Category Archives: Technology

All things tech

Hacked, but just a little…

TL;DR : I got hacked. Fixed it quick. Got cool new toys from the hacker in the process.


One of the pages I hosted for some friends (a Cub Scout pack page that had long since expired…) had an unsecured file. Total oversight, it was an old version of WordPress and it left a password in plain text, for a user that had superuser mysql rights. That account was compromised, and that compromised the entire mysql db, obviously. So, I took down wordpress on this page to allow for cleanup. I am planning on moving this page to AWS in the very near future, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it.

Back in November, someone did a clever scan, and found it.  Clever, becaus ethe site isn’t even running.  The DN had long since expired with the registrar. I guess they got the IP from an old cache page or something.

They were sending out phishing scams for for a few hours. I shut it down, but in the process, found that the hacker had uploaded their hacking toolkit. So, long story short, I got some cool tools that I never would have found on my own to security test. Now I can run them against my servers and feel fairly confident that all my shit is squared away. And maybe have some fun at someone else’s expense 🙂

So…moving on.

I left CS last month. I like the majority of the team, and the majority of the work, but I didn’t like the stress and political abuse that was bandied around everywhere outside of the immediate team. It got so that I just loathed going to bed at night knowing I would have to get up and go in the next morning. Serious dread.

So, I put my resume out again, and got several very quick hits. One in a DevOps roles sounded the most promising, and I’m now with TeraData- a company I’d barely heard of, but is a giant in the world of big data. (Pun came naturally. Sorry.)

I’m neck deep in Openstack, AWS, and CoLo and am actually enjoying it was more than I expected. Let’s see if it keeps, or I move on. It is a contract gig, so I do have some time to feel it out and make sure it’s a good fit.


Akismet, my new hero.

I finally got around to paying more attention to my blog. Updating the resume…adding a post or two…proofreading others to make corrections…looking into some new plugins for WordPress….etc.

One of the most annoying things to deal with was the comment spam. In three months I had accumulated 15,000 pieces of it. There’s only about 2,000 people who have actually visited my blog thus far. Ever. (Thanks, Google Analytics!) But, since I’m really not on here all that often (something I’m trying to improve on…) I really hadn’t paid attention to the spam. I have all comments require moderation, so they weren’t flooding my site- I just have to go on every couple of months, glance through the posted commented on to see if there are any real comments (there aren’t) and run a SQL command to manually clear the crap.

I would like to know if there are any actual comments in the future, and see if anyone has anything useful to say, or even a useless comment, but one that was made by an actual person instead of a bot quoting random sentences from random books in an attempt to look Turing-complete. Thus, I configured Akismet this evening, and it’s already flagged crap as spam and shuffled it off to the spam folder, which is much easier to empty- no SQL commands into the void.

So long story short, and I’m sure old news to the vast majority of bloggers, Akismet makes me smile just a little more than I was yesterday. Thanks, devs!

Spacewalk, PAM, and Centrify…oh, my!

So, I’ve been spending a good portion of the last six months designing a software distribution system, and looking for a good way to manage user access in an AD environment, where LDAP is fractured, at best. A few months ago, we were approved to procure Centrify as a provider of AD integration, so we could get rid (entirely) of winbind,  and samba related services.

Finally, we are approaching handover, and time to integrate Spacewalk is here.

Spacewalk does NOT integrate directly to Active Directory. Never has, probably never will. It will, however, authenticate to PAM, and PAM does have methods to authenticate to AD- mostly with winbind. Centrify is supposed to be the bridge between them, and Continue reading Spacewalk, PAM, and Centrify…oh, my!

Trying to get a handle here…

…but I’ve been sparse lately. I actually had written several posts that sat in draft and never published, that are now irrelevant. So I’ll hit publish on the ones that are ok, and ignore the oldies.

Anyway, I’m going to try to get in the habit of putting things here again, and digging into a little that is not my forte. e.g, I’m thinking about doing a PMP cert and working on project management. An RHCE with a PMP could be most formidable, indeed. Since being in engineering for as long as I have been, I have become fairly adept at managing projects, as that’s my day to day workload. I think I might be able to branch out to other areas and spread out past just the linux world.

Brave new world…

Chromebooks. We got a few… Acer C7’s.

The twins each got one, and I have one as well. They see to be good little teaching machines.

I’ve already spun Ubuntu onto mine, and will show the kids how to do theirs when they’re ready to load them.

Looking into flashing the bios and possibly adding some other bootloader…these are fairly locked down OOTB. Looks like it’s time to do some good hacking. 🙂


Edit: This post was written back in December, I just forgot about it and it was sitting in draft for months.

Actively considering starting a charity….

I have been toying with this for a while, and think I might actually start the paperwork.

The company I work for does a fair amount of charity work. One charity they support is designed to give kids refurbished computers. I thought I might like getting in on that, but there’s a catch. The install Microsoft Windows on every machine.

I really can’t bring myself to help spread Microsoft’s dope. Getting their claws into kids early, and forcing schools to use Windows has literally kept kids from learning other ways of doing thing- even free ones. Accounts of uneducated people telling kids that they have to use Windows for legal reasons or warranty reasons are abound. It’s a bit frightening. (Want a real world example? Google “HeliOS and AISD”.)

At any rate, I’m all for getting computers in the hands of underprivelidged kids, the sooner the better. What I’d really like to do is TEACH the kids HOW to use computers, and not just how to use Windows Continue reading Actively considering starting a charity….

So, updates are in order…

I did end up leaving my contract position in April. Twice, actually.

I was not particularly happy with the previous employer, as an environment. Not a bad place to work, great people, good assortment of hardware….but they were/are a “company in flux”. That phrase came from a colleague of my new recruiter who had also recently left my previous company. 🙂

It’s not anyone’s fault, per se, but the corporate direction was less a business plan, and more a funeral plan. The upper management seemed to be far more concerned with getting someone to buy us out than to actually run the company. (They were on year 5.5 of a 5-year plan.)

At any rate, I started entertaining offers, and man did they come fast and furious. Continue reading So, updates are in order…

The job market is definately improving for those with a little bit of Linux in their CV…

And how. I am getting daily calls from recruiter looking for Linux experience. I am still receiving calls based on a resume I uploaded four years ago, too.

For the record, I have NOT been looking, just getting approached, repeatedly. Like at LEAST 10 times a day. Some days more, but a quick look at my ‘Droid and I can see that barring holidays and weekends, there’s not been a single day in the last three months where I didn’t get at least that many.

Sure, about half are relocation offers, which I’m really not interested in at the moment, but that leaves half that aren’t. Of those, a good half are ones I really have no business doing (mostly because I would be considerably overqualified, and the pay is not in the realm…but not always.) The remaining ones are really in my zone.

I’d been looking to exit the Contract I’m in now (seeing as how it expired back in October, and they weren’t in a position to keep me in that location, nor were they willing to have anyone in my role as a FTE.) I’ve been on several interviews, and had a couple offers that were simply not good enough to get me to jump ship, but that day is coming soon, I think.


**Bootnote… I had saved this to my drafts last month instead of posting…See new post.**