Compromised Account

I had a user account that was compromised yesterday. Fortunately, all they used it for was to send out a ton of spam for 11 hours or so. The person whose account was compromised came in today to find over 50,000 bounced messages in her account. So I had a pretty good idea of which account was causing the problem. After stopping her mailer and then starting and stopping sendmail, I saw that the messages were still going out. I changed her password and that appeared to stop things. I kept an eye on things and will continue to do so for the rest of the day, to see if anything else goes wrong.

In looking at the logs, I've found lots of messages like:

Jul  6 11:09:21 srv sendmail[23556]: STARTTLS=server, [], version=TLSv1/SSLv3, verify=NOT, cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA, bits=256/256
Jul  6 11:09:23 srv sendmail[23556]: v66G9Ac7023556: [] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MSA
Jul  6 11:10:06 srv sendmail[23952]: STARTTLS=server, [], version=TLSv1/SSLv3, verify=NOT, cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA, bits=256/256
Jul  6 11:10:08 srv sendmail[23952]: v66G9xXg023952: [] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MSA
Jul  6 11:10:48 srv sendmail[24162]: STARTTLS=server, relay=[], version=TLSv1/SSLv3, verify=NOT, cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA, bits=256/256
Jul  6 11:10:50 srv sendmail[24162]: v66GAfoO024162: [] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MSA
Jul  6 11:12:25 srv sendmail[24858]: STARTTLS=server, [] (may be forged), version=TLSv1/SSLv3, verify=NOT, cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA, bits=256/256
Jul  6 11:12:26 srv sendmail[24858]: v66GCHIq024858: [] (may be forged) did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MSA
Jul  6 11:12:29 srv sendmail[24869]: STARTTLS=server, [] (may be forged), version=TLSv1/SSLv3, verify=NOT, cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA, bits=256/256
Jul  6 11:12:31 srv sendmail[24869]: v66GCMQ5024869: [] (may be forged) did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MSA
Jul  6 11:13:49 srv sendmail[25528]: STARTTLS=server, [] (may be forged), version=TLSv1/SSLv3, verify=NOT, cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA, bits=256/256
Jul  6 11:13:51 srv sendmail[25528]: v66GDhMg025528: [] (may be forged) did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MSA
Jul  6 11:14:13 srv sendmail[25679]: STARTTLS=server, [] (may be forged), version=TLSv1/SSLv3, verify=NOT, cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA, bits=256/256
Jul  6 11:14:15 srv sendmail[25679]: v66GE68G025679: [] (may be forged) did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MSA
Jul  6 11:15:08 srv sendmail[25991]: STARTTLS=server, relay=[], version=TLSv1/SSLv3, verify=NOT, cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA, bits=256/256
Jul  6 11:15:11 srv sendmail[25991]: v66GEt5t025991: [] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MSA

All of those did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MSA messages are people trying to send mail through our server with the incorrect password. Part of me would like to collect all of those ip addresses and block all packets from them, since they're compromised. However, that would be a lot of work. And they could be just like me, someone who had a compromised account that they're cleaning up. And also like me, they'd like to have their email delivered again once things are back to normal.

Year is Half Over

That was quick. 2017 is already halfway over. Thought I'd take a minute to see how the year is progressing so far.

I started the year off great with my no sugar habit. But then I went on vacation at the end of April and sort of fell off the wagon for May and June. My intention was to start July better, but that hasn't happened. The good thing though is that I am getting better about not totally overindulging when I have a little bit of sugar. I just put the black face on the calendar and try to get back to eating right. And my new mantra is "I'll try again tomorrow". No use beating myself up over it.

My DIY projects have been going pretty well. I've made a number of things. Beer flight paddles for my brother's brew pub. They're working really well and he just asked me for 7-10 more. So I'll have to get on that. I made some small planters for my mom out of old boards in the basement. And I made a huge planter for my mom out of some old doors I found. I've gotten the welder all set up, though I haven't actually used it yet. Though that's more of a problem of finding space in my garage. For safety, I only want to weld outside or in the garage...not in the house.

I had emptied the back of my upstairs to start gutting it. That hasn't happened. In fact, I moved a twin bed up there because my brother and his husband moved all their stuff to my house because they're going to Shanghai for the year. And since I hurt my back about 10 days ago, I've been sleeping on this twin bed because it's harder than my own bed. So while I have great intentions for working on the house, nothing has been done.

