*Digital morse codes

Digital Morse code

one reason I am pretty sustain computer pron threats are here to stay is perhaps because we've not done enough to alter the ground rules of computing.

There are pretty a number of ways system Administrators practice world over , but then the most common ones being : a)Close unnecessary ports.
b)Deploy system and or Network firewalls.

It is possible however to create a "Digital Morse code" through monitoring system or network traffic by manipulating simple firewall rules.

Consider running a service on a target device which would watch network activity- typically by monitoring firewall logs and trigger a digital morse code action GRANT

Even though no ports may be open at the time, a specific series of connection attempts to closed ports may provide the trigger to open a defined port for communication through a "Digital Morse code" combination

For example if I attempted to connect to the host using ports: 503, 504, 507, 443 . From this point of view of the user, the connections fail silently. On the firewall, though, the 503, 504, 507, 443 number sequence has been recorded.
The following is a sample of the lines that was logged in the /var/log/messages after this attempt.

Jul 4 13:23:00 centos kernel: IPTables-Dropped: IN=em1 OUT= MAC=a2:be:d2:ab:11:af:e2:f2:00:00 SRC=192.168.2.115 DST=192.168.1.23 LEN=52 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=127 ID=9434 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=58428 DPT=503 WINDOW=8192 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0

Jul 4 13:25:00 centos kernel: IPTables-Dropped: IN=em1 OUT= MAC=a2:be:d2:ab:11:af:e2:f2:00:00 SRC=192.168.2.115 DST=192.168.1.23 LEN=52 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=127 ID=9435 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=58428 DPT=504 WINDOW=8192 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0

Jul 4 13:29:00 centos kernel: IPTables-Dropped: IN=em1 OUT= MAC=a2:be:d2:ab:11:af:e2:f2:00:00 SRC=192.168.2.115 DST=192.168.1.23 LEN=52 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=127 ID=9436 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=58428 DPT=507 WINDOW=8192 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0

Jul 4 13:35:00 centos kernel: IPTables-Dropped: IN=em1 OUT= MAC=a2:be:d2:ab:11:af:e2:f2:00:00 SRC=192.168.2.115 DST=192.168.1.23 LEN=52 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=127 ID=9435 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=58428 DPT=443 WINDOW=8192 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0

If our service encountered the "Digital Morse code" action GRANT in the correct order it would then automatically alter the firewall rules to open a designated port to allow remote access.

LUG - Ideas

Related to: 
Final LUG Meeting 2012

So this weekend, we met, as the LUG, or rather, the usual suspects. FOSSFA, COSS, Etech, Stormzero, S7, and from out of town, Camara!

Great time we had, especially discussing what we want the LUG to do/be in 2013.

Techfest is going to continue to be a flagship LUG event, and will culminate on the SFD of every year! #Exciting

Brian Ssennoga offered to be a point of information for LUG specific 'administrative' information, as Simon Vass continues to carry our Social media presence wherever he goes. Kyle maintains as lead on the Website, which is going to see the light of day with some really cool patches and Marion Mpanga is going to try to get the LUG onto any radio station that would like the freshest voices in Technology around the city.

S7 will host us in February, and i think we'll be at Uganda House in January - we'll keep you posted on that.

That leaves, you!

Yes, you - to help us with a newsletter. And to nominate/vote for the LUG Rep who will occupy the honorary seat at the ICTAU. And also to help us crawl the internet for ICT/Linux related events that we can consider following remotely and/or participate in as the LUG.

We missed you, but what do you think?

KOHA-Library Management System

Koha is the first open-source Integrated Library System (ILS)
A full featured modern integrated library system (ILS).
• Award winning and open source no license fee, ever.
• Linux, Unix, Windows and MacOS platform.
• Web Based.
• We can full integrate it into your website.
• Copy cataloging and z39.50.
• MARC21 and UNIMARC for professional catalogers.
• Tailored catalog module for special libraries.
• Use as a document manager or digital library.
• Manage online and off line resources with the same tool.
• RSS feed of new acquisitions.
• E-mail and/or txt patron's over dues and other notices.
• Print your own barcodes.
• Serials management module.
• Full catalog, circulation and acquisitions system for library stock management
• Simple, clear search interface for all users.
• Koha is multi-tasking and enables updates of circulation, cataloging and
issues to occur simultaneously.

