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Attacks by ZmEu or w00tw00t robots

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.

SSL_ERROR_RX_UNEXPECTED_NEW_SESSION_TICKET and ssl3_get_message:unexpected message

Today we had a problem with a combo of website that we never tried to run together.

Looking into it, it was definitely a problem with SSL. However, Apache2 would tell us absolutely nothing about it. No error or access logs. I think this is because it would happen at the time Apache and the client negotiate the SSL connection and Apache does not report such problems (at least by default, it might in case you turn on some debug mode?)

We had two different settings for two websites using the snakeoil certificate (As we test on VM machines, we use the snakeoil certificate as an easy way to check ...

Error trying to upgrade software on an Ubuntu system

Today I got a really strange error. Part of the message was:

E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/<some name>
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

That seemed really bizarre. I had never seen such an error before...

So I searched for it and one thing to know is that the files under that directory are temporary, so you can actually delete them. apt-get knows how to regenerate them.

So in other words you can do something like this:

sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/<some file>
# or ...

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 ...

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, ...

Convert XML tags and text to a String

Today I started testing a lot of my JavaScript / jQuery code from a website I am building for a customer. I got an error, at some point, saying:

SCRIPT5007: Unable to get property 'replace' of undefined or null reference

The error was in link with the 'replace' function being referenced on an innerHTML of an element. More specifically, one of those XML element (probably the top most one.)

The fact is that Internet Explorer does not support innerHTML in an XML document. Not to be too surprised about that, XML is not HTML so there is really no reason why innerHTML should be ...

xhtml2pdf generating an error under 14.04+

Note: This bug is fixed in Ubuntu 16.04

Working on a website I have to convert invoices to PDF so end users have the ability to print and share the invoices from the website.

In order to do that, I generate an HTML page with the invoice which also gets displayed in the website, and then convert that HTML to PDF with xhtml2pdf. I use that tool instead of whtmltopdf because it does not require X11 to work. The other tool is said to require Qt and X11 and we do not want those things on our backend servers.

So... I upgraded to 14.04 and the tool stopped working with an ugly error:


CRON Drupal says "HTTP/1.0 302 Found" about "/cgi-bin/ipdiags.ha" (AT&T U-Verse)

I run a few Drupal website and once per hour I run the cron.php script. I do it only once per hour because nothing changes so often on my websites so it would require faster refreshes.

Once in a while (relatively rarely now) I get a list of errors from CRON saying that the checks failed. The errors look something like this:

HTTP/1.0 302 Found
Location: /cgi-bin/ipdiags.ha
Pragma: no-cache
Content-Type: text/html

<html><meta http-equiv=Refresh content=0;url=/cgi-bin/ipdiags.ha>

As you can see, this is a 302 so a temporary error. ...

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 ...

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