Barracuda Networks Details Security Breach

2 May 2011

Barracuda Networks website suffered a breach on April 8, 2011. It appears that all the crackers got were some people’s names and email addresses from a Marketing database used to send event announcements and such emails to opt-in customers.

On Tuesday, April 26, Oliver Wai, a Product Marketing Manager at Barracuda Networks posted a blog entry detailing how the SQL injection attack was conducted.

We need to see more companies step up like this and provide useful technical (and anecdotal) information about breaches of their data. It helps us all to be reminded to watch out for such things, but also to see it in action. All too many who are not up to their eyeballs in that, “security nonsense,” as I’ve heard some of them call it, don’t have the benefit of seeing what those of us in the know have seen, like this example which Barracuda Networks has so graciously shared.

I’m sure there are a number of people who will now be more interested in examining their Barracuda Web Application Firewall product.

WordPress 2.8.6 Upgrade

22 Nov 2009

I did this upgrade almost right when it came out. I simply followed my “normal” upgrade process:

  1. Backup the DB ($ mysqldump -p dbname | gzip >~/backups/$(date -I)-dbname.sql.gz).
  2. Backup the existing directory (# cp -a current-directory directory-outside-of-the-web-space).
  3. Extract the new version on top of the old ($ tar -zxf ~/wordpress-version.tar.gz).
  4. Delete the wp-config-sample.php file.
  5. Fix group ownerships of wp-content/ and sub-directories.
  6. Visit the admin interface.
  7. Fix problems, if there are any.

This time, there was nothing to do for the last two steps. It was all over in just a couple of minutes. Simple as pie.

How Many of Me

19 Nov 2009

I first saw [ ] a few years ago. There was a conversation the other day that made me think of it again, so I decided to look it up, again.
Logo There are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

There are only 19 of Monty Peterson in the U.S.

Netflix PS3 Video Streaming

14 Nov 2009

A couple of hours ago, I had my first taste of streaming Netflix on my PS3.

We’ve been getting movies and TV shows from Netflix for over a year. It’s been a great experience for us. We have the 3 discs at once plan, which lets us hang onto some TV series disc for a few days (a couple of weeks) and still keep a couple of movies going back and forth. It’s also possible for us to watch up to 6 different movies in one week, as their turn around time is so fast, it (almost always) only takes 2 days from when I put a disc in the mail until the next one arrives.

Netflix also allows their customers to stream movies and TV shows on their computers, using the Roku player, the LG BD370 Blu-ray player/Netflix streaming device, plus many more. Netflix recently announced that they would be releasing a version for streaming on the Sony PlayStation 3 (a.k.a. PS3).

I’ve added about 20 films to my Instant Streaming Queue in the time I’ve written this article. I think I’ll go watch something.

I got an email from Netflix the other day, announcing that the PS3 disc is now available. It’s free, I simply had to click a couple of links and they sent it out to me. That disc arrived in the mail earlier today. We popped it in, waited for the PS3 to say that it was ready for us to “watch” that disc, and a moment later, we saw cover art for movies and TV shows that are in our Streaming Queue. I selected Season 1 of Quantum Leap and started watching episode 4 (episodes 1-3 are only available on disc). It took about 35-40 seconds for the show to start playing. The playback was flawless. Zero audio or video glitches (I do have a solid 7Mbps DSL line)..

When Maildrop Keeps Filling a Log File

12 Nov 2009

Earlier tonight, Some friends told me that they saw a couple of emails they sent to me bounced back at them. I wrote about what happens “When Maildrop Fills a Log File” on one of my other blogs. Well, it’s happened again a couple of times since then. It’s happened again just a few days ago (ls showed -rw------- 1 lamontp lamontp 51200000 Nov 6 11:19 .maildrop.log).

That’s enough! I’ve had it; I’m going to prevent this from bothering me again.

Well, the right way to fix this is to grab a clue-bat and use it on the Maildrop developer(s) who decided that hardcoding a 50 MB log file size limit into Maildrop was a good idea, until they change their mind(s). Seriously, though, I’m going to send them a patch for this lame duck.

In the meantime, I’ve written rotate-user-maildrop-logs, a shell script to place into your /etc/cron.daily/ (or similar) directory. I am releasing this under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 3 (a.k.a. GPLv3).

I really like Maildrop. It’s great for me, but it’s not for everyone. For example, my wife isn’t going to sit down and use vi (or any other text editor) to maintain her very own ~/.mailfilter file. For this reason, I will be switching to Sieve in the near future, using the Cyrus IMAP server instead of Dovecot, which I’ve been very happy with.

