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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.

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 ...

Why are hotmail.com emails blocked by postgrey even though it is whitelisted?

Lately, I received emails from a customer something like 12 hours later...

So I checked closer and could see that the email was from hotmail.com.

Great.

On the server, I edited my whitelist to see what was going on:

vim /etc/postgrey/whitelist_clients.local

Searching the list I could see hotmail.com, so why is it that it gets bounced with a 450 by Postgrey if it is whitelisted?

Looking closer at the logs left behind by Postgrey, I found this line:

Apr 23 06:33:34 m2osw postgrey[1742]: action=greylist,
      reason=new,
      client_name=<secret>.outlook.com,
      ...

SugarCRM Community Edition for Ubuntu 16.04 with PHP 7

As I wanted to use SugarCRM on my new server, I looked into the Community Edition and apparently the company is not willing to convert their code so it works under PHP 7.

So that would not work on a newer system because the code uses quite a few forbidden mechanism (wrong class definitions, old defunct functions...) and that prevents to even instal the system on your machine.

Now, I have looked closer into it and I am getting a version that works pretty darn well already. I still have some issues here and there, but I think you can already make use of that version. Except for one thing which ...

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, ...

Installing Solaris to compile your software

Now a day I like to install Solaris to check that my code compiles and generally runs under that OS.

I think that's a good way to prove that the code is multi-OS ready even if it is only for Unices.

OpenSolaris is free and can be downloaded from Oracle. The last URL I use was:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/solaris11/downloads/index.html

The system, by default, comes with a directory named /usr/sfw which includes a really old version of gcc. It is possible, though, to move forward with a newer version of the compiler by installing a package. Under Solaris 11.2, this ...

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 ...

Bad move for PHP unpack()! So unpack() stopped working?

Today I noticed many errors on one of my websites. Looking closer into it, I noticed that the code for the mo_references Drupal module stopped working.

It took me some time, especially because the code seemed to work just fine as all the files could easily be displayed.

Actually, that was not the case. The unpack() character 'a', which I used, was transformed from a simple string that gets trimmed, to all the characters, including the NULL characters. Ouch! Now we have to use the 'Z' character instead.

I use it to unpack() a tar file by loading 512 bytes of data in a ...

My JavaScript code does not get the correct widget size, why?

As I am developing a set of pages for a customer, I ran in an intersting problem: my JavaScript function could not properly define the sizes of a box.

That box is heavily tweaked with the CSS assigned to it, as well as all of its neighbors. So I thought that may have something to do with it.

What I hadn't realized so far is that the ready() function of jQuery() is called once the script that includes it is ready (as in loaded) and not once the document as a whole is ready (done loading, i.e. onload event.)

With that knowledge it was easy to understand that I was actually finding myself ...

Console color: dark blue on black unreadable

As I work in consoles every now and then, I run in that one problem:

Some text is written in Dark Blue over the Black background:

This is a good example of what I'm talking about.

And if you can read that text, wow! (without selecting it first.

So... how could you change the color of that blue to make it readable? There is a way by sending some escape command to the console:

echo -e "\\e]R\\e]PC6495ed"

That command changes the color of the blue to a light blue (somewhat "cyan", although not light cyan.)

The "\\e]R" part is to reset the colors to ...

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