Posts Tagged ‘tcp’

Find all running hosts, used IPs and ports on your local wireless / ethernet network or how to do a basic network security audit with nmap

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Find all running hosts / used IPs on your local wireless or ethernet network


If you're using a Free Software OS such as GNU / Linux or some other proprietary OS such as Mac OS X or Windows and you need a quick way to check all running IPs hosts / nodes locally on your current connected Ethernet or Wireless network, here is how to do it with nmap (Network exploration and security tool port scanner).

So why would you do scan that? 

Well just for fun, out of curiousity or just because you want to inspect your local network whether someone unexpected cracker did not break and is not using your Wi-Fi or Ethernet local network and badly snoring your network listening for passwords.

Before you start you should have installed NMAP network scanner on your GNU / Linux, to do so on 

Redhat Based Linux (Fedora / CentOS / Redhat Enterprise RHEL):


yum -y install nmap


On Deb based GNU / Linux-es such as Ubuntu / Mint / Debian etc.


apt-get install –yes nmap


To install nmap on FreeBSD / NetBSD / OpenBSD OS issue from console or terminal:


cd /usr/ports/security/nmap
make install clean 


or if you prefer to install it from latest binary instead of compiling


pkg_add -vr nmap


On a proprietary Mac OS X (I don't recommend you to use this obnoxious OS which is designed as a proprpietary software to steal your freedom and control you, but anyways for Mac OS victims), you can do it to with Macs equivalent tool of apt-get / yum called homebrew:

Open Mac OS X terminal and to install homebrew run:


ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
brew install nmap
brew search nmap
brew info nmap


If you want to do it system wide become root (super user) from Mac terminal with


su root


and run above commands as administrator user.

Windows users might take a look at Nmap for Windows or use the M$ Windows native portqry command line port scanner

Test whether nmap is properly installed and ready to use with command:


nmap –help
Nmap 6.00 ( )
Usage: nmap [Scan Type(s)] [Options] {target specification}
  Can pass hostnames, IP addresses, networks, etc.
  Ex:,,; 10.0.0-255.1-254
  -iL <inputfilename>: Input from list of hosts/networks
  -iR <num hosts>: Choose random targets
  –exclude <host1[,host2][,host3],…>: Exclude hosts/networks
  –excludefile <exclude_file>: Exclude list from file
  -sL: List Scan – simply list targets to scan
  -sn: Ping Scan – disable port scan
  -Pn: Treat all hosts as online — skip host discovery
  -PS/PA/PU/PY[portlist]: TCP SYN/ACK, UDP or SCTP discovery to given ports
  -PE/PP/PM: ICMP echo, timestamp, and netmask request discovery probes
  -PO[protocol list]: IP Protocol Ping
  -n/-R: Never do DNS resolution/Always resolve [default: sometimes]
  –dns-servers <serv1[,serv2],…>: Specify custom DNS servers
  –system-dns: Use OS's DNS resolver
  –traceroute: Trace hop path to each host
  -sS/sT/sA/sW/sM: TCP SYN/Connect()/ACK/Window/Maimon scans
  -sU: UDP Scan
  -sN/sF/sX: TCP Null, FIN, and Xmas scans
  –scanflags <flags>: Customize TCP scan flags
  -sI <zombie host[:probeport]>: Idle scan
  -sO: IP protocol scan
  -b <FTP relay host>: FTP bounce scan
  -p <port ranges>: Only scan specified ports
    Ex: -p22; -p1-65535; -p U:53,111,137,T:21-25,80,139,8080,S:9
  -F: Fast mode – Scan fewer ports than the default scan
  -r: Scan ports consecutively – don't randomize
  –top-ports <number>: Scan <number> most common ports
  –port-ratio <ratio>: Scan ports more common than <ratio>
  -sV: Probe open ports to determine service/version info
  –version-intensity <level>: Set from 0 (light) to 9 (try all probes)
  –version-light: Limit to most likely probes (intensity 2)
  –version-all: Try every single probe (intensity 9)
  –version-trace: Show detailed version scan activity (for debugging)
  -sC: equivalent to –script=default
  –script=<Lua scripts>: <Lua scripts> is a comma separated list of 
           directories, script-files or script-categories
  –script-args=<n1=v1,[n2=v2,…]>: provide arguments to scripts
  –script-args-file=filename: provide NSE script args in a file
  –script-trace: Show all data sent and received
  –script-updatedb: Update the script database.
  –script-help=<Lua scripts>: Show help about scripts.
           <Lua scripts> is a comma separted list of script-files or
  -O: Enable OS detection
  –osscan-limit: Limit OS detection to promising targets
  –osscan-guess: Guess OS more aggressively
  Options which take <time> are in seconds, or append 'ms' (milliseconds),
  's' (seconds), 'm' (minutes), or 'h' (hours) to the value (e.g. 30m).
  -T<0-5>: Set timing template (higher is faster)
  –min-hostgroup/max-hostgroup <size>: Parallel host scan group sizes
  –min-parallelism/max-parallelism <numprobes>: Probe parallelization
  –min-rtt-timeout/max-rtt-timeout/initial-rtt-timeout <time>: Specifies
      probe round trip time.
  –max-retries <tries>: Caps number of port scan probe retransmissions.
  –host-timeout <time>: Give up on target after this long
  –scan-delay/–max-scan-delay <time>: Adjust delay between probes
  –min-rate <number>: Send packets no slower than <number> per second
  –max-rate <number>: Send packets no faster than <number> per second
  -f; –mtu <val>: fragment packets (optionally w/given MTU)
  -D <decoy1,decoy2[,ME],…>: Cloak a scan with decoys
  -S <IP_Address>: Spoof source address
  -e <iface>: Use specified interface
  -g/–source-port <portnum>: Use given port number
  –data-length <num>: Append random data to sent packets
  –ip-options <options>: Send packets with specified ip options
  –ttl <val>: Set IP time-to-live field
  –spoof-mac <mac address/prefix/vendor name>: Spoof your MAC address
  –badsum: Send packets with a bogus TCP/UDP/SCTP checksum
  -oN/-oX/-oS/-oG <file>: Output scan in normal, XML, s|<rIpt kIddi3,
     and Grepable format, respectively, to the given filename.
  -oA <basename>: Output in the three major formats at once
  -v: Increase verbosity level (use -vv or more for greater effect)
  -d: Increase debugging level (use -dd or more for greater effect)
  –reason: Display the reason a port is in a particular state
  –open: Only show open (or possibly open) ports
  –packet-trace: Show all packets sent and received
  –iflist: Print host interfaces and routes (for debugging)
  –log-errors: Log errors/warnings to the normal-format output file
  –append-output: Append to rather than clobber specified output files
  –resume <filename>: Resume an aborted scan
  –stylesheet <path/URL>: XSL stylesheet to transform XML output to HTML
  –webxml: Reference stylesheet from Nmap.Org for more portable XML
  –no-stylesheet: Prevent associating of XSL stylesheet w/XML output
  -6: Enable IPv6 scanning
  -A: Enable OS detection, version detection, script scanning, and traceroute
  –datadir <dirname>: Specify custom Nmap data file location
  –send-eth/–send-ip: Send using raw ethernet frames or IP packets
  –privileged: Assume that the user is fully privileged
  –unprivileged: Assume the user lacks raw socket privileges
  -V: Print version number
  -h: Print this help summary page.
  nmap -v -A
  nmap -v -sn
  nmap -v -iR 10000 -Pn -p 80


