Plaintext HTTP in a Modern World

posted on jan 6th, 2021 with tags networking and retrocomputing

On the modern web, everything must be encrypted. Unencrypted websites are treated as relics of the past with browsers declaring them toxic waste not to be touched (or even looked at) and search engines de-prioritizing their content.

While this push for security is good for protecting modern communication, there is a whole web full of information and services that don’t need to be secured and those trying to access them from older vintage computers or even through modern embedded devices are increasingly being left behind.

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CVE-2019-8575: Apple AirPort Firmware Data Deletion Vulnerability

posted on may 30th, 2019 with tags apple, networking, and security

On July 4th, 2018, I reported a security/privacy problem to Apple regarding the firmware on its now-discontinued AirPort wireless access points.

Per Apple’s website, a “factory-default reset” of an AirPort should “remove any saved configurations and profiles” and should be sufficient for “selling or giving away your base station”.

On at least AirPort Extreme AP firmware 7.7.9 and AirPort Express firmware 7.6.9 (the newest available for each device at the time of reporting), a “factory-default” reset just moves the configuration file to a new location on the device, and the old file and up to two additional previous configurations remain accessible on the device.

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Using an OpenBSD Router with AT&T U-Verse

posted on mar 21st, 2019 with tags networking and openbsd

I upgraded to AT&T’s U-verse Gigabit internet service in 2017 and it came with an Arris BGW-210 as the WiFi AP and router. The BGW-210 is not a terrible device, but I already had my own Airport Extreme APs wired throughout my house and an OpenBSD router configured with various things, so I had no use for this device. It’s also a potentially-insecure device that I can’t upgrade or fully disable remote control over.

Fully removing the BGW-210 is not possible as we’ll see later, but it is possible to remove it from the routing path. This is how I did it with OpenBSD.

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Fetching Node Status from AirPort APs

posted on jun 12th, 2018 with tags apple, netbsd, networking, and ruby

Seven years ago, I hacked together some code to update my Ecobee WiFi thermostat temperature depending on whether I was home. While my newer Ecobee thermostat has room occupancy sensors that make this tracking automatic, back then I had to poll my WiFi access point through SNMP to look for my phone’s MAC address in its table of associated clients.

Recently I needed to do something similar to pass to my Z-Wave controller but it seems that Apple has removed SNMP support from its Airport Extreme firmware some time ago.

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Properly stopping a SIP flood

posted on apr 11th, 2010 with tags asterisk, networking, openbsd, ruby, security, and voip

At about 9am yesterday morning, I noticed on my server monitor that the CPU utilization of one of my servers was abnormally high, in addition to a sustained 1mbit/sec of inbound traffic and 2mbits/sec of outbound traffic. syslog messages from Asterisk showed it to be a SIP brute force attack, so I dropped the offending IP (an Amazon EC2 instance IP) into /etc/idiots to block it and went back to my work.

A while later, I noticed the traffic still hadn’t died down, so I reported the incident to Amazon and my server’s network provider. No luck on either front; Amazon just sent back a form reply stating the incident was forwarded to the EC2 instance’s owner (yeah, seriously) and the network provider said they wouldn’t bother adding an ACL to their border equipment unless it was needed to protect their entire network. With the IP blocked on my server, the CPU utilization had died down and it was no longer sending out reply traffic, but I was worried about the inbound garbage traffic counting towards the server’s monthly bandwidth cap.

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