Just a quick one…. I noticed in my webserver logs, a whole bunch of directory walk “script kiddie” exploit attempts to various wordpress sites on my server, attempting to retrieve my wordpress configuration file: wp-config.php.

A directory walk attack is where someone will attempt to use a download feature of some plugin or other in attempt to trick it to retrieve a different file, by passing ../ before the file name. E.g.

None of these exploits was successful, since this is an obvious approach which should be sanitised out of inputs, but part of having a secure system is the concept of strength in depth and every programmer makes mistakes.

So, I knocked together a quick modsecurity rule:

Which seems to shut this one exploit down. HTH :)

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On the Indiewebcamp wiki, there’s a page discussing HTTPS, the support for which is strongly recommended. As I’ve mentioned previously, at this stage all non-encrypted communication forms (including traditional port 80 HTTP) should be considered deprecated and dangerous.

Indieweb compatible sites are encouraged to get a higher level as possible, and thanks to some prodding, I’ve finally moved both this blog and my feed over to HTTPS only, with HSTS and forward secrecy.

This got me thinking, perhaps it would be worth adding a “Level 7″ (or perhaps Level 6.5) to this, and to suggest that Indieweb sites should also be made available as .onion hidden services on Tor?

Pros

  • Anonymity. Would go a large way towards protecting communication metadata (who know’s whom), which is a goal we should move towards in a world of endemic selector based surveillance.
  • Encryption. Traffic within the tor network is end to end encrypted, and there is some discussion of whether this renders HTTPS unnecessary.

Cons

  • Tor has nothing to do with HTTPS, although it is encrypted. However, the HTTPS levels page seemed a good place to put the suggestion.
  • Could be seen as endorsing one service. Tor is Free software and is pretty much the only game in town when it comes to anonymity networks, but does that constitute a silo? Probably not, but is a point for discussion.
  • No certificates for .onion. There are currently no certificate providers available for .onion domains. But, this may not be a problem.

Anyway, just mooting this as a point for discussion.

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I’ve previously documented how I’ve previously used Known to track system events generated by various pieces of hardware and various processes within my (and my client) infrastructure.

Like many, I use a UPS to keep my servers from uncontrolled shutdowns, and potential data loss, during the thankfully rare (but still more common than I’d like) power outages.

Both my UPS’ are made by APC, and are monitored by a small demon called apcupsd. This demon monitors the UPS and will report on its status, from obvious things like “lost power” and “power returned”, but also potentially more important things like “battery needs replacing”.

While some events do trigger an email, other messages are written to the console using the wall command, so are less useful on headless systems. Thankfully, modifying the script is fairly straightforward.

Setting up your script

First, set your script as you did for nagios. Create an account from within your Known install, and then grab its API key, then put it in a wrapping script.

I need to Pee

The next step is to modify /etc/apccontrol to call your wrapper script.

I wanted to maintain the existing ‘post to wall’ functionality as well as posting to my status page. To do this, you need to replace the definition for WALL at the top of the script, and split the pipe between two executables.

To do this you need a command called pee, which is the pipe version of tee, and is available in the moreutils package on debian based systems. So, apt-get install moreutils.

Change:

To:

Testing

To test, you can run apccontrol directly, although obviously you should be careful which command you run, as some commands fire other scripts.

I tested by firing:

Happy hacking!