вторник, 6 декабря 2016 г.

Graceful squid restart

Squid is a well-known open source http proxy server.

Sometimes it is necessary to change its configuration, for example to update ACL lists. Fortunately it has the command "squid -k reconfigure". Unfortunately, during reconfiguration squid refuses new connections. If the configuration is complex and ACLs are large it can take several seconds.

Some people recommend setting up multiple squid servers with a load balancer to solve the problem, but I believe it's an overkill for small installations.

So here is my approach.

To avoid service disruption, start another copy of squid on the same machine with identical configuration but with different TCP ports and without persistent storage:

sed -e 's/^http_port \([0-9]\+\)/http_port 1\1/' \
'/^cache_dir/d' < $a_conf > $b_conf
echo "pid_filename $b_pid" >> $b_conf

squid -f $b_conf
Then redirect new connections to the new port (i.e. 13128 by default) using iptables NAT.

Reconfigure the first copy of squid using "squid -k reconf", then remove NAT redirection and shutdown the second copy of squid using "squid -f $b_conf -k shutdown".

воскресенье, 13 ноября 2016 г.

Port scan reporting

Internet worms scan the internet infecting new hosts, creating botnets, abusing services.

For a long time I have had implemented port scan detection and blocking script for our local users. The perl script analyzed netflow information and when a certain level was exceeded it informed the user by e-mail and blocked the port.

It had to handle a few special cases, for example smtp servers (MTA) easily exceeded threshold on ports 25 and 113, so the script probed the port 25 on the suspected host before taking an action. A few IP addresses were added to a white list.

Recently an idea to inform other providers came to me. Remote scanners were detected anyway, I had just to add an action. Whois service gives an abuse e-mail address, so composing a letter template was the only really creative task.

To avoid sending the letter too often I have added dynamic firewall rules with a timeout to block the scan traffic. So the warnings are sent in 1, 2, 4, 8 ... 32 days if the activity does not stop.

The script works and while Chinese internet providers largely ignore the warnings, I've received many replies which indicate that a real problem was noticed and fixed due to my messages.

It would be nice though if all ISP implemented local scan detection themselves.

пятница, 28 октября 2016 г.

Internet scanning activity

Recently I have analyzed scanning activity from the Internet on our ASBR routers.

Here are the most popular TCP ports being scanned (>1% of all scan attempts):
22ssh12.6877Shell access
23telnet9.4989Shell access
1433SQL server7.13683Data compromise, exploits
21320SpyBot proxy5.80395Spam
3389Remote Desktop5.71959Desktop access
3128Squid Proxy3.88055Spam
8080potential HTML proxy3.82993Spam
3306MySQL3.74557Data compromise
445SMB1.56909File compromise
8888potential HTML proxy?1.45099Spam
110POP31.36663E-Mail compromise, spam
20FTP-data1.33288FTP exploit?
8000DVR control port1.14729DVR access
79finger1.13042User identity leak
119nntp1.06293NNTP exploit
21FTP1.04606File compromise

Some ports and their purpose are unknown to me.

P.S. I have found this useful resource on port scanning statistics.

P.P.S. Top scanning providers: chinanet.cn.net (21%), cnnic.cn (10%), chinaunicom.cn (8%), chinamobile.com (3%).

четверг, 11 августа 2016 г.

GSM modem woes

I've had a task to send SMS messages over a bunch of GSM USB modems.

Gnokii proved to work well with Nokia phones only, so I have written a custom perl script to send AT commands directly.

It took some time to program encoding the SMS in packet mode, but the main difficulty was unreliability of the modems and/or USB subsystem of linux.

Sometimes /dev/ttyUSBx devices stopped responding. Unplugging the modems by hand seemed unworthy thing to do, so I searched the internet for solutions.

At first I have found usbreset.c and fortunately it could recover the /dev/ttyUSBx devices, but it required /dev/bus/usb/... path to work on, so I searched again and found a method of mapping ttyUSB to /dev/bus/usb here.

Then I have added the following function to my perl script and called it during modem initialization if the modem did not reply to the first AT command.

sub usbreset($) {
        my ($device)=@_;
        use File::Slurp;
        require 'sys/ioctl.ph';
        my ($rdev)=(stat($device))[6];
        return if !$rdev;
        my ($major,$minor)=($rdev>>8,$rdev&255);
        my $path="/sys/dev/char/$major:$minor/../../../..";
        my $bus=read_file("$path/busnum");
        my $dev=read_file("$path/devnum");
        my $ctl=sprintf('/dev/bus/usb/%03d/%03d',$bus,$dev);
        open my $fd,'>',$ctl || return;
        # USBDEVFS_RESET from linux/usbdevice_fs.h
        my $res=ioctl($fd,_IO(ord('U'),20),0);
        return if !defined $res;
        return 1;

I'll have to monitor the modems for some time to find out if there are other problems with them.

