Category Archives: Linux

Generating SSHFP Records Remotely

Until now I generated all SSHFP resource records on the SSH destination server itself via ssh-keygen -r <name>. This is quite easy when you already have an SSH connection to a standard Linux system. But when connecting to third party products such as routers, firewalls, whatever appliances, you don’t have this option. Hence I searched and found a way to generate SSHFP resource records remotely. Here we go:

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SSHFP: FQDN vs. Domain Search/DNS-Suffix

This is actually a bad user experience problem: To generally omit the manual verification of SSH key fingerprints I am using SSHFP. With fully qualified domain names (FQDN) as the hostname for SSH connections such as ssh nb10.weberlab.de this works perfectly. However, admins are lazy and only use the hostname without the domain suffix to connect to their servers since the domain search does the rest: ssh nb10. Not so for SSHFP which fails since the default OpenSSH client does not use canonicalization for its DNS queries. Hence you must explicitly enable canonicalization for OpenSSH.

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Benchmarking DNS: namebench & dnseval

If you’re running your own DNS resolver you’re probably interested in some benchmark tests against it, such as: how fast does my own server (read: Raspberry Pi) answer to common DNS queries compared to 8.8.8.8.

In this blogpost I am showing how to use two tools for testing/benchmarking DNS resolvers: namebench & dnseval. I am listing the defaults, giving some hints about them and showing examples in which I tested some private and public DNS resolvers: a Fritzbox router, a Raspberry Pi with Unbound, Quad9, OpenDNS, and Google Public DNS.

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Nmap Packet Capture

I am using Nmap every time I installed a new server/appliance/whatever in order to check some unknown open ports from the outside. In most situations I am only doing a very basic run of Nmap without additional options or NSE scripts.

Likewise I am interested in how the Nmap connections appear on the wire. Hence I captured a complete Nmap run (TCP and UDP) and had a look at it with Wireshark. If you’re interested too, feel free to download the following pcap and have a look at it by yourself. At least I took some Wireshark screenshots to give a first glance about the scan.

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SSH Key Fingerprints

As a network administrator I know that there are SSH fingerprints. And of course I know that I must verify the fingerprints for every new connection. ;) But I did not know that there are so many different kinds of fingerprints such as md5- or sha-hashed, represented in base64 or hex, and of course for each public key pair such as RSA, DSA, ECDSA, and Ed25519. Uh, a bit too complicated at a first glance. Hence I draw a picture.

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DNSSEC Signing w/ BIND

To solve the chicken-or-egg problem for DNSSEC from the other side, let’s use an authoritative DNS server (BIND) for signing DNS zones. This tutorial describes how to generate the keys and configure the “Berkeley Internet Name Domain” (BIND) server in order to automatically sign zones. I am not explaining many details of DNSSEC at all, but only the configuration and verification steps for a concrete BIND server.

It is really easy to tell BIND to do the inline signing. With this option enabled, the admin can still configure the static database for his zone files without any relation to DNSSEC. Everything with signing and maintaining is fully done by BIND without any user interaction. Great.

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Basic BIND Installation

This is a basic tutorial on how to install BIND, the Berkeley Internet Name Domain server, on a Ubuntu server in order to run it as an authoritative DNS server. It differs from other tutorials because I am using three servers (one as a hidden primary and two slaves as the public accessible ones), as well as some security such as denying recursive lookups and public zone transfers, as well as using TSIG for authenticating internal zone transfers. That is, this post is not an absolute beginner’s guide.

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ownCloud Data Directory

I initially stored my ownCloud data on an external NTFS hard disk. (Yes, this was not a good idea at all.) After some time now I wanted to move the files to a bigger ext4 drive on the same machine. Unluckily there are many posts and articles that are really irritating on the Internet, such as: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. At least I found some promising hints at the official GitHub forums (this and that) and gave it a try:

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ntopng Installation

Some time ago I published a post introducing ntopng as an out-of-the-box network monitoring tool. I am running it on a Knoppix live Linux notebook with two network cards. However, I have a few customers that wanted a persistent installation of ntopng in their  environment. So this is a step-by-step tutorial on how to install ntopng on a Ubuntu server with at least two NICs.

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Roundcube Installation Guide

Roundcube is an email webclient which is easy and intuitive to use. I am using it for my private mails, connecting via IMAP and SMTP to my hoster. One of the great advantages is the “flag” option which is synchronized via IMAP to my Apple devices.

Following is a step-by-step installation guide for Roundcube plus an update scenario. It is a kind of “memo for myself”, but hopefully, others can use it as well.

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Yet another ownCloud Installation Guide

If you want to use you own ownCloud installation, you can find several documentation on the Internet on how to set up this server, e.g. the official ownCloud documentation, or installation guides such as this or that or here. But none of these page alone provided enough information for installing a secure server completely from the beginning.

So here comes my step-by-step guide which surely won’t be complete, too. ;) However, hopefully it will help other people while searching for their way to install ownCloud. Additionally I am showing how to upgrade an ownCloud server.

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Out of the Box Network Analyzer “ntopng”

Some time ago I installed a new firewall at the customer’s site. Meanwhile the customer was interested in the flows that are traversing through the firewall right now. Oh. Good question. Of course it is easy to filter through log messages of firewalls, but theses logs are only for finished sessions. Yes, there are “session browsers” or the like on all firewalls, but they are not nice and handy to analyze the sessions in real-time.

The solution was to bring a network analyzer on a mirror port near to the firewall. I decided to use ntopng running on the live Linux distribution Knoppix. Great choice! An old notebook with two network adapters fits perfectly. A handful commands and you’re done:

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