Andreas Happe: tech

Wireguard vs OpenVPN on a local Gigabit Network

Wireguard is recently making a splash as human-configurable low-overhead alternative to OpenVPN and IPSec. As some privacy-centric VPN providers are planning to support it (e.g., PIA) or already have a beta running (e.g., IVPN, as tested by Ars Technica) it was time for me to look into it. The Setup To get a better feeling about the used technology I directly connected my laptop to my desktop (gigabit Ethernet with no switch/router in between) and setup OpenVPN with a minimalist configuration as well as with a more realistic TLS-configuration.

December 13, 2018 in tech security

GnuPG/PGP and Evolution/Seahorse Private Key Woes

I have a quite simple setup: Fedora 23 on my Desktop, Ubuntu 16.04 on my Notebook and a YubiKey thrown into the mix. I do have my normal GnuPG key DD436203 that I’m using. There’s also an old and revoked key 3F5D00B6 with which I was testing my YubiKey with (note to myself: don’t use an YubiKey-crested private key as you cannot backup it). My main key offers an ElGamal 2048bit subkey – which does not work with the Yubikey (as that only supports 2048bit RSA).

December 1, 2016 in security linux tech

How (NOT) to hide OpenVPN behind HTTPS/SSL

Update 2017: Sadly I found out (thanks due to the comments on this blog post) that using port-share does not encapsulates subsequent traffic in normal TLS. So using this method will not fool Deep-Package Inspection Firewalls. If you need to mask all your traffic, this is not an option – you might need to investigate stunnel, information can be found here, here or here. I assume, that the higher success rate of this method could be related to some firewalls checking the target of the initial https request.

December 1, 2016 in tech security linux

Firejail: Chroot on Speed

Firejail describes itself as a SUID program that reduces the risk of security breaches by restricing the running environment of running programs. We’ll just call it chroot or jail (for the BSDers out there).So, it’s SUID? First things first: it’s SUID, so if there’s an error within the firejail binary an attacker can gain root rights. This comes with the territory. How large is Firejail and how many dependencies does it have?

February 25, 2016 in security linux tech

Network Concurrency Problem

A project I’m involved with has a traditional distributed client-server architecture: multiple servers are interconnected, clients connect to one more servers. In this use-case we’re expecting around four to seven servers with long-running connections between them and approx. a dozen clients with short-lived connections to the server. Initially I had used plain Java networking but during 2013 I’ve switched over to netty.io as a communication layer. Benefits were more agile networking code, better concurrency, etc.

November 13, 2015 in development tech

pathogen vs vundle

Pathogen was the first vim plugin management system that I’ve known of. The contender is Vundle which seems to be inspired in it’s configuration syntax (and name) by Ruby’s Bundler. So let’s compare those two. Pathogen Pathogen’s workings are quite easy to grasp: each plugin is a directory within “~/.vim/bundle/"; pathogen traverses through the plugin list and includes each one of them. Let’s see a sample directory: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [~/.

February 18, 2015 in tech linux vim

Capybara for automating Pen-Tests

After a successful penetration test a re-test is performed. The common approach is that the customer fixes the code and I perform the necessary steps to confirm that that initial security breach was closed. Sometimes it takes the customer a couple of tries to achieve that. Most security problems (XSS, CSRF, SQLi) can easily be automated tested, but I had problems automating server-side authentication and authorization problems. The test would have to emulate multiple parallel user sessions.

September 9, 2014 in linux security rails tech

Migrating to Middleman

My blog has a history of migrations. It started as wordpress, then was converted Octopress. After Octopress was missing update-love and jekyll started to be actively maintained again it switched over to jekyll. And now, it finally is based upon Middleman. Sorry for any inconvinient bugs or layout errors that will happen during the migration. Why have I switched to middleman? as I’m a RoR devleoper it seems better suited for me.

September 9, 2014 in linux rails tech

Using a (host) reverse-proxy together with LXC application servers

The basic idea is to move application servers into LXC containers while keeping the HTTP server part (which is also responsible for hosting static files) on the host system. Normally an incoming request would be handled by an HTTP server on the host as well as by an HTTP server on the virtualized client: 1 browser -> http server(host) -> http server (guest) -> app-server (guest) I’m configuring the host HTTP server to directly communicate with the app worker, thus:

April 25, 2014 in tech linux virtualization

How to convert an KVM image into a LXC container

KVM was an improvement over Xen for me. Still for many use-cases a LXC are a more performance, light-weight alternative – which also seems to be en vougue nowadays. Through switching to LXC I’ve reduced my overall memory usage a bit – the main benefit is, that processes within an LXC container are separated processes within the host system. This should allow the host system to manage memory (think cache, buffers, swap, etc.

April 7, 2014 in tech linux virtualization