A sad day

Her husband was killed yesterday by an IED in Iraq. He was deployed on 27th of July 2006 for a year long tour. Michelle, my heart goes out to you.

SSH brute force slow down

I have been trying to find a way that I was comfortable with to slow down the brute force SSH attacks.

The only problem was I was not convinced that a script or daemon watching the log files for failed logins was the best way of accomplishing this. I knew that iptables had some limiting functions, but most of my iptables experience had been with simply blocking or unblocking ports.

A Google search turned up this article, with the following iptables rules:

iptables -N SSH_CHECK
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 22 -m state --state NEW -j SSH_CHECK
iptables -A SSH_CHECK -m recent --set --name SSH
iptables -A SSH_CHECK -m recent --update --seconds 60 --hitcount 4 \
    --name SSH -j DROP

This appears to be a simple solution that I can live with :)

Screen and ssh-agent

Someone in #lopsa mentioned that ssh-agent and screen were conspiring against them. I offer this as a possible solution:<

    function agentinfo {
        ssh-agent -s | head -2 > ${HOME}/ssh-agent-info
        . ${HOME}/ssh-agent-info
    }

    if [ -f ${HOME}/ssh-agent-info ];then
        . ${HOME}/ssh-agent-info
        if [ ! -S ${SSH_AUTH_SOCK} ];then
            unset SSH_AUTH_SOCK SSH_AGENT_PID
            rm ${HOME}/ssh-agent-info
        fi
    fi

Put the above code in your bourne(ish) shell and then run the following before starting your screen session:

    $ agentinfo
    $ ssh-add

Playing with a new toy

Well this has been a good year. "Ruby on Rails, Up and Running", "Programming Ruby", "Ruby Cookbook" and "Essential PHP Security".

Needless to say, I will be rather busy the next couple of weeks at least working on learning a new language and reworking some of my php scripts.

Simple things.

It is the simple things in life that make it worth living.
Things like a good nights sleep, a hot shower, a relaxing shave.

Earl Grey, Hot.

Today while out shopping for groceries and miscellaneous stuff, I picked up some Earl Grey tea on a whim. As a geek I of course new that Picard drank Earl Grey tea, and that it was somewhat popular.

I have been drinking green tea and the occasional chamomile tea for the last couple of years. Mostly because while coffee is OK, there is something about a good cup of tea...

Some history. As some of you may know, I lived for 4 years in Swaziland, which until the late 1960's was a British Protectorate. Needless to say, I have had good tea before. Just not recently. Well, I have had good tea, just not quite the SAME as what I had then. I think the reason may be that I was drinking Earl Grey tea while in Southern Africa. The tea I just made a few minutes ago brought back some memories.

So, now I will reminisce while sitting in my living room and enjoy my Earl Grey, hot.

Mow the lawn

So Pat, one of the guys from work, sold me his old lawn mower. And for the first time, I mowed the lawn at our new (to us) house.

It is kind of amazing how the simple things like mowing the lawn can give you a feeling of accomplishment.

Taking a break...

Friday we closed on the house.

Since then I have been cleaning. And cleaning some more.
I don't think the people that had the house before we got it ever cleaned, anything. I was finding sawdust in the cupboards from when they were installed.

I will be so glad when we are done cleaning and can actually start enjoying.

Why is it that we have to speak English?

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian, and French navies.

At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a group of half a dozen or so officers that included personnel from most of the countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French Admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked:

"Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?"

Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied,
"Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies, and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."

Suddenly the group became very quiet.

Packing...

So, I am packing up stuff in my office in preparation for the move in a couple of weeks...
How did I accumulate so much junk?

After the move, we will only have 3 towers and 3 laptops, I wonder what that will do for the power bill?