Feel free to use this piece of code if you like (public domain).

P.S. using a quality USB hub solved the problem completely.

пятница, 18 марта 2016 г.

VLAN calculation algorithm design

I've had a task to automate calculation and setting up VLANs on switches of our regional network.

The task was naturally split into two phases:
  1. calculate VLAN numbers on the switches and trunks;
  2. synchronize switch configurations to the calculated result.
The first one was not quite obvious, a new algorithm needed to be designed. The second was done by another programmer.

I have designed and implemented the algorithm. Key points:
  • We have list of devices, trunks, client port VLANs on each device as input data. VLAN sets for each trunk is the output. The network has multiple loops for redundancy.
  • VLAN should be included on a trunk if it is two-way on the trunk, this means that we can spread VLANs from their endpoints on the graph and then calculate VLANs on trunks as intersection of sets of one direction and the other.
  • We spread VLAN set from each device as a bit vector. Each trunk has two associated  VLAN sets, one for each direction.
  • If we use STP protocol, then VLANs should be unified across each group of connected cycles (which have a common trunk).
  • If we use ERPS, then the VLANs should be unified starting from most outer half-loop to the base loop.
  • We can prune VLAN propagation if the trunk already contains all VLANs from the propagation set (an exception was necessary for multiply connected non-switch devices), thus runtime is reduced significantly.
I used perl and Bit::Vector module. The first version did not prune VLAN propagation and it took 1-2 minutes to complete on our network topology (more than 1600 devices), and after implementing the pruning it takes just 4 seconds (including database queries).

The following article was invaluable for understanding multi-ring ERPS topologies:
D. Lee, K. Lee, S. Yoo and J. K. K. Rhee, "Efficient Ethernet Ring Mesh Network Design," in Journal of Lightwave Technology, vol. 29, no. 18, pp. 2677-2683, Sept.15, 2011.

вторник, 15 марта 2016 г.

Reflections on the ancient ruins

When travelling in Greece I have visited Delphi and Athens. Watching the ruins in Delphi I wondered why all the buildings were destroyed and how.

And suddenly I have noticed a bronze peg in one of the stones. What is that?
Other stones had pits in them, but no pegs. Probably the stones of columns were connected with bronze pegs. They could be poured in via a small opening with molten bronze.

I have noticed only a few such pegs, but many pits. Also I have noticed that many of the pegs have holes from a wooden core. Bronze was not cheap at that time, armour and weapons were made of it. And the wooden inserts could be used to save bronze and reduce costs.

Next I thought: if the bronze was costly, it was logical for looters to try and get it.

So probably it was looters who finished the column destruction to get the bronze pegs. (Disclaimer: I'm not an archaeologist)

пятница, 26 февраля 2016 г.

upgrade-routeros script

I have developed "upgrade-routeros" perl script for safe and client-friendly graceful upgrade (or reboot) of RouterOS on ASBR and BRAS MikroTik routers.

It solves some problems automatically, which required manual work before.
  • BGP route updates don't propagate instantly. If we just upgrade the software by rebooting an ASBR, the traffic would be blackholed or looped for several minutes. To solve this problem, we need to disable BGP peers and wait for route propagation. Then we may safely reboot the router as the traffic is not directed to it any more. The new script waits for 5 mintes to let the network converge.
  • PPPoE sessions should be terminated gracefully. Otherwise cheap CPEs may hang or stop reconnecting automatically. To solve this problem, the script gracefully disconnects PPPoE users before rebooting the BRAS. To avoid new PPPoE sessions it sets max-sessions=1. To avoid disturbing the users too much it waits for the sessions to be at least 2 hours old. To avoid hammering the radius server the sessions are disconnected one per second. PPPoE servers are disabled after disconnecting all users (but one) to allow one more reboot for firmware upgrade.
This allows quite graceful software upgrade, provided that the network has at least N+1 redundancy in ASBR and BRAS.

After upgrade the script checks if the upgrade was successful, upgrades routerboard firmware if needed, then re-enables BGP peers and/or PPPoE servers.

The script uses MikroTik::API perl module.