Fritz!Box is a series of home routers from AVM, which can do a lot. Among the features is VPN support: site-to-site and client-to-site (road warrior).
I wanted to play with the road warrior setup, because it is always practical to have a way back into a network: for privacy if on a hot spot or just to be able to access hosts on it.
Fritzbox deliverers it own Windows / Mac VPN client (FRITZ!Box VPN Connection) which works pretty good, but as a Linux user I would really enjoy native support (so I don’t have to get access through a VM, which works pretty well by the way).
After multiple failing tests and toggling all possible vpnc configuration options, which aren’t that many by the way, it was time to play: find the differences!
I’m impressed how some software Vendor have resisted to provide support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL6) and its derivates for their products. This week I ran into two examples:
a. Nexpose from Rapid7:
This is a Vulnerability scanner, which does a good job at what it does, even in the Community Edition. Actually it lets you scan up to 32 machines without restricting the plug-ins.
If you look at the requirements in their site you’ll find the following:
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP2 / Server 2003 R2*
- Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
- Microsoft Windows 7
- VMware ESX 3.5 and 4.0
- VMware ESXi 3.5 and 4.0
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 5.x
- Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
- Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
I don’t expect support for Ubuntu 12.04 which was released a couple of weeks ago but I would think that RHEL 6 would be supported, especially since its release date was more than 13 months ago (2010-11-10). It is very probable that a company building a new infrastructure (like in my case) would use the latest enterprise release and not one that is 5 years old, even if it will be supported for 5-8 years more.
To make matters worse, if you try to install on RHEL clones or derivates like CentOS and Scientific Linux the installer says that they are not supported.
Workaroud: change the contents of the /etc/redhat-release during the installation process to the one used by RHEL.
b. Zenoss from Zenoss, Inc
This is an Open Core monitoring system, which one could compare with Nagios + Cacti or commercial tools like HP OpenView.
I couldn’t find a requirements sheet on the commercial website but on the community edition there is support for a wide range of OSes and Linux distributions, again not including RHEL 6.
On the plus side it does offer support for CentOS (I would assume other RHEL clones) and its open core, so you can download the sources and build it yourself if you want to.
I’m wondering what other reason, besides cutting costs, would these vendors have for not supporting RHEL6.
Could it be the penetration rate or the market? I’m going to see if I can find more information regarding this and publish an update afterwards. Maybe I’ll even get a straight answer from the vendors themselves.
I had the pleasure of attending WebOS Developer Workshop in Mainz on Saturday Thgtwi (@thgtwi) did a great job with the organization. SuVuK(@SuVuK_open) did a nice report on the contents of the Workshop in his blog.
I took the opportunity talk about Security in the WebOS platform. I ran some tests based on WebOS 3.X, which is currently available for the HP TouchPad and is being opensourced as Open WebOS. The scope covers issues that can and should be applied to any mobile platform:
- OS / Platform
I haven’t been able to complete the tests that I wanted to, some of them require Exchange to make use of the EAS policies, which I find interesting to see if the hold up to claims in the WebOS security white paper. I’ll post an update a soon as they are done.
The slides are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
If you have any comments or feedback, feel free to contact me..
Even though a don’t agree with many of the decisions and laws created in Venezuela, I think this is great example of implementing a control for a big risk.
The Venezuelan telecommunications regulator Conatel, decided that operators have to implement mechanisms to block a mobile phone once reported stolen by its owner. This blacklist, so to speak, should work between the three main operators in the country and they even got RIM (the maker of the Blackberry devices) to agree on blocking these devices world wide.
Here is a link to the story in Spanish.
I remember from when I wrote my thesis back in 2003, that this feature is part of the original design of the GSM system, so these black lists could also be implemented at a worldwide scale. I also have information from a colleague from Romania that this system has been effectively implemented there and has reduced the theft rates dramatically.
So coming back to controlling risks; this measure if implemented correctly should reduce the risk of having a mobile phone stolen because it cannot be sold. The real impact should be seen in a couple of months once enough phones are effectively blocked and the repair shops have enough spare parts (I have no doubts that many stolen phones will be chopped up).
Update 22/01/2012: after a recent visit to Caracas I checked up on this issue. Seams like the actual bureaucratic burden does not let this policy to be correctly be implemented. I hope this gets better with time.
I’ve had some problems recently (the last couple of weeks) with Empathy on Ubuntu 10.04. All my MSN accounts just started giving my an “Authentication Failed”.