The garden is looking pretty good. And I bought a ton of herbs. A new goal that I have is to try to learn how to cook well. I think I might need to use the herbs. Someday, I'd like to invite people over to my house for a dinner party and be able to cook for them. Shoot, I'd even like to be able to cook myself some decent meals. I have absolutely no confidence in my cooking skills at this time.

So far this year I have already bought myself a new bike. That was an excellent purchase and I like it a lot. Granted, I also got hit by a car for the first time ever. Fortunately, both me and my bike were fine, so I can keep riding. So I now fully understand the whole "you have to get back on the horse that threw you" mentality. I won't say that it didn't affect me, as I do tend to tense up when there are more cars around. But I do still ride. I also got a drill press. And it didn't cost me anything. Mickey gave it to me. I haven't yet used it because it didn't come with a key and I couldn't find mine. But I'm sure I'll use it soon.

So far the year is going well. My sister is getting married in two weeks, so I'm very happy for her. My brother and his husband are embarking on an adventure in Shanghai, so I'm happy for them. I still like my job and can take care of myself, so I'm happy for me.

The Back Part II

On July 21st, I got up as usual and did some stretches for my knee, as I had started doing again a few weeks before, and was putting my shoes on when I felt a sharp pain in my back. I don't know why, but I do know that I had done this before. So I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. It is now 10 days later and things feel pretty good. I started to be able to do normal things without a ton of pain after about a week. And as I noted in my previous blog post, ice is better than heat. And lying flat on the floor is quite helpful. Though, getting up from lying on the floor is quite painful. But I think it'll be back to normal after another week. I'm mainly writing this to note how long things take to get better and how often this is happening.

I also think that I might look into joining a gym where I could work with a trainer. Since I had literally just finished stretching and was putting on my shoes, I fear that perhaps I'm stretching incorrectly. And a trainer will work on stretching all my muscles, not just the ones that hurt. I'll have to look at things to see how expensive this might be.

The security ID structure is invalid

All of my new users in my samba domain were getting this error when they tried to login to windows after I updated our ldap server. The problem was that I didn't update my script to use the new SID on the new server. So for these users, the sambaSID and sambaPrimaryGroupSID values were wrong. I changed them with this ldif file.

dn: uid=user1,ou=people,dc=edg,dc=uchicago,dc=edu
changetype: modify
replace: sambaSID
sambaSID: S-1-5-21-3315390538-3674444503-1443699862-4388
replace: sambaPrimaryGroupSID
sambaPrimaryGroupSID: S-1-5-21-3315390538-3674444503-1443699862-1413

Uninterruptible Sleep

Recently, I've upgraded some servers at work to RHEL7. I've had a few things that I didn't plan for, but that's to be expected when you do a major upgrade and you can't test everything in advance. However, I have had one issue that is still causing problems. And ironically, it seems to affect my own account the most.

On most mornings, when I ssh into our server, it takes a really long time to login. I assumed this was an nfs issue because I almost always assume slowness things are related to nfs. After logging in, I run top and can see the load on the system go up. There's no single process that looks to be out of control. I did notice though that an imap process under my name would jump to the top every so often. Since I had Mail on my mac open, I expected that. However, since I wasn't doing anything with mail and I didn't see any new messages, I didn't understand why it would suddenly cause a high load. I thought it was just coincidence, but after a few days of this happening, I figured something was there and I googled "Mac Mail High Load". This brought up High Mail CPU with El Capitan as the first result. And I was running El Capitan. I ran the top command and looked for processes in the uninterruptible sleep state and found me with a bunch of them. I have a few because I'm checking a few different email accounts, some are under my username and others are under a user called ichep.

[~]# top -b -n 1 |grep D
  476 ichep     20   0   19776   3208   2204 D   0.0  0.0   0:00.12 imap
  946 mary      20   0   20052   3348   1992 D   0.0  0.0   0:00.14 imap
 1101 mary      20   0   19296   2400   1928 D   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 imap
 1166 mary      20   0   19044   1996   1672 D   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 imap
 1167 ichep     20   0   19044   1812   1524 D   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 imap

I followed the instructions in the webpage and turned off "Move deleted messages to the Trash mailbox" and closed the preferences window. Then reopened it and turned off "Compact mailboxes automatically".