Most local router local networks are running under an IP range of ( or or at some weird occasions depending on how the router is configured it might be something like to be sure on what kind of network your computer is configured, you can check with ifconfig command, what kind of network IP has the router assigned to your computer, here is output from my Debian GNU / Linux /sbin/ifconfig


 hipo@noah:~$ /sbin/ifconfig 
lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:336 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:336 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:26656 (26.0 KiB)  TX bytes:26656 (26.0 KiB)



wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:1c:bf:bd:27:59  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::21c:bfff:ffbd:2759/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:112836 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:55363 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:141318655 (134.7 MiB)  TX bytes:7391330 (7.0 MiB)


As evident from above output my router assigns IPs via DHCP once authenticated into the Wi-Fi router under standard IP range of

So under this IP range case, to inspect my small local networkconnected computer I had to run from gnome-terminal or under a /dev/ttyX virtual console:


hipo@noah:~$ nmap -sn

Starting Nmap 6.00 ( ) at 2017-09-04 12:45 EEST
Nmap scan report for pcfreak (
Host is up (0.011s latency).
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.00011s latency).
Nmap done: 256 IP addresses (2 hosts up) scanned in 2.53 seconds

-sn argument instructs nmap to do the so called ping scan, e.g. not to do a port s
can after host discovery but just print available hosts that are responding

Some bigger corporate networks are configured to run a couple of local networks simultaneously such as,, etc.

So if that's the case you can add more virtual IPs to your ifconfig after becoming root super user with:


hipo@noah:~$ su root 


And then run:


/sbin/ifconfig wlan0:0 netmask
/sbin/ifconfig wlan0:1 netmask



Note that here I purposefully choose .110 IP because often the is an IP assigned to the router and that might cause some IP conflicts and trigger alarms in the router security which I want to avoid.

To check just added extra Virtual IPs on wlan0 wireless interface (note that depending on your Wi-Fi card and your driver this interface might come under a different name on your computer):


root@noah# /sbin/ifconfig |grep -i wlan0 -A 1
wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:1c:bf:bd:25:59  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:

wlan0:0   Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:1c:bf:bd:25:59  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:

wlan0:1   Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:1c:bf:bd:27:59  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:



If you're scanning not on your own network but on a public connected network you might prefer to not use the ping scan as this might identify you in router's firewall as possible intruder and could cause you headaches, besides that some network connected nodes are connected to not respond on a ping scan (some networks purposefully disable pings at all) to avoid possibility of the so called ping flood that might overload a router buffer or bring down hosts on the network beinf flooded.

