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+ - Solaris 11.3 Onwards Will Feature OpenBSD's PF Packet Filter ->

Submitted by writes: In his most recent article, Solaris Admins: For A Glimpse Of Your Networking Future, Install OpenBSD, Peter Hansteen points to leaked information (via a patch to a mailing list) that Oracle's Solaris from version 11.3 (expected this year) onwards is joining the ranks of OSes using the OpenBSD PF firewall. From version 12 onwards, PF will be the only packet filter, replacing the legacy IPF system. Which was the software PF was designed to replace, due to performance and rather nasty licensing reasons.
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+ - The Password? You Changed It, Right?->

Submitted by writes: Right at this moment, there's a swarm of little password guessing robots trying for your router's admin accounts. Do yourself a favor and do some logs checking right away. Some European ISPs have been forced to do some ad-hoc reconfigs to end user equipment recently, so do check you equipment. And of course, this turned up in my lap while I was on my way back from a most enjoyable passwords conference — traces of what appears to be a distributed password guessing efforts. Read on for data and the beginnings of analysis.
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+ - Password Gropers Hit Peak Stupid, Take the Spamtrap Bait-> 1

Submitted by writes: Peter Hansteen reports that a new distributed and slow-moving password guessing effort is underway, much like the earlier reports, but this time with a twist: The users they are trying to access do not exist. Instead, they're take from the spamtrap address list, where all listed email addresses are guaranteed to be invalid in their listed domains. There is a tiny chance that this is an elaborate prank or joke, but it's more likely that via excessive automation, the password gropers have finally Peak Stupid.
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+ - Have you changed your password lately? Does it even matter?->

Submitted by writes: Do frequent password changes actually matter security wise? Or do they just make us pick the minimum complexity password the system will accept? I want your opinion. In his latest piece, Peter Hansteen wants your opinion on common security enforcement practices and even offers a poll about enforced password changes. Let loose the debate rage!
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+ - What is it that you want to learn about OpenBSD 5.5?->

Submitted by writes: In the upcoming OpenBSD 5.5 release there will be a number of improvements, including a whole new traffic shaping system, automatic installer improvements and the switch to 64-bit time_t.

But OpenBSD has been the source of lots of innovation and improvements in BSD and Unix in general over the years, and in preparation for his two BSDCan tutorials, Peter Hansteen asks, What do you want to learn about OpenBSD 5.5 (and possibly future directions)?

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+ - Yes, You Too Can Be An Evil Network Overlord - On The Cheap With OpenBSD, pflow ->

Submitted by writes: Have you ever wanted to know what's really going on in your network? Some free tools with surprising origins can help you to an almost frightening degree. Peter Hansteen shares some monitoring insights, anecdotes and practical advice in his latest column on how to really know your network. All of it with free software, of course.
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+ - Effective Spam and Malware Countermeasures Using Free Tools ->

Submitted by writes: In the seemingly never-ending fight against spam and malware, are the free tools really better? In a recent article titled Effective Spam and Malware Countermeasures — Network Noise Reduction Using Free Tools, Peter Hansteen offers a strong argument that free tools, with emphasis on the ones supplied by OpenBSD, are indeed better performing and significantly more cost effective than commercial counterparts. The article also has a history of malware and spam with chuckleworthy anecdotes.
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+ - The UK "Porn" Filter Blocks Kids' Access To Tech, Civil Liberties Websites ->

Submitted by writes: It fell to the UK Tories to actually implement the Nanny State. Too bad Nanny Tory does not want kinds to read up on tech web sites such as, or civil liberties ones such as the EFF or Amnesty International. Read on for a small sample of what the filter blocks, from a blocked-by-default tech writer.
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+ - Modern Microsoft Word Does Not Reliably Read Earlier Formats: A 1989 Print Test->

Submitted by writes: Prompted by a fabulous rant by Charlie Stross named Why Microsoft Word must Die, Peter Hansteen dug out from his archives the simplest possible 1989-vintage Microsoft Word .DOC document, and has the data to prove that newer versions or Microsoft Word do in fact not reliably read files from earlier versions. Case in point: An ASCII table print test generated and saved as .DOC in 1989.
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+ - The Hail Mary Cloud And The Lessons Learned->

Submitted by writes: Against ridiculous odds and even after gaining some media focus, the botnet dubbed The Hail Mary Cloud apparently succeeded in staying under the radar and kept compromising Linux machines for several years. This article sums up the known facts about the botnet and suggests some practical measures to keep your servers safe.
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+ - The Term Hackathon Has Been Trademarked In Germany->

Submitted by writes: Trademarking somebody else's idea is behind their back is both a bad idea and highly immoral. If it wasn't your idea, you don't trademark and you don't patent. It really is that simple, people.

The news that the term hackathon had been trademarked in Germany reached me late last week, via this thread on openbsd-misc. The ideas sounded pretty ludicrous ... (see the rest at

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+ - Keep smiling, waste spammers' time with OpenBSD tools->

Submitted by writes: When you're in the business of building the networks people need and the services they need to run on them, you may also be running a mail service. If you do, you will sooner or later need to deal with spam. This article is about how to waste spammers' time and have a good time while doing it, using the free tools OpenBSD offers to do your greylisting and greytrapping before any content filtering. It's fun and easy.
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+ - Maintaining A Publicly Available Blacklist - Mechanisms And Principles->

Submitted by writes: When you publicly assert that somebody sent spam, you need to ensure that your data is accurate. Your process needs to be simple and verifiable, and to compensate for any errors, you want your process to be transparent to the public with clear points of contact and line of responsibility. Here are some pointers from the operator of the greytrap-based blacklist.
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+ - SSH Password Gropers Are Now Trying High Ports->

Submitted by writes: "You thought you had successfully avoided the tiresome password guessing bots groping at your SSH service by moving the service to a non-standard port? It seems security by obscurity has lost the game once more. We're now seeing ssh bruteforce attempts hitting other ports too, Peter Hansteen writes in his latest column."
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1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents