Category: networks and networking

microsoft windows is conspicuous by its absence

At DigitalOcean – or so says Netcraft in its latest write up on their astonishingly fast rise over the last six months. Apparently, in December 2012, DigitalOcean had just over 100 web-facing computers whilst in June 2013, Netcraft found more than 7,000. That is some growth. But I’m not surprised. I make no apology for …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/13/microsoft-windows-is-conspicuous-by-its-absence/

blimey that was quick

The cable tester I ordered at around 17.00 yesterday arrived in this morning’s post. And jolly good it is too for such a ridiculously cheap item. As expected, the instructions are amusing but pretty clear for all that. It is easy to use and feels fairly robust, despite the price. Now the results. I am …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/12/blimey-that-was-quick/

blimey that is cheap

David’s comment to my post about my gigabit ethernet upgrade prompted me to look for a cheap LAN tester so that I could check continuity through the RJ45 coupler that had caused me difficulty. It would also be handy to be able to check the box full of old patch cables that I seem to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/11/blimey-that-is-cheap/

PRISM – we had it first

I can exclusively reveal that the UK government had a PRISM database long before those upstarts in the USA. In the late 1970s I worked in the Statistics Division of what was then the UK Civil Service Department. We used a database of Civil Service personnel called PRISM (Personnel Record Information System for Management). I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/10/prism-we-had-it-first/

slow gigabit ethernet

I have been making some changes to my domestic network of late which I will write about later. However, one of the main changes has been an upgrade from 10/100 switches to gigabit – mainly to improve throughput between my central filestore and desktop machines. For cosmetic reasons (and to keep my wife happy) I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/10/slow-gigabit-ethernet/

another good reason not to buy one

Back in November 2011 I wrote about the TP-Link TL-SC3130G IP camera. I had some trouble getting that device to work properly over wifi so I returned it and got my money back. Today, Core Security released an advisory about this device (and several others from TP-Link) about a remotely exploitable vulnerability arising from “hard-coded …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/05/29/another-good-reason-not-to-buy-one/

digitalocean do it again

I can’t believe these guys. Not only do I get unlimited traffic on a 1 Gig network (now at three locations – I have a VPS in each of Amsterdam, New York and San Francisco) for peanuts, but they have just given me a $5.00 credit (i.e. one month free for one of the servers). …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/05/09/digitalocean-do-it-again/

using an ssh reverse tunnel to bypass NAT firewalls

There is usually more than one way to solve a problem. Back in October last year I wrote about using OpenVPN to bypass NAT firewalls when access to the firewall configuration was not available. I have also written about using ssh to tunnel out to a tor proxy. What I haven’t previously commented on is …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/03/26/using-an-ssh-reverse-tunnel-to-bypass-nat-firewalls/

now that is what an isp should be like

In my post about the astonishing speed of the DigitalOcean network compared to the appalling service I was getting at ThrustVPS, I mentioned that the free bandwidth model didn’t look sustainable in the long run. Indeed, DigitalOcean told me themselves that they would move to a more normal commercial model when they had a better …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/01/25/now-that-is-what-an-isp-should-be-like/

what a difference a gig makes

During the new year period when I was having a little local difficulty with thrustVPS, I started looking around for alternative providers. My first port of call was lowendbox. That site lists many VPS providers and is often used by suppliers to advertise “special deals” for short periods. Indeed, I think I intially found thrust …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/01/13/what-a-difference-a-gig-makes/

my top ten

I have been collecting statistics on trivia’s visitors using counterize for some time. The lastest version, which I have been using for about five months now, allows the user to graph, and publish, site statistics in a nice form. I have today created a new page (listed under “longer trivia” on the right) called trivial …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/01/10/my-top-ten/

lies, damned lies and VPS traffic

I had an interesting time over the new year period. For some time now I have run a tor node on a VPS at ThrustVPS. I also run my tails mirror on a VPS at the same provider. Their network has always struck me as pretty poor (response times to ssh login is particularly bad, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/01/06/lies-damned-lies-and-vps-traffic/