If you have doubts that a network has ping disabled and it shows no result you can give a try to the so called SYN / FIN Stealth packet scan with added requirement to scan for UDP open ports (-sS) argument


root@noah:/~# nmap -sS -sU -sT

Starting Nmap 6.00 ( ) at 2017-09-04 13:31 EEST
Nmap scan report for pcfreak (
Host is up (0.012s latency).
Not shown: 998 closed ports
80/tcp   open  http
1900/tcp open  upnp
MAC Address: 10:FE:ED:43:CF:0E (Unknown)

Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.0036s latency).
Not shown: 998 closed ports
625/tcp   open  apple-xsrvr-admin
49153/tcp open  unknown
MAC Address: 84:38:35:5F:28:75 (Unknown)

Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.000012s latency).
Not shown: 999 closed ports
22/tcp open  ssh

You might also like to add some verbosy (that would generate a lot of output so be careful):

In case if above scan fails due to firewalls and you have a ping scan disabled on the network too you might also try out the so called nmap connect TCP connect scan (-sT), that would avoid the SYN scan. The -sT is useful also if you're not possessing root superprivileges on nmap running host.


nmap -sS -sU

Note that connect scan could take ages as nmap tries to connect every port from default port scanned ranged on remote found hosts that are reporting as up and running.

If the shown results lead you find some unknown computer / tablet / mobile / phone device connected to your network, then connect to your router and thoroughfully inspect the traffic flowing through it, if you find intruder cut him off and change immediately your router passwords and monitor your network periodically to make sure the unwanted guest did not go back in future.

There is much more you can do with nmap so if you have some extra time and interest into penetration testing I recommend you check out Nmap Book (The Official Nmap project guide to Network Discovery and Security Scanning)

How to mount NFS network filesystem to remote server via /etc/fstab on Linux

Friday, January 29th, 2016

If you have a server topology part of a project where 3 (A, B, C) servers need to be used to deliver a service (one with application server such as Jboss / Tomcat / Apache, second just as a Storage Server holding a dozens of LVM-ed SSD hard drives and an Oracle database backend to provide data about the project) and you need to access server A (application server) to server B (the Storage "monster") one common solution is to use NFS (Network FileSystem) Mount. 
NFS mount is considered already a bit of obsoleted technology as it is generally considered unsecre, however if SSHFS mount is not required due to initial design decision or because both servers A and B are staying in a serious firewalled (DMZ) dedicated networ then NTS should be a good choice.
Of course to use NFS mount should always be a carefully selected Environment Architect decision so remote NFS mount, imply  that both servers are connected via a high-speed gigabyte network, e.g. network performance is calculated to be enough for application A <-> to network storage B two sides communication not to cause delays for systems end Users.

To test whether the NFS server B mount is possible on the application server A, type something like:


mount -t nfs -o soft,timeo=900,retrans=3,vers=3, proto=tcp remotenfsserver-host:/home/nfs-mount-data /mnt/nfs-mount-point

If the mount is fine to make the mount permanent on application server host A (in case of server reboot), add to /etc/fstab end of file, following: /application/remote-application-dir-to-mount nfs   rw,bg,nolock,vers=3,tcp,timeo=600,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,hard,intr 1 2

If the NTFS server has a hostname you can also type hostname instead of above example sample IP, this is however not recommended as this might cause in case of DNS or Domain problems.
If you want to mount with hostname (in case if storage server IP is being commonly changed due to auto-selection from a DHCP server):

server-hostA:/application/local-application-dir-to-mount /application/remote-application-dir-to-mount nfs   rw,bg,nolock,vers=3,tcp,timeo=600,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,hard,intr 1 2

In above example you need to have the /application/local-application-dir-to-mount (dir where remote NFS folder will be mounted on server A) as well as the /application/remote-application-dir-to-mount
Also on server Storage B server, you have to have running NFS server with firewall accessibility from server A working.

The timeou=600 (is defined in) order to make the timeout for remote NFS accessibility 1 hour in order to escape mount failures if there is some minutes network failure between server A and server B, the rsize and wsize
should be fine tuned according to the files that are being red from remote NFS server and the network speed between the two in the example are due to environment architecture (e.g. to reflect the type of files that are being transferred by the 2)
and the remote NFS server running version and the Linux kernel versions, these settings are for Linux kernel branch 2.6.18.x which as of time of writting this article is obsolete, so if you want to use the settings check for your kernel version and
NTFS and google and experiment.

Anyways, if you're not sure about wsize and and rise, its perfectly safe to omit these 2 values if you're not familiar to it.

To finally check the NFS mount is fine,  grep it:


# mount|grep -i nfs
sunrpc on /var/lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs type rpc_pipefs (rw)
server-hostA:/application/remote-application-dir-to-mount on /application/remote-application-dir-to-mount type nfs (rw,bg,nolock,nfsvers=3,tcp,timeo=600,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,hard,intr,addr=

That's all enjoy 🙂



PortQRY Native Windows command line Nmap like port scanner – Check status of remote host ports on Windows

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Linux users know pretty well Nmap (network mapper) tool which is precious in making a quick server host security evaluation.
Nmap binary port is available for Windows too, however as nmap is port for its normal operation you have to install WinPcap (Packet Capture Library).
And more importantly it is good to mention if you need to do some remote port scanning from Windows host, there is Microsoft produced native tool called PortQry (Port Query).

