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Attack by ZmEu

Who is ZmEu?

An image showing ZmeuThe name Zmeu (no capital E) is the name of a fantastic creature of Romania. There are so many stories that there isn't a clear understanding of what it is... but it is human like, can spit fire and wants to marry young women.

If you're wondering, it is generally a bad guy.

ZmEu Attack

Today, I noticed a lot of traffic on one of my servers. Looking into what was happening, I immediately found out that an attacker was looking for a loophole in that system. That attack was being performed from China.

Right Alt key not working at all, why?

It has been a while that my right Alt key acted as the Level3 key instead of a right Alt key. I never cared for the AltGr on my QUERTY keyboard, but it kept popping up as the Level3 key even though I clearly removed that option in the keyboard settings under /etc/default/keyboard

XKBMODEL="pc105"
XKBLAYOUT="us"
XKBVARIANT=""
#XKBOPTIONS="lv3:ralt_switch"
XKBOPTIONS="compose:caps"

I commented out the level3 definition and instead put "compose:caps" which makes my CAPS Lock key work as a compose key (i.e. if you press ...

Display a line number in a table (i.e. subform of records)

I was ask by a customer to add line numbers to each entry in a table shown in an invoice.

The concept is pretty simple, but really, how do you do that properly in MS-Access?

Microsoft actually has a solution (see link below) and it comes down to writing a function that counts the number of items from that item's current position to the beginning of the table (i.e. going backward). It works, it is just really bad if you have very large invoices since it will tend to slow down as you start getting many items.

There is the function, we can see the counting in the do until near the end ...

[ODBC Driver Manager] Data source name not found and no default driver specified

As I was working on a MS-Windows installation, I ran in this weird error: Data source not found and no default driver specified...

This was output when I was running the following in a command line prompt:

osql -E

The result should have been an MSSQL prompt instead!

The problem on the computer was that I uninstalled MSSQL 2005 that was automatically installed by Visual Studio C++ and was not compatible with our application, so I first uninstalled that but that uninstallation is really not proper. It leaves a LOT of things behind.

After that I installed MSSQL 2014 which was reported as ...

Adding a group for to a logged in Linux user

Once in a while I want to add my user to a group and then right away make use of that group.

Unfortunately, in general Unix kind of forces you to re-log in for the new group to be attached to your account.

However, a command has been added, a while back, to do just that on the fly. Not something you would want to use in a script, but at least, it works for me when doing a few things here and there.

In my case, I wanted to run QEMU, which I hadn't done in a while, and the system told me that it could not open the KVM, the error: kvm permission denied.

The problem was that I was not part ...

Installing SugarCRM

Preparations after unzip

Installing SugarCRM is generally easy, but if you don't want to just make everything writable by Apache, you may find it tricky, especially if you have problems setting up the system.

First of all, you want to get the code from SourceForget.net and extract it in the root directory of the website where you want to use it. I prefer to dedicate a sub-domain name such as crm.m2osw.com to make use of SugarCRM. That way I don't have to deal with other weird things of using this under a sub-directory.

Once in there, the user and group should be a user other than ...

The for() in C, C++, Java, PHP, JavaScript...

As I am working on my as2js compiler, I stumble on a couple of problems with the for() loop parsing because of the in keyword. That made me think and the for() statement was actually a very funny one. Yes! You can actually write something like this and it compiles:

int zero;
for(3;2;1) zero;

As you can see, all 3 entries in the for() statement are valid expressions and therefore the compiler can compile that code. This creates a loop that runs forever, similar to:

for(;;) zero;

but much less clear to read, obviously.

Now that's food for thought, isn't it?

In JavaScript, you ...

List ciphers currently used by Apache2

If you are using Apache and e-Commerce, you probably want to know all the details of the ciphers used by the Apache SSL module.

So listing Apache supported ciphers is done using nmap as follow:

nmap --script ssl-cert,ssl-enum-ciphers -p 443 secure.m2osw.com

This call gives you a complete list of all the ciphers currently accepted by your running version of Apache. For example, the list may look like this:

| ssl-enum-ciphers:
|   SSLv3:
|     ciphers:
|       TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_3DES_EDE_CBC_SHA - strong
|       TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA - strong
|       ...

When I lose the Gnome settings...

Now a day, I very often lose my Gnome settings. Most of it, I couldn't care less, but a few things are very important, especially the way my windows work: I HATE it when a window comes to the front when clicked on. It is totally crazy to work that way. Gnome supports the normal X11 way but they don't use that as the default, which is sad.

So I wrote a little script in order to be able to reset my settings without having to open CCSM (the Gnome preference tool) although if you have a hard time finding what you are looking for, CCSM can be useful!

There is my current script that fixes ...

Repair a Cassandra Cluster

I use the Cassandra database cluster system to manage a new set of websites and once in a while I start getting many errors and the website stops working altogether.

When that happens, it is likely that Cassandra broke something in the temporary tables that it holds. The only way to go past that problem is to clear those tables. Until then, it will fail over and over again (they really would need some euristic to auto-clean up even if it means that you're losing some data.)

The command to repair the database, really quick, is as follow:

nodetool scrub snap_websites files

Note that ...

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