KOHA TRAINING AVAILABLE

Looking Ahead to 2012

I truely can't believe is has got to that time of year again so fast! It seems like last month I was writing up 2010. http://linux.or.ug/blogs/billynkid/2010/12/2010-how-did-we-fare

Well let's see how this year fared on our to do list.

  • Still a lack of community involvement

I think the community has really grown, we now have a very active Makarere Facebook Group, more and more we are seeing community members popping up on other IT Mailing lists to advise on the availability of FOSS. It really no longer seems unusual for someone to have knowledge of FOSS solutions.

We are now seeing new members blogging on the revamped website (Thanks Kyle) and this I really hope to see grow in 2012.

  • Policy and Government engagement;

Although we have had active debate in the field I would say overall we still need to do better. One big help has been the launch of VUU. http://www.virtualuni.ac.ug and look forward to seeing how we as a community can continue to support this organisation who have and use FOSS at there core.

We continue to try and foster good working relationships with the Ministry of ICT and look forward to continuing to do so next year.

How ever a plan is forming how we can formally engage government going forward, so watch this space.

  • Engaged business sector directly;

We did try and engage a couple of local IT Shops to use FOSS, but due to the differences and a lack of some basics this didn't get to far. How ever I see this evolving as more and more users switch over to FOSS based solutions. During TechFest http://www.techfest.ug we has some great conversations about FOSS and technology based solutions. It was a fantastic event and I thoroughly look forward to organizing next years event.

  • Did not do enough around gaming

We still have not managed to organize a gaming tournament, but it is very much on our radar so keep a keen watch on this. In other news how ever FOSS gaming is growing in leaps and bounds and I'd encourage readers to check our both http://www.humblebundle.com and http://www.desura.com who are making great strides in promoting Linux and FOSS gaming.

  • Outside Uganda

The continued growth of Android keeps a Linux based platform very much alive in the mobile sphere, although Google's source code release policy did have us questioning their commitment to FOSS principles. I think this will be one to watch, and monitor closely.

With Nokia's announcement to use Windows Phone OS. the transition of the Meego platform seemed doomed, but I having been following the Nemo Project http://wiki.merproject.org/wiki/Nemo and this looks like a very exiting FOSS project especially for my N900 phone, continue to keep running Linux.

The OpenStack Project http://openstack.org/ got a lot of great support this year and due to it's far more FOSS based ethos over that of Eucalyptus got my vote also. I still need to find time how ever to really learn this project along with Ubuntu cloud offerings and I'd like to try an organise a install-fest around this early next year.

HP's announcement to work with Canonical proved that Ubuntu is being taken very seriously by some big players. http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/servers/software/ubuntu/index.html

Also HP's announcement to Open Source WebOS, although I think might prove to be too late, might also seed some interesting results, but probably not for HP or WebOS.

Also the announcement of Ubuntu being available on tablets and phones for some of us was no surprise, especially with the push on the Unity interface. This has not been a smooth transition for Ubuntu and I think they still have a long way to go in persuading the masses but I think the 12.04 release will hopefully go a long way to shore up peoples confidence.

One happy side is that once again the Linux community seems to have become enlivened with debate over different Windows Managers, such as XFCE, LXDE (Lubuntu), Mate and Gnome MGSE http://www.linuxmint.com. Recently I see the Cinnamon Desktop Environment http://smashingweb.ge6.org/gnome-shell-looks-like-gnome-2-cinnamon-desktop/ also seems to be making waves.

Personally I think this just shows the power of FOSS, I always think more is better. These other efforts in no way will stop Ubuntu's efforts, but they continue to give us all choices.

The IT community continues to grow in Uganda and I'd like to give out some shout outs to a few supporters; to Brian over at COSS/FOSSFA, Robert and his team at S7, D. and her team at VUU, Daniel at MoMoKla, Albert and his team at PCTech as always Reinier and his team at Mountbatten for hosting us. James and his team at RokeTelkom for supporting us during the UCC conference. Boaz at UGO for helping us find a new venue/friend at Finafrica. I look forward to trying to work with all of them in the new year.