PortQRY is a must have tool for the Windows Admin as it can help you troubleshoot multiple network issues.

As of time of writting this post PortQRY is at version 2, PortQRY tool has also a GUI (UI) Version for those lazy to type in command line.

Port Query UI tool (portqueryui.exe) is a tool to query open ports on a machine. This tool makes use of command line version port query tool (portqry.exe). The UI provides the following functionalities:

   1. Following "Enter destination IP or FQDN to query:”, an edit box needs the user to specify the IP address or FDQN name of the destination to query port status.

   2. The end user is able to choose Query type:

        – Predefined services type. It groups ports into service, so that you can query multiple ports for a service by a single click. Service includes "Domains and Trusts", "DNS Queries", "NetBIOS     communication", "IPSEC", "Networking", "SQL Service", "WEB Service", "Exchange Server",          "Netmeeting", and other services.

You can check detail port and protocol info for each service category by opening Help -> Predefined Services…

PORTQRY is part of Windows Server 2003 Support Tools and can be added to any NT based Windows (XP, 2003, Vista, 7, 8)
 You can download portqry command line tool here or my mirrored portqry version command line port scanner here and PortQRY UI here.

PortQRY comes in PortQryV2.exe package which when run extracts 3 files: PortQry.exe program, EULA and readme file. Quickest way to make portqry globally accessible from win command prompt is to copy it to %SystemRoot% (The environment variable holding default location for Windows Installation directory).
It is good idea to add PortQRY to default PATH folder to make it accessible from command line globally.

PorQry has 3 modes of operation:

Command Line Mode, Interactive Mode and Local Mode


Command Line Mode – is when it is invoked with parameters.

Interactive Mode is when it runs in interactive CLI console


and Local Mode is used whether information on local system ports is required.


Here are some examples on basic usage of portqry:

1. Check if remote server is running webserver is listening on (HTTPS protocol) TCP port 80

portqry -n servername -e 80

Querying target system called:

Attempting to resolve name to IP address…

Name resolved to


TCP port 80 (http service): FILTERED

2. Check whether some common Samba sharing and DNS UDP ports are listening

portqry -n servername -p UDP -o 37,53,88,135

Querying target system called:


Attempting to resolve name to IP address…

Name resolved to


UDP port 37 (time service): NOT LISTENING

UDP port 53 (domain service): NOT LISTENING

UDP port 88 (kerberos service): NOT LISTENING

UDP port 135 (epmap service): NOT LISTENING

3. Scan open ports in a port range – Check common services port range (port 1-1024)

portqry -n -r 1:1024 | find ": LISTENING"

4. Logging network scan output to file

Portqry –n localhost –e 135 -l port135.txt

Querying target system called:


Attempting to resolve name to IP address…

Name resolved to


TCP port 135 (epmap service): LISTENING

Using ephemeral source port
Querying Endpoint Mapper Database…
Server's response:

UUID: d95afe70-a6d5-4259-822e-2c84da1ddb0d

UUID: 2f5f6521-cb55-1059-b446-00df0bce31db Unimodem LRPC Endpoint

Total endpoints found: 38

5. Scanning UDP and TCP protocols port

PortQry -n -e 25 -p both


Querying target system called:

Attempting to resolve name to IP address…

Name resolved to


TCP port 53 (domain service): LISTENING

UDP port 53 (domain service): LISTENING or FILTERED

Sending DNS query to UDP port 53…


6. Checking remote server whether LDAP ports are listening

Portqry -p tcp -e 389
Portqry -n -p tcp -e 636
Portqry -n -p both -e 3268
Portqry -n -p tcp -e 3269

7. Making SNMP community name requests

portqry -n host2 -cn !my community name! -e 161 -p udp

8. Initiating scan from pre-selected source port

A network socket request initiation is useful from certain port because, some remote services expect connection from certain ports, lets say you're connecting to mail server, you might want to set as a source port – port 25, to make remote server another SMTP is connecting.

portqry -n -e 25 -sp 25

9. Scanning whether server ports required by Active Directories are opened

Common ports used in Windows hosts to communicate between each other to sustain Active Directory are:

88 (Kerberos)
135 (RPC)
389 (LDAP)
445 (CIFS)
3268 (Global Catalog)

portqry -n -o 88,135,389,445,3268 -p both

portqry has also a silent mode with the "-q" switch if you want to get only whether a port is LISTENING (opened).

On port scan it returns three major return codes (very useful for scripting purposes);

  • returncode 0 – if port / service is listening
  • returncode 1 – if service is not listening
  • returncode 2 – if service is listening or filtered

PortQry is very simple port scanner for win sysadms and is precious tool for basic network debugging (services)  on Windows farms, however it doesn't have the powerful cracker functionality, application / OS versioning etc. like Nmap.