After checking with pidgin, which I use for other accounts, that my credentials were still working I found a post in the Ubuntu Forums that gave me a good solution:
$ sudo aptitude remove telepathy-butterfly
– Make sure you have telepathy-haze installed, if not
$ sudo aptitude install telepathy-haze
– Delete the accounts and recreate them with the new plugin
I’m not sure why this happened, but at least it’s working again.
Hope this helps someone else out there.
I’ve been working with Ubuntu lately at the day job and the Open Office setup is different than on Fedora. One special case is the opening of .pps files, which per default go into “presentation mode” which I normally hate to see (it just takes to long to see what you really what to see in the presentation.
This is a workaround I found around in the Web:
Create ~/bin/ooimpress-edit or if you want to use it system wide /usr/local/bin/ooimpress-edit; and add the following code into it
ooimpress -n “$*”
Use it when ever you think you need it. I set it up as default behaviour in the browser.
As most of you know I’m a Fedora user, well started out some time ago as a Redhat user until they decided to have to spins: Redhat (stable for the enterprise) and Fedora (bleeding edge for the community). Back to the point, my main distro is Fedora but I like to give other distributions a spin to find the pros and cons.
I decided to install the new and shiny Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx”, but there is no way I want to affect my main partitions!! Why should I this is Linux after all, it can boot from a secondary partition I can even put the bootloader at the beginning of the partition to make it totally independent!! Having done that already with Backtrack 4, Ubuntu 9.10 (karmic) and CentOS 5.x it should be as easy as 1 – 2 – 3 (Or simple as… got Jackson 5 ringing in my ear right now).
So the solution I had in mind was just to add a new partition with parted, install there and add the following lines to the /etc/grub.conf in my Fedora partition:
title Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic)
The problem is that Ubuntu 10.04 ships with grub-2 (technically speaking 1.98) and it just doesn’t work the same way. After a couple of re-installs and hours later I came out with this blog with a really detailed review of the distribution and with the solution I needed:
title Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)
Just to make sure your a attacking the right error, this is was I was getting: Error 13 invalid or unsupported executable format
I got the weirdest of errors today trying to open a web page on port 6000:
After reading for a while I found out that de Mozilla Foundation built in this protection for “Cross-Protocol” scripting attack with a form of Port Banning.
To overide this protection use one of the following steps:
- In the user’s profile directory the all.js, add the following line at the end of the file
- In the defaults/pref/ sub-directory of the installation directory (multi-user systems) add the following line at the end of the file
- Open a new window, in the address type: about:config and add a new entry of the type string with this name network.security.ports.banned.override and value 1-65535.
If you want to set free only one port change the range for that port o list of ports.
I just tested the latest version of VMware Workstation for Linux on my Fedora 11 box and there are a couple of things that just bothered me. The big picture is that it’s not working smoothly:
The problems started on install time, in order to be able to install the rpm I had to uninstall gcc! (Thanks to Tusheto for the idea ). Then I could work as usual with your virtual machines until I tried to turn them off: it hung forever, I gave it 5 min. before having to kill window. The files stayed locked thanks to the vmtray that is not shown in GNOME, so if happen to have you VM’s in a external drive there is no way to cleanly unplugg it without killing the residual process.
Afer so many years working with VMware on Linux I really expected more. Rating F
Ran my tests on Fedora 11, kernel: 220.127.116.11-43.fc11.i686.PAE, and VMware-Workstation-6.5.3-185404.i386
I had a couple of scripts working in the back end of an application to create users and set the passwords. So instead of reinventing the wheel I used the ?trusty? useradd.
Until recently one could pass the users password in clear text as a parameter. I assume that someone thought about all the passwords that word saved in history files and decided to change it. The problem is that the used the same parameter but now it expected the password to be encrypted, so it basically stopped working but didn’t generate errors.
After some debugging and some man reading the problem was nailed down, but now I had to generate and encrypt the password. I looked and tried many solutions but the best I could find was the crypt library and decided to access is through perl. What I liked the most about the solution is that I could use all the same native algorithms that the system has installed.
So lets cut the chase, here are the 5 lines of code needed to get the job done:
salt=$(/usr/bin/mkpasswd -l 8 -s 0)
encrypted=$(perl -e “$parameter”)
/usr/sbin/useradd -p $encrypted <user>
To create a good salt I used the mkpasswd utility that comes with the expect package (yum install expect). In this case the $1 is not a variable, but the way of telling crypt to use MD5.
Other valid values for the Glibc crypt are:
||Blowfish (not in mainline glibc; added in some Linux distributions)
||SHA-256 (since glibc 2.7)
||SHA-512 (since glibc 2.7)
For more information http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/online/pages/man3/crypt.3.html or simply: man crypt