Now when I run mail, I don't appear to get those processes in the uninterruptible state. However, I still think there's an nfs issue causing those processes to get into that state. I'm not 100% sure though, so I'll keep an eye on things over the next week to see if I find anything. The weird thing about this is that I tend to notice the problem the most, the first thing in the morning when I initially login. This makes me think it's an nfs issue, as the disks that I'd normally use would probably be unmounted. My logging in should cause autofs to mount the disks I need. And I think there's a disk that my .bash_profile uses to source something that is causing the problem. The only "proof" that I think it's an nfs issue is that I check another mail account on a different server. On this second server, everything is set up exactly the same, except that my home disk is a local disk, not one mounted via nfs. And on this second server, I've never seen any issues with this type of delay or uninterruptible sleep states.

New Big Project

For quite a long time, I have wanted to write a book and try to sell it. For a multitude of reasons, I haven't. As of yesterday, no more! I signed up for 30x500 to get started. I'm hoping to find out ways to determine if my idea will actually help people, thus making it worth doing. Am I sure about this? Absolutely not. Who do I think I am to write a book? I'm not an expert at anything. It will probably be the worst book ever and will sell zero copies. However, I've decided that this is something I want to try. I've decided that being afraid of failure is worse than failure itself. I want to give it a try. And the 30x500 class is a way to help me hedge my bets. It cost me $1900 and my goal is to make that back within the next three years. (Official date: March 8, 2020) Doable? I have no idea. But I'm going to put in the work on it. I've deleted everyone I follow on Twitter, except people that I know personally. So I shouldn't be wasting any time there. I've also deleted all the bookmarks for blogs I like to read and youtube videos I like to watch. Again to not waste time. Lastly, I've created a new account on my laptop to use for studying and writing. So all of the programs and things that I have on my laptop aren't available to this second account and thus I can't have them open while I'm working. I've created a website for it. Let's get started!

Early Year Projects

For the start of the year, I've been working on some little projects that I've enjoyed. I guess one of the projects was big. I finished three bookshelves for my cousins for xmas.

I made a midori style notebook, which I still can't decide if I like or not.

And to put inside I made some personalized notebooks, which I do like quite a bit.

Also note in the picture above is a homemade awl I made to poke holes in the notebooks for sewing. It was a good idea, but the needle is sticking out too far. So if I really push, the needle bends. So I could maybe cut the end of that needle off and put it in a shorter handle.

I used epoxy to get the needle in the handle and I had some left over. So I used that to fix some cracks in my shoes. The weather has gotten much nicer now, so I haven't worn them yet in any snow. But I think this will work nice and save me from having to buy a new pair of shoes.

Lastly, I think that the last chance of frost has passed, so I'm moving into gardening mode. I went out to look at my cold frame. And once it got a little warmer, the spinach started growing again. It's pretty indestructible apparently. The lettuce seems to have died, so I put some more seed out there. But I'm happy with how this looks now.

Compiling GEANT4

This one is strictly work-related.

This is what I used to compile GEANT4 on an RHEL6 computer. Note that first I had to install and compile a new gcc to be able to compile GEANT4.

Also be sure to create /etc/ and add /usr/local/lib and /usr/local/lib64 to it. Then run ldconfig -v.

# tar xzf geant4.10.03.tar.gz
# mkdir geant.4.10.03-build
# # cd geant4.10.03-build/
# cmake3 -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/code/geant4.10.03-rhel6 /code/download/geant4/geant4.10.03/ -DCMAKE_C_COMPILER=/usr/local/bin/gcc -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=/usr/local/bin/g++ -DGEANT4_INSTALL_DATA=ON -DWITH_ANALYSIS_USE=ON
# make -j2
# make install

I also needed to make geant4-9.6.4, here's the cmake command that I used. The other commands are basically the same. And I think that this probably has the options that I should use by default. (Can leave off specifying the compiler if the default one works.)


For RHEL7 systems, the gcc that comes with it is new enough, so I can leave those tags out.

# cd /code/src/geant4-src/geant4-9.5.2-build

January 2017 Checkin

Based on last year, I know I won't keep up with checking in each month. However, January is usually pretty easy. Let's go straight to the chart.