Well that is it for another Year. I'll be on leave in January, but when we come back I look forward to helping organise some exciting events in 2012.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Some nice Linux tips and Commands

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Oh well here are some commands and info that I find usefull with
working with my linux box..hope it helps..the ideas are in no particular order.

**Note:The signs " " are not part of the commands**

1.To find out the history of commands you typed in terminal type this in your terminal:
"cat .bash_history"

there should be a bunch of lines there..if you want to delete that info then type:
"rm .bash_history"

2.To find out Your external(internet) ip address..the following should help:
"wget -O - -q www.icanhazip.com" or "curl icanhazip.com"

***EDIT*** it seems the above website is down..but il leave the example above in case it comes back

up..in the mean time we can use this

"wget -O - -q www.findmyip.com | head -18 | tail -1"

3.Some people ask how to clear the screen of older commands that where typed..

well guess what..the command is :
"clear"

You can also press Ctrl+l that should also clear the screen

4.To list files in a directory the command is:
"ls"

now if you have lots of files in a directory they will all scroll by real fast...
so to have them scroll down page by page..I type the following:

"ls | more"

from there You can press ENTER to scroll down.

5.Some file and directory Commands
-To find out which directory Your in..command is:
"pwd"

-To change directory
"cd"

-To move file
"mv" thefile ">" where to move it
example to move a file called "money" to a folder called "wallet" we would type

mv money wallet

-To rename a file
"mv" thefilename newfilename

example to rename a file called MTN to UTL the command would be:

mv MTN UTL

that would change MTN to UTL..

6.Did You know you can play vlc from the command line?..maybe not..well You can

If for exapmle the directory Your in has a song called "Bend over.mp3"

then You can play it from the command line by typing vlc "Bend over.mp3"

or cvlc "Bend over.mp3"

7.Find out what linux issue You are running type command:

"cat /etc/issue"

Find out the kernel You are using type:

"uname -a"

8.Do you ever get tired of typing the same long command?

some thing like "cd /root/Downloads/mymusic/localmusic/bebecool/"

then the command "alias" is for you..in the above example we can do the following

" alias zz='cd /root/Downloads/mymusic/localmusic/bebecool' "

after that all we have to do is type zz and it will take us to that folder..

the alias command is one of my favourite linux commands..the format is

alias = ''

9.To find out connections to the internet + ports used and programs running:

"netstat -antp"

this will show you the established internet connections..help you know what program is taking
your bandwidth..this is useful if your using 3G modems and want to spare your cash..

10.This was written using nano..type in your terminal to find out what it is:

"nano"

without the quotes..

mikeepps@756@gmail.com

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To do list after installing Ubuntu

Installing linux is not easy for some and after installing it is usually a new world
to lots of people..

So here is a simple guide to get You on Your feet after installing Ubuntu

the following are the commands to type..in the terminal/console..

(terminal/console=command prompt..for windows users)

all commands begin with sudo

the rest are comments like this #

sudo apt-get update
#will update your system

sudo apt-get upgrade
#will upgrade your sytem if updates are found

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
#will install some packages that are needed for certain task

#Essential packages

sudo apt-get install vlc
#will install vlc player for you to play your movies/music

sudo apt-get install gimp

#will help with editing pictures

sudo apt-get install gwenview
#for viewing pictures

sudo apt-get install okular
# will help you read pdf's

sudo apt-get install ark
#will help in opening zip,tar and other compressed files

#Optional packages

sudo apt-get install multiget
#this is a download manager download manager
#this will help You with the Downloads

sudo apt-get install kate
#(kde Advanced Text Editor)

#Text editor with special features like code/script highlighting..
#this just a personal choice the are lots of text editors out there..

sudo apt-get install skype..

#what can I say about that it for skype-ing

sudo apt-get install gparted

#this is a partition editor..It comes in handy for partitioning especially in cases
#where You need another partition for another operating system

well this was a quick tutorial to get You started in the world of Ubuntu..

Enjoy Alba's Pic..

Working 3G modem on linux

So I was having a Hard time..Getting My 3G modem to work on an Ubuntu based distro..Distribution..And what helped Me get things working was a shell Script..Called Sakis3g..the website is http://www.sakis3g.org/...

All the necessary instructions on how to install are on the website..

One problem that You may encounter is where it asks for username and password..

If You use one for Your 3g connection then thats where You put them..but most of the 3G connections in Uganda have their USERNAME and PASSWORD fields empty..

