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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.

Can I create an INDEX to accelerate a SELECT MIN(IF(...)) in MySQL?

I have a table with a few columns, two of which are integers, one of which can be NULL in which case the other integer is to be used in my query.

CREATE TABLE my_table (col1 INTEGER NOT NULL, col2 INTEGER);

If `col2` is NULL, then use `col1`. As is, there is how my query looks like:

SELECT MIN(IF(col2, col2, col1)) AS smallest FROM my_table LIMIT 1;

In other words, I need to get the row with the smallest integer, but if one column is NULL, I want to use the other column value.

On a very small sample, the query is still very fast, but the real version is not unlikely to have thousands ...

Thunderbird is so slow... it's nearly unusable!?

I have been using Thunderbird for a long time and yet I still did not know about the Compact feature.

A while back, i would use my Local Folders to save Junk, Draft, and Sent emails. This is really fast by default. But at some point I had a problem and reverted to using the remote folders which worked.

The problem was that Thunderbird would tell me that my Local Folders were full even though looking at them they were clearly empty.

The way this works is really annoyingly bad:

1. it accepts emails in a file, like the good old days, it uses one file for any number of emails

2. it adds new ...

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 ...

How do you get micro-seconds from the Linux stat(2) call?

A little while ago I noticed that I couldn't find documentation on how to get the modification time of a file in micro-seconds. The notorious stat() call returns st_mtime defined as a time_t in the documentation.

Well... The fact is that the structure is really composed of a timeval structure and not a time_t (that applies to all 3 time values: modification, last access, and last status change.) So in fact you can use the name of the field without the last letter and a sub-timeval field as in:

struct stat s;
seconds = s.st_mtim.tv_sec; // == s.st_mtime
microseconds = ...

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 ...

Gnome Keyring stopped working...

At some point in time, I upgraded Ubuntu and my Gnome Keyring stopped working. So each time I do ssh I have to enter the password at the prompt and that's a bit annoying after a while (depends how much I access the servers, obviously.)

I read many threads ZERO of them gave me an answer I want to hear. All of them speak of things that do not make sense in that situation. So I tried to install a brand new clean 14.04 server + ubuntu-desktop and guess what... Gnome Keyring is installed and everything makes me think that is is correctly installed (I get the correct SSH_AUTH_SOCK value) and ...

Lost SSH key graphical prompt and auto-add to SSH agent

At some point in the past, my system somehow lost the ability to avoid asking me for my key every time I connect to one of my servers. It generally okay, I don't do so much work on that server that I'd have to connect all the time...

However, it is annoying when, once in while, I end up doing a lot of work, back and forth.

The ssh-agent was installed and working. I could add the key manually:

ssh-add ~/.ssh/my-secret-key
ssh-add -l

The ssh-add command allows you to add and remove keys from the ssh-agent. The -l command line option lists the keys currently held by the agent.

...

Supermicro X9SCI/X9SCA, video is gone!

As I am still trying to get my computers to work with a dual seat (or multiseat), I did an attempt in using the onboard video (a relatively decent Matrox card.) So I went in the BIOS and changed the setup for the video from Offboard to Onboard. Big mistake!

The video stopped working. On reboot the computer beeped 8 times and booted the OS normally (I have SSH setup so I could access the computer, but absolutely no video on either port: on board and off board.)

I have a Supermicro X9SCI/X9SCA. Searching for "no video" or "missing video on boot"... returned nothing ...

Update to Ubuntu 14.04, huge problems with the display!

Oka, so today I finally got the chance to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04, hopefully soon to 14.10 too.

I have to say that in general, it looks like they've done a good job as things seem to work better...

However, the display setup got lost. My HP 2509m monitor is connected through a KVM and because of that, it does not always work as expected. That is, the nVidia card does not get to read the monitor information. It took me a while, but I found a way to fix the problem.

First of all I connected the monitor directly to my computer. That gave me the ability to change the resolution to 1920x1080 ...

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