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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.

Apache2 error: client denied by server configuration

I installed a website on a brand install installation of Ubuntu 14.04 (opposed to an upgrade from earlier versions) and the same website would not start...

Apache2 would give me the following error:

client denied by server configuration

which did not seem to tell me anything... I search for the error and the first page that popped up was a page by Apache2 and they said to add the deny/allow trick. I tried that and it did not help.

    <Directory /my/special/directory>
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all

Search further, I found an answer on ...

Why would Windows 10 Wifi say "Limited" instead of "Connected"?

When I installed Flash, it automatically installed McAfee, the anti-virus, and really, I have not seen an option to NOT install that wonderful free tool which annoys me (and probably many others) a lot...

Not knowing, I then searched for a little while, why is it that my Wifi connection says "Limited" instead of "Connected". This is because McAfee replaces the MS-Windows firewall with their own stuff. That stuff limits the connections and everything will not go through, hence the Limited information on my Wifi connection.

Since I removed McAfee, my connection remains and ...

Chromium starts automatically under MS-Windows, how to turn that off?

When I downloaded FileZilla, somehow I also got Chromium and some TV something downloaded and installed under Win10. I removed the TV crap, really no need, but I was thinking to keep Chromium since I need to test my websites with it once in a while. Cool, but that stupid software installed itself to auto-start!!!

I don't think I had the option to NOT have such a feature turned on.

So... I had to search for it because apparently no one knows how to handle Auto-Start features under newer versions of MS-Windows. It is actually... take a deep breath... in the Task Manager. (At least in ...

Old Synergy 64bit version for windows compatible with Ubuntu synergy package version 1.4.12

As I like to have Synergy working on my Windows boxes (i.e. laptops), I am saving a copy of the installer 64 bit version which works fine with WinXP and Win7. I'm about to test it with Win10 which is likely to accept it as is too. Just in case you did not know, Synergy is a driver that takes one mouse device and makes it work on multiple computers. In other words, you can use any number of computers with one mouse and one keyboard. Move the mouse to the right computer and you can use the keyboard on that computer. No need for a KVM anymore (Keyboard Video Mouse device that allowed you to ...

Recover name of message registered with RegisterWindowMessage()

Today I was confronted with an error in a process that would run in the background and slowly fill up the Windows message queue when it should have been dormant.

I looked at the messages that were being processed once the process woke up and the message number was 0xC10C or so. Nothing in the software has such a number. So I looked around and found out that the message was one of those created using the RegisterWindowMessage() function. (This is wrong in that application since the messages are never used from external applications, but oh well... that does not change the basic problem.)

So, ...

Setting up a Digital Ocean Droplet

When I create a new DigitalOcean droplet I have to run a few commands that I don't otherwise use very much at all so I was thinking that adding them here would make it easier to remember.

First if you setup an SSH key on DigitalOcean before you create the servlet, then you will be able to access the server root account with SSH.

ssh -l root <ip-address>

The shell then gives you the ability to create a user, because it is much safer to use a user under your name instead of just and only access the root account. However, you most certainly want to make that user part of the sudo ...

How to setup a Linux firewall


If you setup a Linux box, you want to setup a firewall before you connect your computer to the Internet. If you are setting up a remote server, it should only have the SSH port open. Connect to it, setup the fire, then only install the other servers and open ports as required (and only ports that need to be connected from the outside.)

Any port that you open without the firewall already setup is at risk. You may want to install PHP and along will come a database which may open a port to the Internet. Something that you just don't want to happen.

Setup Firewall

To ...

Turning sites and modules on and off in Apache2

I always have to looks for the command line option to turn sites and modules on and off (really it is said to be enabled or disabled.)

The commands are as follow:

  • a2ensite -- enable one site
  • a2dissite -- disable one site
  • a2enmod -- enable one module
  • a2dismod -- disable one module

When you use one of the commands in the command line terminal without specifying which site or module to enable, then you are given a list of the sites or modules you can enable or disable. Note that the configuration files have to end with .conf for this mechanism to work as expected.

Solaris virtual consoles are password protected, how to remove the protection?

Solaris 11.2 (Open SunOS really) has virtual console a la Linux. This works great. You can use the Alt-F1 to Alt-F6 keys to instantly switch between 6 different consoles. I use that to have one console with an editor and another with my make and runtime tests.

Unfortunately, Solaris includes a lock which manes that each time you switch between a console, it hides the content and ask you for your password to unlock the console (that way you could have multiple users on the same computer, each using a different console and the system remains safe since people cannot just go to someone's ...

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