For the script to work for such connections You put: USERNAME as user

and PASSWORD as pass..

that should get Your 3G modem working..hope this helps..

Ubuntu Vs Linux Mint Vs Debian Vs ?

I have been noticing a marked increase in the number of articles bashing Ubuntu and recommending switching to another distro. The problem I have is the tone some of these articles take, as how dare a free software company make a design choice we don't like. I think because Ubuntu has dominated for so long we have begun to forget one of the central tenants of using FOSS namely that we always have and should have a choice.

I recently rediscovered this by switching away from Unity and back to Gnome Classic. So far I am enjoying the experience, how ever at some point I would like to take a look at both Linux Mint and Debian again.

Personally I think this criticism is a good thing. I always get a little worried when someone is getting tons of praise and begins to corner a market. There is always the danger of starting to believe your own press and forgetting yourself and your customers.

So lets embrace this change in Ubuntu's fortunes as a good bit of competitive correction. They don't seem to be going anywhere and I am sure they will continue to plough their own furrow smoothing and ruffling feathers alike.

Personally I am very buoyed by the recent news of Canonical opening retail stores in China and their recent deals with both HP and DELL to provide OpenStack/Ubuntu based hardware.

Both these move show an increase retail maturity of Linux. Does Adobe's recent signalling of a move away from Flash to HTML 5 also signal a good turn for Linux especially in the mobile space is this something else we can now dominate and flourish choice as well? Tizen/Mer Anyone?

Using Ubuntu 11.10 without Unity

I recently decided to upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10. This is the second Ubuntu installment with the new Unity interface. Although I can appreciate that design decisions have gone into the interface in order to make it more compatible for multiple format interfaces such as tablet/mobile I can't get comfortable with it. It is little things like the Chromium interface which still has yet to fit. The choice to move the window controls over to the same side as the unmovable dash means a slip of the mouse opening the dash after a delay. Also the whole interface has slowed down, and this is on my beast of a laptop with 8 Cores, 8GB RAM and a ATI 5600 1GB Video Card.

Anyway the net result has been that I have been exploring alternatives. Firstly I tried to use Gnome 3. but a corrupted panel stopped that early. I then tried Lubuntu. I like Lubuntu it's fast and the window management model is the older Windows XP-esque paradigm. How ever the functionality of the default utilities is lacking. For example a good network browser nautilus isn't perfect but it sure beats pyneighbourhood.

After a while I decided to try Gnome 3 again. The display issues seemed to have been related to driver issues which upgrading to version 11.9 fixed. Although the Gnome 3 Shell works better than Unity it still has problems with hanging and random crashes caused by different applications such as Pentaho Kettle which I use daily.

So I have finally settled on the 2D version of Gnome Classic . This is working well, and with some adjustments using gnome-tweak-control to allow icons on the desktop, gives back that familiar Gnome 2 feel.

I will keep Gnome 3 and Lubuntu installed as fall backs, and might even pop into Unity from time to time, but I think for now Gnome 3 Classic is my config of choice.

Why software freedom really matters!

I recently caught up on some of the audio footage of OggCamp11. http://oggcamp.org OggCamp11 is a "un-conference" organised by the presenters of my two favorite podcasts namely Linux Outlaws http://linuxoutlaws.com and Ubuntu UK Podcast http://podcast.ubuntu-uk.org/

Two presentations really caught my ear. The first was the opening presentation given by Simon Phipps a computer scientist and Open Source advocate on why Software Freedom really matters!

Simon outlined why he believes (and to a lot of extent so do I!) how our world is more and more being defined by Software Freedoms especially as governments try and manage this constantly new and evolving online world. Essentially it is only through us maintaining our Software Freedoms is how we maintain our further freedoms.

The second talk was immediate after the first and took on a whole different look on Software Freedoms. Karen Sandler Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation discusses a topic very close to her heart literally!

Anyway I recommend listening and you can via another of my favorite podcasts full-circle podcasts http://fullcirclemagazine.org/2011/08/19/full-circle-podcast-23-oggcamp-...

I keep promising that one year I would love to attend this event in person, especially if the team keep up this level of presenters. I guess the only other option would be to hold our own local OggCamp and invite them over....hmm now there's an idea!

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