password theft

I have mentioned odd postings to bugtraq before. Today, one “gsuberland” added to the canon with a gem about the Netgear WGR614 wireless router. He says in his post that he has been “reverse engineering” this router. Now for most bugtraq posters (and readers) this would mean that he has been disassembling the firmware. But …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/12/14/password-theft/

using openvpn to bypass NAT firewalls

OpenVPN is a free, open source, general purpose VPN tool which allows users to build secure tunnels through insecure networks such as the internet. It is the ideal solution to a wide range of secure tunnelling requirements, but it is not always immediately obvious how it should be deployed in some circumstances. Recently, a correspondent …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/10/27/using-openvpn-to-bypass-nat-firewalls/

a positive response

Whenever my logs show evidence of unwanted behaviour I check what has happened and, if I decide there is obviously hostile activity coming from a particular address I will usually bang off an email to the abuse contact for the netblock in question. Most times I never hear a thing back though I occasionally get …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/10/05/a-positive-response/

you are at 2001:db8::ff00:42:8329.

Verity Stob is having trouble getting a new IP address. What with the IPV4 address exhaustion problem, it would seem that the only alternative is IPV6. This is causing Verity some grief. Stress brings out my unoriginal streak. I said: ‘Where am I?’ ‘You are at 2001:db8::ff00:42:8329.’ ‘What?’ ‘Your new IP address at 2001:db8::ff00:42:8329.’ He …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/08/21/you-are-at-2001db8ff00428329/

debian on a DNS-320

Back in 2009 I bought, on impulse, a D-Link DNS-313 thinking it was sufficiently similar to the 323 to enable me to install debian with some ease. As I noted at the time, however, I’d made a slight mistake and then had to settle for a compromise installation from a tarball rather than a full …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/08/21/debian-on-a-dns-320/

tor abuse

I have been running at least one tor exit node for about three years now. Over that period I have occasionally had to move provider following one or more abuse reports. Most ISPs like the quiet life, and you can’t really blame them for not wanting the hassle of dealing with complaints from other ISPs …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/05/22/tor-abuse/

now switch it back on

Bugtraq can be an interesting list. Back in June 2008 I noted that one Craig Wright had posted an advisory about a vulnerability in an Oral B toothbrush. Well, just over a week ago a chap called Gabriel Menezes Nunes posted a proof of concept remote denial of service attack on a Sony Bravia television …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/04/18/now-switch-it-back-on/

android mail client is broken

In January of this year I wrote about t-mobile’s apparent policy of actively looking for and blocking any TLS-secured SMTP sessions over their network. At the time I believed this to be a cockup rather than a deliberate policy. I still prefer to believe that, but the episode left a rather sour taste in my …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/03/24/android-mail-client-is-broken/

unplugged

A few days ago my sheevaplug died. Beyond the obvious lack of response either over the network or through the USB serial connection, the symptoms (single green LED rather than blue and green LED lit, ethernet LED light steady rather than flashing) were all consistent with a blown PSU. This problem is well known and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/03/14/unplugged-2/

and darkness shall be upon the face of the net

image of the wikipedia blackout page

Today, 18 January 2012, parts of the ‘net went deliberately dark in combined opposition to the SOPA (A Bill to:“promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.” I love the “other purposes” bit.) and PIPA bills currently being considered by the US legislative machinery. These two …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/01/18/and-darkness-shall-be-upon-the-face-of-the-net/

t-mobile resets its policy?

As I have mentioned in other posts here, I run my own mail server on one of my VMs. I do this for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that I like to control my own network destiny. Back in October last year I noticed an interesting change in my mail experience …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/01/12/t-mobile-resets-its-policy/

tails in a spin

When I first tested running a tails mirror on one of my VMs, the traffic level reported by vnstat ran at around 20-30 GiB per day. I figured I could live with that because it meant that my total monthly traffic would be unlikely to exceed my monthly 1TB allowance. However, when I checked the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/01/12/tails-in-a-spin/