My no eating sugar looks pretty successful so far. The first week's failures were all because I didn't realize that bacon contained sugar. So I didn't eat much sugar on those days, but it was some. So they got changed to frowns after I read the package ingredients on Friday. Aside from that, there were only three days where I had sugar. The 20th was worst and I was a bit upset with myself on the 21st for not staying in better control. The 28th was a party for Ted's birthday and I had a piece of cake. Happily, it was a small piece and I didn't eat any of the other sugar that was around.

Since a lot of foods have added sugar, what am I actually eating? Each day, for breakfast, I scramble one egg in butter, put it in a tortilla with some mozzarella cheese and eat that with a handful of blueberries. I have maybe 4 oz of orange juice mixed with water to drink. On the weekends, I may make some coffee which I drink with just milk. I'm not crazy about the coffee, but I'm usually cold, so I like the warm drink. For lunch, I've mixed things up more. A lot of days, I'd take noodles with mozzarella cheese on them for lunch. Lately, I've been just taking a tortilla and putting cheese in that. If I make some chicken, I've taken that too. I like the tortilla the best because there's no plasticware that I need to bring home to wash. I usually just take it in a freezer bag. And then I also take a bag of raisins and blueberries as well. I also have a container of macadamia nuts in my office. I've learned that around 9 - 9:30, I'm usually eating some nuts and blueberries. For dinner, I've been trying to get more protein, so I've been making meat. I bought chicken breasts, pork chops and some steaks. I clearly don't know how to cook a steak because they always seem really tough to me. Breading and frying the chicken and pork work out the best. The key? Paprika. Found that I like that a lot. I've also had some salad with a vinegrette, but I have to say I don't really enjoy that at all. I've been enjoying the pork chop the best and I'll probably be buying some more of those. My favorite thing to eat lately are triscuits with mozzarella cheese and raisins.

The good news is that I'm sure I've saved more than I paid for the Costco membership with what I've bought there. I eat about 5 lbs of mozzarella cheese every few weeks. I can finish a big container of blueberries in just over a week. Raisins last longer, but I buy lots of those as well. A container of macadamia nuts lasts about as long as the blueberries. All of that, I get at Costco. Other stuff, I get from Mariano's. And an added benefit for so carefully preparing my lunches and dinner is that I hardly use any cash. Not buying any meals, so I'm not spending $5-$10 per day.

I'm very happy with how things are working out. And I don't know why, but avoiding sugar has been easier than I thought. I've been reading some blogs about what sugar withdrawal feels like. The only really bad day that I had was one where I was just really depressed. It was weird in that I could tell something was wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on it. A day or two later, I realized that in the past on a day like that, I probably would have eaten a candy bar or something and have felt better. But without that rush of sugar, the depression lasted for basically 24 hours. I can laugh about it now, but I was just really numb on that day and didn't care about anything. Now I'm sort of curious if something like that will happen again. Interestingly, the day after that my weight went down 2 lbs after holding steady for about two weeks. Don't know if those things are related or not. Anyway, I'm happy with the month overall. I lost 3.5 lbs which I think is a good start to the year.

Awk notes

I love awk and use it a lot. Yesterday, I used it for something with multiline records. Awk on single lines is quick and easy to use, but I always have to look up what to do with multiline records. And I still don't exactly understand everything about multiline records, but here's what worked for me.

Say I had this file:

George Washington
1789 - 1797

John Adams
1797 - 1801

Thomas Jefferson
1801 - 1809

James Madison
1809 - 1817

I needed to reverse the order of the records like this:

James Madison
1809 - 1817

Thomas Jefferson
1801 - 1809

John Adams
1797 - 1801

George Washington
1789 - 1797

The first thing I needed to do was to create a file with my awk commands because they're going to be a little long to type at the prompt.

BEGIN { RS = "" ; FS = "\n" }
	print $1

RS = Record separator
FS = Field separator

And then I'm just going to print out just the name (which is field #1).

$ awk -f y samp.txt 
George Washington
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison

Ok, now I want to reverse the order and just print the entire record.

$ cat x
# The BEGIN section is run once at the start.  Here we just set up some separators
BEGIN { RS = "" ; FS = "\n" }

# The middle section is what runs over the file.  Here we're just adding each record to an array

# The END section runs once. Here we print out the array starting at the end and working back to the beginning
END {for (j=i-1; j>=0;) print a[j--] "\n"}

$ awk -f x samp.txt 
James Madison
1809 - 1817

Thomas Jefferson
1801 - 1809

John Adams
1797 - 1801

George Washington
1789 - 1797