Protecting your self online during the holidays !

Hello everyone

With the Christmas season in full swing that time of year where hackers and scam artists try to exploit the holiday season with new tricks to steal your identity and try their new scams here are some tips when shopping online

When shopping online

1.) Beware of too good to be true offers

this sounds like a simple one if you are online and reach a site you have not heard of before offering too good to be true prices like a Xbox one for 100$ when they are currently retailing for much more this should set off some red flags in your mind I would research the site your are on remember Google is your friend a quick search of the URL on Google will usually bring up reviews of that site

2.) Is the site secure

Checking for basic security features like HTTPS:// indicates the site is using a secure connection between you and the server does the server have a badge that shows its secure an example would be secured by verisign badge when you see this badge click it you should be brought to a page showing the registration info of the domain make sure it matches the site your on

3.) Forms of payment

What types of payment is the merchant looking for PayPal is a trusted source and usually offers buyer protection if the site is asking for credit card information I would strongly suggest to make sure you are on a HTTPS site during the transaction

Email security during the holidays

1.) Read over emails carefully if you don’t trust the sender click the mark as spam button and delete the email
2.) Don’t click any links that are embedded into the email
3.) if you receive offers via email make sure they check out again Google or the vendors website are good indications if the email is legit
4.) Keep passwords strong use 8 characters with upper and lower case and include at least a number and a special character

Tips for Securing your PC during online shopping

1.) Keep your antivirus up to date
2.) use anti-spyware software
3.) use browser plugin HTTPS everywhere which I have review on this site
4.) keep your web-browser up to date

Protecting your identity

1.) Don’t give you credit card to someone over the phone
2.) Monitor all accounts for abnormal transactions after purchases online
3.) Don’t post credit card information online

I hope this information is helpful to all online shoppers

If you have any questions leave them in the comments section below

Until next time stay secure !

Database issues !

Hello all,

I have been having some issues with my site and the database crashing there seems to be a memory issue with my config and it is causing my sql server to crash I am working on a permanent fix so if you come to my site and see ” error establishing a database connection” I haven’t taken my site down haha

New content coming soon

I am also still deciding on a new visual theme for my blog
anyone have any suggestions ? let me know !

Thanks for coming by
till next time stay secure !

Auditing for unauthorized access attempts with the auth.log file (LINUX)

Hello All,

If you are running a linux based webserver or any type of server as a best practice is to view any unauthorized access attempts against your server this can give you an insight as to if your server is being bruteforce attacked or if someone within your network is attempting to gain access to you server

there are many ways of doing this but for this post I will show you how to see this information in the AUTH.LOG file

the auth.log file is located in /var/log/auth.log this file logs authorization success and failures and reports the remote IP if the attempt from the network as well as the username being used

here is a sample output

Nov 24 11:17:01 CRON[9076]: pam_unix(cron:session): session opened for user root by (uid=0)
Nov 24 11:17:01 CRON[9076]: pam_unix(cron:session): session closed for user root
Nov 24 11:21:03 sshd[9079]: Did not receive identification string from 220.226.6.44
Nov 24 11:29:58 sshd[9080]: Invalid user bob from 107.20.246.150
Nov 24 11:29:58 sshd[9080]: input_userauth_request: invalid user bob [preauth]
Nov 24 11:29:58 sshd[9080]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): check pass; user unknown
Nov 24 11:29:58 sshd[9080]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser= rhost=ec2-107-20-246-150.compute-1.amazonaws.com
Nov 24 11:30:01 sshd[9080]: Failed password for invalid user bob from 107.20.246.150 port 55032 ssh2
Nov 24 11:30:01 sshd[9080]: Received disconnect from 107.20.246.150: 11: Bye Bye [preauth]
Nov 24 11:30:02 sshd[9082]: Invalid user john from 107.20.246.150
Nov 24 11:30:02 sshd[9082]: input_userauth_request: invalid user john [preauth]
Nov 24 11:30:02 sshd[9082]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): check pass; user unknown
Nov 24 11:30:02 sshd[9082]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser= rhost=ec2-107-20-246-150.compute-1.amazonaws.com

The above is an output from a public webserver as we can see from the log an access attempt from 107.20.246.150 using the username john

Viewing this log regularly can help you build proper firewall rules if you happen to see many access attempts from a specific network or a specific IP

you could also create a small script that can email you this log periodically that would be helpful I suppose

Until next time
stay secure !