Backtrack 5 & Scapy Python Dependecies

Have not blogged on any security-related topics in a while so I thought it was time. Scapy is a Python-driven program for generating TCP/IP packets on the fly and programtically. If you fire up Scapy on a fresh Backtrack 5 system you will be welcomed with two dependency errors; one complaining about the GNUPlot Python library and the other for PyX. I think there was another one for a GUI library, but can’t seem to find it in my Bash history.
Like most things Ubuntu/Debian the fix is pretty trivial:

apt-get install python-scitools python-pyx

There you go, happy packet hacking!

Fall from Grace – OPC Pastor Converts to Roman Catholicism

Former OPC pastor Jason Stewart decided to leave the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) as a pastor for full communion into the Roman Catholic Church. His blog post outlines his reasons and I must say they would not be surprising for someone that was raised Roman Catholic, but I find them untenable for a former pastor of the Reformed Faith.

Continue reading

Ubuntu – Distribution Agnostic Virtualbox Auto-Install Script

Just threw together a very simplistic shell script that will:

1. Add the Virtualbox repository to /etc/apt/sources.list and will automatically build it by pulling the “Codename” variable from ‘lsb_release’.

2. Download and install the GPG key associated with the Virtualbox repository.

3. Perform an ‘apt-get update’ and install Virtualbox with no prompts.

You can checkout the code from the Github below and the script is ‘build_vbox’.

Emacs – Working with Regions

In this weeks segment on Emacs wizardry let’s learn some of the basic commands for working with regions of text so you can move around your Emacs region faster than Blackberry’s are forgotten about.

Keystrokes Command Name Action
C-@ or C-SPACE set-mark-command Mark the beginning (or end) of a region.
C-x C-x exchange-point-and-mark Exchange location of cursor and mark.
C-w or SHIFT-DELETE kill-region Delete the region
C-y or SHIFT-INSERT yank Paste most recently killed or copied text.
ESC-w or C-INSERT kill-ring-save Copy the region.
Esc-h mark-paragraph Mark paragraph.
C-x C-p mark-page Mark page.
C-x h mark-whole-buffer Mark buffer.
ESC-y yank-pop After C-y, pastes earlier deletion.

Linux PAM Resources

Pluggable authentication modules (PAM) are a mechanism to integrate multiple low-level authentication schemes into a high-level application programming interface (API). It allows programs that rely on authentication to be written independent of the underlying authentication scheme. PAM was first proposed by Sun Microsystems in an Open Software Foundation Request for Comments (RFC) 86.0 dated October 1995. It was adopted as the authentication framework of the Common Desktop Environment. As a stand-alone infrastructure, PAM first appeared from an open-source, Linux-PAM, development in Red Hat Linux 3.0.4 in August 1996. PAM is currently supported in the AIX operating system, DragonFly BSD,[1] FreeBSD, HP-UX, Linux, Mac OS X, NetBSD and Solaris.

Below is a list of good resources related to PAM that you can use to improve your Linux security model.

Linux PAM Admin Guide

NetBSD PAM Guide

Nice PAM Tutorial

Redhat Reference for PAM Modules

PAM Manual

The Necessity of Catechism

From Richard Baxter’s “A Christian Directory – Volume I:

A sound and well composed catechism studied well and dept in memory, would be a good measure of knowledge, to ordinary Christians, and make them solid and orderly in their understanding,
and in their proceeding to the smaller points, and would prevent a great deal of error and miscarriage, that many by ill teaching are cast upon, to their own and the churches grief!

We can see plainly that the a few of the sound benefits of committing a catechism that exhorts sound doctrine offers:

1. Ground Christians in the fundamentals of Christian doctrine.

2. Refutation of error introduced into the Church.

3. A continual means of growing in grace.

So what are some biblically faithful catechisms that you can use to commit to memory? Here are a few:

Westminster Shorter Catechism

The Heidelberg Catechism

Fisher’s Catechism

The Catechism of the Church of Geneva