From Google Play to F-Droid

I have previously postponed the removal of my Google account from my Android phone as I expected it to be a troublesome and tedious process. However, last week I spent a day removing apps installed through Google Play and replaced them with free and open-source software alternatives as provided by F-Droid.

Validating HTTP requests using Apache's THE_REQUEST variable

I’m currently experimenting with a few rule conditions to explicitly whitelist the resources I want clients to be able to retrieve on my server. The initial target for this exercise was my onion site which has an issue with misbehaving (poorly written) Tor bots, but I thought it would be fun to extend the experiment to paranoidpenguin.net.

Hakaied with love from Telecom Egypt

In the last two weeks I’ve seen a steady increase of bots trying to exploit a remote command execution flaw on D-Link routers. The majority of the attacks are originating from IP blocks belonging to Telecom Egypt Data.

What does the future hold for Slackware Linux?

Shortly following the distribution’s 25th year anniversary, Slackware maintainer Patrick Volkerding has shared some insight into his current financial situation and the issues he’s facing due to a lack of revenue from the Slackware store. According to Volkerding, the store has not forwarded any founds from sales or donations for the past two years.

GuixSD review - The herdless GNU

At the end of last year, I decided to install an interesting looking operating system named GuixSD. This was to be my first experience of running a system consisting entirely of free software. Unfortunately, the absence of non-free firmware also meant that I in 2018 would be giving up on wireless internet.

Python 3.6 default target reverted on Gentoo

After a long rebuild session yesterday due to the Python 3.6 upgrade, I was not overly impressed when issuing emerge --sync eventually resulted in a proposition to revert yesterdays work:

Python 3.6 is now the default target on Gentoo

Python 3.6 recently replaced Python 3.5 in the default Python targets on Gentoo systems. The change was announced a month ago, which provided more than enough time for me to forget all about it. Because of this, I was somewhat surprised today as Portage complained about unmet requirements for the fail2ban-0.9.6 ebuild.

Signal backup and restore woes

As a firm believer in online privacy I refuse to use Skype, Google Hangouts or whatever non end-to-end encrypted service “normal people” are using for their online communication. As a consequence, friends who wants to message me are “encouraged” to install and use Signal. Recently this backfired as one friend insisted it was my responsibility to backup and restore messages on his new Android phone.

Office 365 multi-factor authentication with Google Authenticator

I recently learned that it’s possible to use Google Authenticator (or any other authenticator app) with Office 365 for 2-step verification. That’s great as I’ve always believed it was Microsoft Authenticator or the highway. I’m sure Microsoft Authenticator works fine, but I don’t want multiple authenticator apps on my phone.

Transitioning to Let's Encrypt wildcard certificates

A month ago I issued a wildcard certificate for *.paranoidpenguin.net and patiently awaited the expiration of my old HPKP policy. Eventually the time to install the new key and certificate arrived, but to my great dismay, things did not turn out according to plan. Upon restarting the Apache web server, I got served with the following (epic) failure: