tunneling possible you will need to have opened access to SSH port of remote (Destination) host

make ssh tunnel on Microsoft Windows putty to remote filtered mysql shot

make ssh tunnels on Microsoft windows putty to remote filtered mysql 2 screenshot

open ssh tunnel via WINDOWS port 22 on microsoft windows 7 screenshot

Once click Open you will be prompted for username on remote host in my case to my local router 83.228.93.76. Once you login to remote host open command prompt and try to connect Windows Command prompt Start -> Run (cmd.exe) ;

C:\Users\\hipo> telnet localhost 3306

Connection should be succesful and you from there on assuming you have the MySQL cli version for windows installed you can use to login to remote SQL via SSH tunnel with;

C:\Users\\hipo> mysql -u root -h localhost -p

To later remove existing SSH Tunnel go again to SSH -> Tunnels press on SSH tunnel and choose Remove

Further you can craete multiple SSH tunnels for all services to remote host where access is needed. Important think to remember when creating multiple SSH connections is source port on localhost to remote machine should be unique

USB Stick – Holy Scriptures of Roman Catholic Bible

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

While browsing the internet, I've found an interesting "gadget" a USB made to look like a holy bible cover. The Holy Bible distributed is Roman Catholic. This probably means Roman Catholics has already approved and blessed the distribution of the Holy Bible in digital form.


Though I think the digital distribution of Holy Bible is a good think I think it is better the primary source of distribution of the Holy Bible be the now almost old fashioned paper form. If the Holy Bible (Holy Scriptures) and livings of the saints are primary distributed in a digital form over the internet. This could mean that there disappearance could happen very quickly if the Internet is filtered or the information on the Internet gets encoded not to include certain texts. Though from current standpoint encoding certain content on the Internet seems like impossible, I'm quite sure in the short future this will be possible. In a way that certain texts which are talking things against the governmental powers could be possibly filtered out … I truly hope this will never happen but it is one possible scenario that might come true.  Bill Gates has already a vision for disappearance of the paper all around the world.Gates desire for abondoning the paper  is stated in his books The Road Ahead. I truly hope Gates book predictions will never come true.

How to reduce spam in PHPBB based internet forum on Debian GNU / Linux

Monday, March 26th, 2012

phpbb reduce spam bot registrations on Debian Linux tiny script

I had to install two PHPBB based internet forums, some long time ago. Since long time passed and I haven't checked what's happening with them I just noticed. They start filling up spam threads. The phpbb installations are done using the standard shipped deb packages in Debian Linux Lenny.

After checking online, I found one smart solution to . The idea is very simple most spam bots are written in a way that they don't have a properly set timezone. Therefore the quickest way to get rid of spam bots which try to auto register and put spam content inside the a forum category or post is to add a simple if condition in php to check the browser set timezone:

The file to add the php if condition is ucp_register.phpThe phpbb package install places default phpbb path on Debian is /usr/share/phpbb3/ and hence the file I had to modify is located in:

/usr/share/phpbb3/www/includes/ucp/ucp_register.php

To make the TZ check one needs to modify ../www/includes/ucp/ucp_register.php and look for php array definition:

$data = array(
'username' => utf8_normalize_nfc(request_var('username', '', true)),
'new_password' => request_var('new_password', '', true),
'password_confirm' => request_var('password_confirm', '', true),
'email' => strtolower(request_var('email', '')),
'email_confirm' => strtolower(request_var('email_confirm', '')),
'confirm_code' => request_var('confirm_code', ''),
'lang' => basename(request_var('lang', $user->lang_name)),
'tz' => request_var('tz', (float) $timezone),
);

Right after this chunk of code add the if condition code which is like so:

if ($data['tz'] == '-12.00')
{
die('Die, bot! Die.');
}

From now onwards, any attempt for new user registration with an incorrect timezone of -12.00 will be immediately stopped while the forum spammer bot will be offered an empty page 🙂

Another good practice is to disable Birthday Listing from phpbb Admin Control panel (ACP). Go to menus:

ACP -> General -> Board Settings -> Enable Birthday listing: (No)

Enable birthday listing phpbb forum screenshot

I like disabling birthday listing, as when it is enabled and you have some spammer registrations, which even though didn't succeeded to contaminate your forum content has specified a birthday and therefore there profiles gets popping up each different day on the main page of the forum.
This will not eradicate all spammer bots, but at least will significantly decrease spammer bot registrations.

How to restart Microsoft IIS with command via Windows command line

Friday, August 19th, 2011

I’m tuning a Windows 2003 for better performance and securing it against DoS of service attacks. After applying all the changes I needed to restart the WebServer for the new configurations to take effect.
As I’m not a GUI kind of guy I found it handy there is a fast command to restart the Microsoft Internet Information Server. The command to restart IIS is:

c:> iisreset