Linux / BSD: Check if Apache web server is listening on port 80 and 443

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

If you're configuring a new Webserver or adding a new VirtualHost to an existing Apache configuration you will need to restart Apache with or without graceful option once Apache is restarted to assure Apache is continuously running on server (depending on Linux distribution) issue:

1. On Debian Linux / Ubuntu servers

# ps axuwf|grep -i apache|grep -v grep

root 23280 0.0 0.2 388744 16812 ? Ss May29 0:13 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data 10815 0.0 0.0 559560 3616 ? S May30 2:25 _ /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data 10829 0.0 0.0 561340 3600 ? S May30 2:31 _ /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data 10906 0.0 0.0 554256 3580 ? S May30 0:20 _ /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data 10913 0.0 0.0 562488 3612 ? S May30 2:32 _ /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data 10915 0.0 0.0 555524 3588 ? S May30 0:19 _ /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data 10935 0.0 0.0 553760 3588 ? S May30 0:29 _ /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start


2. On CentOS, Fedora, RHEL and SuSE Linux and FreeBSD

ps ax | grep httpd | grep -v grep


7661 ? Ss 0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
7664 ? S 0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
7665 ? S 0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
7666 ? S 0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
7667 ? S 0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
7668 ? S 0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
7669 ? S 0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
7670 ? S 0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
7671 ? S 0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd


Whether a new Apache IP Based VirtualHosts are added to already existing Apache and you have added new


directives, after Apache is restarted to check whether Apache is listening on port :80 and :443

netstat -ln | grep -E ':80|443'

tcp        0      0    *               LISTEN
tcp        0      0  *               LISTEN

Meaning of is that Apache is configured to Listen on Any Virtualhost IPs and interfaces. This output is usually returned whether in Apache config httpd.conf / apache2.conf webserver is configured with directive.

Listen *:80

If in netstat output there is some IP poping up for example  "", this means that only connections to the "" IP address will be accepted by Apache.

Another way to look for Apache in netstat (in case Apache is configured to listen on some non-standard port number) is with:

netstat -l |grep -E 'http|www'

tcp        0      0 *:www                   *:*                     LISTEN

As sometimes it might be possible that Apache is listening but its processes are in in defunct (Zommbie) state it is always a good idea, also to check if pages server by Apache are opening in browser (check it with elinks, lynx or curl)

To get more thorough information on Apache listened ports, protocol, user with which Apache is running nomatter of Linux distribution use lsof command:

/usr/bin/lsof -i|grep -E 'httpd|http|www'

httpd     6982 nobody    3u  IPv4  29388359      0t0  TCP (LISTEN)
httpd    18071 nobody    3u  IPv4 702790659      0t0  TCP (LISTEN)
httpd    18071 nobody    4u  IPv4 702790661      0t0  TCP (LISTEN)

If Apache is not showing up even though restarted check what is going wrong in the error logs:

– on Debian standard error log is /var/log/apache2/error.log
– On RHEL, CentOS, SuSE std. error log is in /var/log/httpd/error.log
– on FeeBSD /var/log/httpd-error.log


How to install and configure Jabber Server (Ejabberd) on Debian Lenny GNU / Linux

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Ejabberd server erlang logo hedgehog

I've recently installed a jabber server on one Debian Lenny server and hence decided to describe my installations steps hoping this would help ppl who would like to run their own jabber server on Debian . After some research of the jabber server softwares available, I decided to install Ejabberd

The reasons I choose Ejabberd is has rich documentation, good community around the project and the project in general looks like one of the best free software jabber servers available presently. Besides that ejabberd doesn't need Apache or MySQL and only depends on erlang programming language.

Here is the exact steps I followed to have installed and configured a running XMPP jabber server.

1. Install Ejabberd with apt

The installation of Ejabberd is standard, e.g.:

debian:~# apt-get --yes install ejabberd

Now as ejabberd is installed, some minor configuration is necessery before the server can be launched:

2. Edit /etc/ejabberd/ejabberd.cfg

Inside I changed the default settings for:

a) Uncomment%%override_acls.. Changed:

%%%% Remove the Access Control Lists before new ones are added.%%%%override_acls.


%% Remove the Access Control Lists before new ones are added.

b) Admin User from:

%% Admin user
{acl, admin, {user, "", ""}}.


%% Admin user
{acl, admin, {user, "admin", ""}}.

c) default %% Hostname of to my real hostname:

%% Hostname
{hosts, [""]}.

The rest of the configurations in /etc/ejabberd/ejabberd.cfg can stay like it is, though it is interesting to read it carefully before continuing as, there are some config timings which might prevent the XMPP server from user brute force attacks as well as few other goodies like for example (ICQ, MSN , Yahoo etc.) protocol transports.