Is that the time? OK, maybe I’ll have to write that patch for Maildrop on Saturday.

Star Trek: Online Release Date

11 Nov 2009

Get ready; on February 2, 2010, Star Trek: Online arrives in North America and February 5, 2010 is the big day in Europe, according to game developer Cryptic Studios.

Also, system requirements were announced today.

WordPress 2.8.5 Upgrade

28 Oct 2009

It’s been only 3.5 weeks since I upgraded this blog to released just a few days ago. This one is “simply” a hardening release, as they are now preparing for 2.9.

This time, I decided to see if I could simplify the process a little bit. Instead of reassembling the content by moving the previous version out of the way and then cherry=picking the right files and directories to copy into a fresh extract of the new release, I decided to make a backup copy of he current directory (and the DB) and then copy the extracted files of the new release over the top of the existing install. In this case, there were no DB changes to process, so it didn’t even ask me to “Upgrade the Database.” In fact, after the copy command was done, that was it.

I like it simple.

Still, I need to sit down and work out just how to reorganize the layout of a few things, since there are features that now better support much of what I want to do to better secure and simplify the running of my blog. Perhaps a project for this weekend?

Utah Open Source Conference 2009

7 Oct 2009

Visit [ ] for the details.

This year, I’m not doing any presentation. I have some ideas for next year.

I will be running the keysigning party on Friday, October 9 at 7:15pm at the conference. I’m stepping into doing this a bit last minute, so we’re going to provide some additional info and the instructions for the keysigning party on the UTOSC website should be updated very soon.

To participate, just show up. If you want help generating a key pair and getting started, there will be several people there who can assist you, just be sure to bring your own notebook computer. If you have keys, please, email me your full key ID (not a short or medium) at It is a good idea to digitally sign that email. If you have multiple keys, include them all. I actually have three separate keys these days and 2 of them have multiple IDs associated with them.

(and PGP) allow us to digitally sign messages (usually email, but can be used with other communications systems, too), code and other documents. It also let’s us encrypt files, emails and just about anything else. This is an extremely important technology for a lot of reasons, some of which I’ve discussed in past articles on this blog (and others). Defending our privacy and ensuring the integrity of our personal, family and business communications is vital. We sign each other’s keys to build a “web of trust.” This is the critical step that makes the whole thing usable.

If you have never used PGP or GPG (a.k.a. GnuPG, Gnu Privacy Guard) before, visit the GnuPG website for a basic description of how to generate your key pair.

If you have never participated in a keysigning party, check out the Keysigning Party HOWTO and/or [ ].

Immediately following the Utah Open Source Conference 2007 keysigning party, I wrote a simple script to help help you sign-lots-o-keys. You can download the script from [ ]. If I have time before the keyparty in just two days, I have some little updates that I would like to implement in that script. But don’t hold your breath. Perhaps there will be time at the conference on Saturday?

So, please, plan on joining us on Friday. These are always good fun.

WordPress 2.8.4 Upgrade

3 Oct 2009

This blog was running under WordPress 2.3.2 for far too long. I had put in some patches, and there were security announcements about problems that wouldn’t affect this blog, since I didn’t use or enable the affected features. With the systems and application monitoring that I have in place, I wasn’t that worried. Still, I had started to update to 2.5.1 and 2.6 and 2.7 following their respective releases. Today, I finally took an hour and did the upgrade to the currently available version. I know, I know … that probably means that 2.8.5 will come out this afternoon.

The reason that it took an hour was that I was forced to upgrade several plugins and fix a couple of configurations. No big deal. It went pretty smoothly. Here are the basic steps that I go through:
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Block SSH Cracking Bot-Nets with Netfilter

2 Jan 2009

A few weeks ago, I was looking through some Netfilter documentation, just poking around, looking at some modules I’ve never seen/played-with/hear-of and I came across the recent module. I decided to try it out on one of my servers that gets anywhere from zero (0) to tens of thousands of crack attempts via SSH per day and see if I could weed out some of these bot-nets. It also occurs to me that this could help fight email SPAM-bots, too.

Of course, it’s very important to have good, strong password security practices. If you have poor passwords, none of this will matter, as you’ve probably already been compromised whether you know it or not. This means that all users have to have strong passwords. Techniques for helping users to create and use strong passwords are beyond the scope of this article, but I will write about these things in the near future.
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