Wireguard - Part One (Installation)

Posted on Sat 03 June 2017 in Tech • Tagged with Tech, Security, Wireguard, Networking, Linux

Wireguard is the most excellent VPN stack around. It's really fast, the concept of Cryptokey Routing is awesome, and I love the speed and simplicity benefits that come from opionionated cryptography. The protocol is so simple - expressed in a mere 4k lines of code - that it's auditable by anyone.

But.

With my initial naive approach, I found myself using HTTPS, over ports forwarded over SSH tunnels, connected over Wireguard. Although it was straightforward to get Wireguard working between two endpoints, I ended up in nested-crypto hell.

So, this brief series …


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Making Lektor work with grsecurity

Posted on Sat 29 October 2016 in Tech • Tagged with Security, Tech, Linux

I started using grsecurity on my servers in 2015, and there's always a bit of tuning required.

I was recently playing with Lektor (before I swapped to Pelican), and I had a bit of trouble with my grsec kernel. In particular, Lektor and Pelican are both run within a virtualenv Python environment, and grsec eats it like popcorn in two different ways:

1) TPE (Trusted Path Execution) throws a wobbly:

[253241.370019] grsec: From {ssh-origin-ip}: denied untrusted exec (due to file in world-writable directory) of /tmp/#50 by /usr/local …


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Broken log times in APC's PCNS Appliance 4.1

Posted on Thu 27 October 2016 in Tech • Tagged with Tech, Linux

Schneider Electric's PowerChute Network Shutdown is a piece of software which communicates with your local UPS, and initiates system shutdown if the UPS battery is unable to continue providing power. This helps to preserve file integrity in the event of a prolonged power failure.

Previously, you had to install the PCNS client separately on each virtual machine. Since then though, APC have released a PCNS VMware Appliance which is installed directly into vCenter, and initiates shutdown on all the VMware guests through a single Virtual Machine. This is a much …


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Updating the modem and radio firmware on a Samsung Galaxy 5 (G900I)

Posted on Thu 27 October 2016 in Tech • Tagged with Android, Security, Linux

A couple months ago, Check Point revealed their discovery of the Quadrooter vulnerability affecting the Qualcomm chipsets in oodles of Android phones.

I use CyanogenMod on a Samsung Galaxy S5, so thankfully I received patches for three of the four vulnerabilities in only a few days.

However, that last vulnerability was part of a proprietary binary blob for controlling the Qualcomm LTE chipset, only patchable by Samsung themselves. It took a while for the Samsung updates to roll out, and then I got distracted for a while, but I finally …


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Using ECDSA certificates with Let's Encrypt

Posted on Thu 27 October 2016 in Tech • Tagged with Security, Linux, Tech

Let's Encrypt's Certbot will generate an RSA key by default. But we want to step into the new and exciting world of elliptic curve cryptography! Unfortunately Certbot doesn't really roll that way, so there are a couple hoops to jump through first.

A word of caution: this post has been written in retrospect, some time after I actually got ECDSA working. That means there are bound to be squiggly little steps that I've missed, and I certainly should have provided screenshots or snippets that I've missed. Sorry.

This post …


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