3. Add iptables ACCEPT traffic (allow) rules for ports which are used by Ejabberd

The minimum ACCEPT rules to add are:

/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 5222 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m udp --dport 5222 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 5223 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m udp --dport 5223 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 5269 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m udp --dport 5269 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 5280 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m udp --dport 5280 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 4369 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m udp --dport 4369 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 53873 -j ACCEPT

Of course if there is some specific file which stores iptables rules or some custom firewall these rules has to be added / modified to fit appropriate place or chain.

4. Restart ejabberd via init.d script

debian:~# /etc/init.d/ejabberd restart
Restarting jabber server: ejabberd is not running. Starting ejabberd.

5. Create ejabberd necessery new user accounts

debian:~# /usr/sbin/ejabberdctl register admin mypasswd1
debian:~# /usr/sbin/ejabberdctl register hipo mypasswd2
debian:~# /usr/sbin/ejabberdctl register newuser mypasswd3
debian:~# /usr/sbin/ejabberdctl register newuser1 mypasswd4

ejabberdctl ejabberd server client (frontend) has multiple other options and the manual is a good reading.

One helpful use of ejabberdctl is:

debian:~# /usr/sbin/ejabberdctl status
Node ejabberd@debian is started. Status: started
ejabberd is running

ejabberctl can be used also to delete some existent users, for example to delete the newuser1 just added above:

debian:~# /usr/sbin/ejabberdctl unregister newuser

6. Post install web configurations

ejabberd server offers a web interface listening on port 5280, to access the web interface right after it is installed I used URL:

To login to you will need to use the admin username previously added in this case: mypasswd1

Anyways in the web interface there is not much of configuration options available for change.

7. Set dns SRV records

I'm using Godaddy 's DNS for my domain so here is a screenshot on the SRV records that needs to be configured on Godaddy:

GoDaddy DNS SRV records screenshot

In the screenshto Target is the Fually qualified domain hostname for the jabber server.

Setting the SRV records for the domain using Godaddy's DNS could take from 24 to 48 hours to propagate the changes among all the global DNS records so be patient.

If instead you use own custom BIND DNS server the records that needs to be added to the respective domain zone file are:

_xmpp-client._tcp 900 IN SRV 5 0 5222
_xmpp-server._tcp 900 IN SRV 5 0 5269
_jabber._tcp 900 IN SRV 5 0 5269

8. Testing if the SRV dns records for domain are correct

debian:~$ nslookup
> set type=SRV

 If all is fine above nslookup request should return the requested domain SRV records.
You might be wondering what is the purpose of setting DNS SRV records at all, well if your jabber server has to communicate with the other jabber servers on the internet using the DNS SRV record is the way your server will found the other ones and vice versa.

DNS records can also be checked with dig for example

$ dig SRV



;; ANSWER SECTION: 259200 IN SRV 5 0 5269


;; Query time: 109 msec
;; WHEN: Sat Aug 14 14:14:22 2010
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 111

9. Debugging issues with ejabberd

Ejabberd log files are located in /var/log/ejabberd , you will have to check the logs in case of any issues with the jabber XMPP server. Here is the three files which log messages from ejabberd:

debian:~$ ls -1 /var/log/ejabberd/

I will not get into details on the logs as the best way to find out about them is to read them 😉

10. Testing ejabberd server with Pidgin

To test if my Jabber server works properly I used Pidgin universal chat client . However there are plenty of other multiplatform jabber clients out there e.g.: Psi , Spark , Gajim etc.

Here is a screenshot of my (Accounts -> Manage Accounts -> Add) XMPP protocol configuration

Pidgin account configuration XMPP on debian Linux

How to turn off telnetd on FreeBSD

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

There is a brand new remote FreeBSD vulnerability in telnetd in all its versions starting from version 7 to 9. It is therefore advisable that the telnet daemon be completely disabled.

To disable telnetd on FreeBSD:

1. Open /etc/inetd.conf

freebsd# vi /etc/inetd.conf

2. Comment out the line

telnet stream tcp nowait root /usr/libexec/telnetd telnetd


#telnet stream tcp nowait root /usr/libexec/telnetd telnetd

3. Restart inetd

freebsd# /etc/rc.d/inetd restart

The whole remote root telnetd FreeBSD security advisory (SA), can be read here

How to make GRE tunnel iptables port redirect on Linux

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

I’ve recently had to build a Linux server with some other servers behind the router with NAT.
One of the hosts behind the Linux router was running a Window GRE encrypted tunnel service. Which had to be accessed with the Internet ip address of the server.
In order < б>to make the GRE tunnel accessible, a bit more than just adding a normal POSTROUTING DNAT rule and iptables FORWARD is necessery.

As far as I’ve read online, there is quite of a confusion on the topic of how to properly configure the GRE tunnel accessibility on Linux , thus in this very quick tiny tutorial I’ll explain how I did it.

1. Load the ip_nat_pptp and ip_conntrack_pptp kernel module

linux-router:~# modprobe ip_nat_pptp
linux-router:~# modprobe ip_conntrack_pptp

These two modules are an absolutely necessery to be loaded before the remote GRE tunnel is able to be properly accessed, I’ve seen many people complaining online that they can’t make the GRE tunnel to work and I suppose in many of the cases the reason not to be succeed is omitting to load this two kernel modules.

