My Thoughts on the iPhone 4 on Verizon

The Verizon iPhone is a win for consumers all around.…

Adding Random Quotes to the Bash Login Screen

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According to "official" system administrator rules and guidelines…

Find Out If A Twitter Username Exists Using PHP/JSON

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I've been trying to grab a Twitter screenname that people continually…

Firesheep Should Be A Call To Arms For System, Network & Web Admins

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Firesheep by Eric Butler has just been released to the world. This Firefox plugin does a few things that have already been fairly easy to do for a while, but rolled up in one easy to use package:
  1. Sniffs data on unencrypted Wireless Networks
  2. Looks for unencrypted login cookies sent to known popular insecure sites
  3. Allows you to login to that account with 'One Click'
So what sites are impacted by default? Amazon.com, Basecamp, bit.ly, Cisco, CNET, Dropbox, Enom, Evernote, Facebook, Flickr, Github, Google, HackerNews, Harvest, Windows Live, NY Times, Pivotal Tracker, Slicehost, tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, Yahoo, and Yelp are among the few. A plugin system allows anyone to add their own sites (and cookie styles) to the plugin. Yikes! It goes without saying that this is a major security problem for anyone who uses unencrypted wireless networks. Includes on this list are many universities and companies such as Starbucks.

Fixing ip_conntrack Bottlenecks: The Tale Of The DNS Server With Many Tiny Connections

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I manage a server which has a sole purpose: serving DNS requests. We use PowerDNS, which has been great. It is a DNS server whose backend is SQL, making administration of large numbers of records very easy. It is also fast, easy to use, open source and did I mention it is free? The server has been humming along for years now. The traffic graphs don't show a lot of data moving through it because it only serves DNS requests (plus MySQL replication) in the form of tiny UDP packets. Read on to follow my story of how I fixed this tricky problem. No kittens were harmed in the writing of this post.

How to Stop an Apache DDoS Attack with mod_evasive

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The first inkling that I had a problem with a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack was a note sent to my inbox:
lfd on server1.myhostname.com: High 5 minute load average alert - 89.14
Apache DDoS My initial thought was that a site on my server was getting Slashdotted or encountering the Digg or Reddit effect. I run Chartbeat on several sites where this occasionally happens and I will usually get an alert from them first. A quick look at the Extended status page from Apache showed that I had a much different kind of problem.

Using Google Analytics Or Other Javascript With Smarty Template Engine

On a website I was working on recently I added the Google Analytics…