July 2009

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In the last 3 weeks our company mail servers have been slammed with a massive increase in spam relay attempts. Logs showed many failures like so.

Jul 12 14:15:26 mailserver.example.com postfix/smtpd[19885]: NOQUEUE: reject: RCPT from[]: 554 5.7.1 <symons@yahoo.co.uk>: Relay access denied; from=<yyjaqveh@lpsb.com> to=<symons@yahoo.co.uk> proto=ESMTP helo=<>

IP addresses have been obscured to protect the guilty (or ignorant, as this is certainly a botnet). Unfortunately, a large number of the IP addresses in question belonged to my own satellite customers. Mail servers for our other domains were almost entirely unaffected. Which tells me that some bastard has written a botnet spam client that looks up its own public IP, finds the reverse DNS entry, looks up the MX record of the corresponding domain, and then attempts to relay mail through that server. This is particularly mean, as it will encourage your own ISP to shut you down.

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After my recent adventure with reverse-path filtering, I didn’t expect to see it again so soon. And then I took another look at a long-standing annoyance in our OpenVPN network.

I set up OpenVPN so our offices and laptops could securely access internal resources. This lets me print documents directly to another office, for instance. Or access web-based applications that we don’t make available to the public. Or remotely SSH into a PC and fix a problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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I recently created a very complex network using routers running Ubuntu Hardy. These routers were configured with the following features:

  • failover shared IP addresses using heartbeat
  • routing announcements via Quagga BGPd
  • 802.1q VLAN tagging
  • multiple physical interfaces

During debugging of this network, I encountered an odd scenario whereby traffic coming in from the external interface (eth0) could not reach the IP address of the secondary (inactive) router’s internal interface (eth1, VLAN tagged).


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