2. Make the ip_nat_pptp and ip_nat_pptp modules to load on system boot time

linux-router:~# echo 'ip_nat_pptp' >> /etc/modules
linux-router:~# echo 'ip_conntrack_pptp' >> /etc/modules

3. Insert necessery iptables PREROUTING rules to make the GRE tunnel traffic flow

linux-router:~# /sbin/iptables -A PREROUTING -d -p tcp -m tcp --dport 1723 -j DNAT --to-destination
linux-router:~# /sbin/iptables -A PREROUTING -p gre -j DNAT --to-destination

In the above example rules its necessery to substitute the ip address withe the external internet (real IP) address of the router.

Also the IP address of is the internal IP address of the host where the GRE host tunnel is located.

Next it’s necessery to;

4. Add iptables rule to forward tcp/ip traffic to the GRE tunnel

linux-router:~# /sbin/iptables -A FORWARD -p gre -j ACCEPT

Finally it’s necessery to make the above iptable rules to be permanent by saving the current firewall with iptables-save or add them inside the script which loads the iptables firewall host rules.
Another possible way is to add them from /etc/rc.local , though this kind of way is not recommended as rules would add only after succesful bootup after all the rest of init scripts and stuff in /etc/rc.local is loaded without errors.

Afterwards access to the GRE tunnel to the local IP using the port 1723 and host IP is possible.
Hope this is helpful. Cheers 😉

How to install and configure djbdns from source as a Cachening Localhost Proxy resolver to increase resolving efficiency on Debian 6 Squeeze

Monday, August 1st, 2011

It seems DjbDNS on Debian Squeeze has been not included as a Debian package. There is still possibility to install djbdns from an older deb package or install it from source. I however decided to install it from source as finding the old Debian package for Lenny and Etch takes time, plus I'm running an amd64 version of Debian and this might even more complicate the situation.
Installing it from source is not really a Debian way but at least it works.

In this article I assume that daemontools and ucspi-tcp are preliminary installed, if not one needs to install them with:

debian:~# apt-get install ucspi-tcp daemontools daemontools-run

The above two ones are required as DJBDNS is originally made to run through djb's daemontools.

Here is the exact step I took to have it installed as local caching DNS server on a Debian Squeeze server:

1. Download and untar DjbDNS

debian:~# wget -q debian:~# tar -zxvvf djbdns-1.05.tar.gz

2. Add DjbDNS users to /etc/passwd

Creating the below two users is not arbitrary but it's recommendable.

echo 'dnscache:*:54321:54321:dnscache:/dev/null:/dev/null' >> /etc/passwd
echo 'dnslog:*:54322:54322:dnslog:/dev/null:/dev/null' >> /etc/passwd

3. Compile DJBDNS nameserver

First it's necessery to use the below echo command to work around a common Linux bug:

debian:~# cd djbdns-1.05
debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# echo gcc -O2 -include /usr/include/errno.h > conf-cc

Next let's make it:

debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# make

4. Install the compiled djbdns binaries

debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# make setup check
# here comes some long install related output

If no errors are produced by make setup check this means that the djbdns should have installed itself fine.

As installation is compileted it's a good idea to report about the newly installed DjbDNS server if running a mail server. This info is used by Dan Bernstein to gather statistical data about the number of installations of djbdns servers throughout the world.

5. Do some general configurations to the newly installed DJBDNS

Now let's copy the list of the IP addresses of the global DNS root servers in /etc/.

debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# cp -rpf /etc/ debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# ./dnscache-conf dnscache dnslog /etc/dnscache

dnscache-conf will generate some default configuration files for djbdns in /etc/dnscache

Next allow the networks which should be able to use the just installed djbdns server as a caching server:

debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# cd /etc/dnscache/root/ip
debian:/etc/dnscache/root# touch 192.168.1
debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# touch 123.123

First command will allow all ips in range 192.168.1.* to be able to access the DNS server and the second command will allow all ips from 123.123.1-255.1-255 to be able to query the server.

Some further fine tunning can be done from the files:

/etc/dnscache/env/CACHESIZE and /etc/dnscache/env/DATALIMIT

As a last step, before it's running, we have to link the /etc/dnscache to daemontools like so:

debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# ln -sf /etc/dnscache /etc/service/dnscache

If the daemontools is not linked to be accessible via /etc/service it's also a good to link it there:

debian:~# ln -sf /etc/service /

Now the DJBDNS should be running fine, to test if it's running without errors through daemontools I used:

debian:~# ps ax|grep -i readproc
5358 pts/18 R+ 0:00 grep -i readproc
11824 ? S 0:00 readproctitle service errors: ...........

If no errors are displayed it's configured and running to also test if it's capable of resolving I used the host command:

debian:~# host localhost
Using domain server:
Name: localhost
Aliases: has address mail is handled by 0

Now the DJBDNS is properly installed and if you test it for a while with time host localhost , you will see how quick it is in resolving.

