Last night I tried to visit one of the websites that I host on one of my dedicated servers, and to my surprise, I saw this instead of the usual content:
Some time in 2010, Google, Adobe, and “dozens of other high-profile companies” were hacked by the Chinese government. The attack was done through a previously unknown vulnerability in Internet Explorer and considered to be highly sophisticated. The attackers copied intellectual property of these companies and accessed Gmail accounts of human rights activists.
Rather than directly hack into the accounts of those activists, the entire e-mail provider was compromised.
Back when I used OpenBSD on my laptop and Pidgin for instant messaging, I wrote a D-Bus script to watch incoming messages and forward any to my cell phone that were received while my screen was locked. The script forwarded messages to Prowl’s web API, which would forward them to my iPhone using push notifications.
The last time I switched back to a Mac desktop, I had to switch back to Adium and lost the ability to selectively forward messages. While Adium does have an event action to run an AppleScript, there’s no way of passing the actual event text to the script, so it has to talk back to Adium and try to find the newest message. The only option was to generate Growl notifications for all messages and then configure Growl to forward them to Prowl. I got fed up with that pretty quickly, so I modified Adium to create a new event type for “messages received while away”. That way I could have the Growl notification only on that event, so I would only get messages forwarded while away. That worked better, but it prevented me from being able to go away while still at my computer without getting a bunch of messages queued up on my phone.
At about 9am yesterday morning, I noticed on my server monitor that the CPU utilization of one of my servers was abnormally high, in addition to a sustained 1mbit/sec of inbound traffic and 2mbits/sec of outbound traffic. syslog messages from Asterisk showed it to be a SIP brute force attack, so I dropped the offending IP (an Amazon EC2 instance IP) into
/etc/idiots to block it and went back to my work.
A while later, I noticed the traffic still hadn’t died down, so I reported the incident to Amazon and my server’s network provider. No luck on either front; Amazon just sent back a form reply stating the incident was forwarded to the EC2 instance’s owner (yeah, seriously) and the network provider said they wouldn’t bother adding an ACL to their border equipment unless it was needed to protect their entire network. With the IP blocked on my server, the CPU utilization had died down and it was no longer sending out reply traffic, but I was worried about the inbound garbage traffic counting towards the server’s monthly bandwidth cap.
Since I will never be interviewed for The Setup, I have interviewed myself.
Update Feb 2015: Okay, I was interviewed for The Setup.
I’ve always formatted my Mac OS partitions with case sensitivity enabled, which usually means formatting a new system and re-installing Mac OS X as soon as I get it. After installing the 10.6.2 update, I lost my system menu bar icons and was forced to restore from a 10.6.1 backup made the day before.
Following Apple’s instructions, I booted to the Snow Leopard installation DVD, chose the “Restore System from Backup” option and thought I was on my way. About 50% into the recovery, the recovery application crashed:
The buzz around and traffic to goingtorain.com is slowing down now and I’m amazed how many people responded positively and thought it was actually useful.
While talking to Dave about it yesterday, he remarked something along the lines of, “of all the awesome, useful shit you’ve ever made, the thing that finally became famous was this stupid little site.”
I’ve been using
as my MUA for over 8 years now.
Long ago I would ssh to my server and run it on local Maildirs, but as soon as I
started using smartphones and multiple computers I had to switch to an IMAP+SSL
header_cache option has long made accessing large mailboxes snappy, and
message_cachedir option available in 1.5 makes browsing through
messages with attachments equally snappy over IMAP.
A useful side effect of message body caching is that it provides an offline copy of entire mailboxes which get synchronized automatically and can easily be read in Mutt as a local mailbox… well, almost.
I received an e-mail asking me how I got started with OpenBSD, so I thought I’d write the answer here in case anyone else wanted to read it.
I started using OpenBSD in 1998 (version 2.3 or 2.4) to host a BBS that I was running. I chose OpenBSD because of its security record and because I was getting fed up with Linux (Slackware) at the time. I think the machine was a Pentium 75 or something, and OpenBSD worked quite well on it. During the course of building the BBS, I had to install some 3rd party software, so I got interested in OpenBSD’s ports system to make installation of that software cleaner. I submitted some ports to the ports@ mailing list and got them committed by other developers. I tested others’ ports and supplied feedback where I could. I hadn’t done much unix development back then, so writing simple makefiles for ports was an easy way to get involved.