The advantage of running DJBDNS is it does not require almost no maintance, its rock solid and great just like all other Dan Bernstein's written software.
Enjoy 😉

How to check if your Linux WebServer is under a DoS attack

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

There are few commands I usually use to track if my server is possibly under a Denial of Service attack or under Distributed Denial of Service

Sys Admins who still have not experienced the terrible times of being under a DoS attack are happy people for sure …

1. How to Detect a TCP/IP Denial of Service Attack This are the commands I use to find out if a loaded Linux server is under a heavy DoS attack, one of the most essential one is of course netstat.
To check if a server is under a DoS attack with netstat, it’s common to use:

linux:~# netstat -ntu | awk '{print $5}' | cut -d: -f1 | sort | uniq -c | sort -n|wc -l

If the output of below command returns a result like 2000 or 3000 connections!, then obviously it’s very likely the server is under a DoS attack.

To check all the IPS currently connected to the Apache Webserver and get a very brief statistics on the number of times each of the IPs connected to my server, I use the cmd:

linux:~# netstat -ntu | awk '{print $5}' | cut -d: -f1 | sort | uniq -c | sort -n
221 233 540

As you could see from the above command output the IP is either connected 221 times to the server or is in state of connecting or disconnecting to the node.

Another possible way to check, if a Linux or BSD server is under a Distributed DoS is with the list open files command lsof
Here is how lsof can be used to list the approximate number of ESTABLISHED connections to port 80.

linux:~# lsof -i TCP:80
litespeed 241931 nobody 17u IPv4 18372655 TCP (LISTEN)
litespeed 241931 nobody 25u IPv4 18372659 TCP (LISTEN)
litespeed 241931 nobody 30u IPv4 29149647 TCP> (ESTABLISHED)
litespeed 241931 nobody 33u IPv4 18372647 TCP (LISTEN)
litespeed 241931 nobody 34u IPv4 29137514 TCP> (ESTABLISHED)
litespeed 241931 nobody 35u IPv4 29137831 TCP> (ESTABLISHED)
litespeed 241931 nobody 37w IPv4 29132085 TCP> (ESTABLISHED)

Another way to get an approximate number of established connections to let’s say Apache or LiteSpeed webserver with lsof can be achieved like so:

linux:~# lsof -i TCP:80 |wc -l

I find it handy to keep track of above lsof command output every few secs with gnu watch , like so:

linux:~# watch "lsof -i TCP:80"

2. How to Detect if a Linux server is under an ICMP SMURF attack

ICMP attack is still heavily used, even though it’s already old fashioned and there are plenty of other Denial of Service attack types, one of the quickest way to find out if a server is under an ICMP attack is through the command:

server:~# while :; do netstat -s| grep -i icmp | egrep 'received|sent' ; sleep 1; done
120026 ICMP messages received
1769507 ICMP messages sent
120026 ICMP messages received
1769507 ICMP messages sent

As you can see the above one liner in a loop would check for sent and recieved ICMP packets every few seconds, if there are big difference between in the output returned every few secs by above command, then obviously the server is under an ICMP attack and needs to hardened.

3. How to detect a SYN flood with netstat

linux:~# netstat -nap | grep SYN | wc -l

1032 SYNs per second is quite a high number and except if the server is not serving let’s say 5000 user requests per second, therefore as the above output reveals it’s very likely the server is under attack, if however I get results like 100/200 SYNs, then obviously there is no SYN flood targetting the machine 😉

Another two netstat command application, which helps determining if a server is under a Denial of Service attacks are:

server:~# netstat -tuna |wc -l


server:~# netstat -tun |wc -l

Of course there also some other ways to check the count the IPs who sent SYN to the webserver, for example:

server:~# netstat -n | grep :80 | grep SYN |wc -l

In many cases of course the top or htop can be useful to find, if many processes of a certain type are hanging around.

4. Checking if UDP Denial of Service is targetting the server

server:~# netstat -nap | grep 'udp' | awk '{print $5}' | cut -d: -f1 | sort |uniq -c |sort -n

The above command will list information concerning possible UDP DoS.

The command can easily be accustomed also to check for both possible TCP and UDP denial of service, like so:

server:~# netstat -nap | grep 'tcp|udp' | awk '{print $5}' | cut -d: -f1 | sort |uniq -c |sort -n

If after getting an IP that has too many connections to the server and is almost certainly a DoS host you would like to filter this IP.

You can use the /sbin/route command to filter it out, using route will probably be a better choice instead of iptables, as iptables would load up the CPU more than simply cutting the route to the server.

Here is how I remove hosts to not be able to route packets to my server:

route add reject

The above command would null route the access of IP to my server.

Later on to look up for a null routed IP to my host, I use:

route -n |grep -i

Well hopefully this should be enough to give a brief overview on how, one can dig in his server and find if he is under a Distributed Denial of Service, hope it’s helpful to somebody out there.
Cheers 😉