Using OpenSCAP to scan and harden your servers

Determine which profile you want to use: oscap info /usr/share/xml/scap/ssg/content/ssg-rhel7-ds.xml replacing the –profile line as required.

Perform a scan:

  oscap xccdf eval --report report.html 
      --profile xccdf_org.ssgproject.content_profile_CS2 

Apply a remediation:

  oscap xccdf eval --remediate --report report.html 
      --profile xccdf_org.ssgproject.content_profile_CS2 

Backup Windows Server with TrueCrypt / VeraCrypt

TrueCrypt is considered dead these days, but back when it was trusted this is a script I wrote to backup Windows Server (2008 and above) with TrueCrypt. It uses a loopback VHD (loopback file/drive) on a removable USB harddrive that it RAW formatted with TrueCrypt. That TrueCrypt volume then contains a large VHD file to the size of your backup volume.

How to configure it:

  1. Save the bat file on your server
  2. Format a (USB?) drive as a RAW TrueCrypt volume
  3. Mount the TrueCrypt partition
  4. Create a VHD volume with the filename: z:Backups.vhd within the TrueCrypt volume
  5. Mount the VHD volume as Z Drive
  6. Configure Windows Server Backup to use the Z Drive as a backup destination
  7. Unmount the VHD Volume
  8. Unmount the TrueCrypt volume
  9. Create the directories: C:backupscripts

How to use it:
With the above completed:

  1. Configure a scheduled task to run 10 minutes before your nightly backup job to run the backup script (Mount-truecrypt.bat)
  2. Eg. If your backup is to run at 11pm, configure the script to run at 10:50pm.
  3. Then after your backup finishes execute another scheduled task to UNmount the VHD and TrueCrypt volume (UNmount-truecrypt.bat)

Your done!

P.S. I’m not actually sure if this works with VeraCrypt but I think they have the same command line flags…. :-P

:: Truecrypt backup script written by Campbell McKenzie - 

:: =================================
:: ==  START Mount-truecrypt.bat  ==
:: =================================

:: "Auto" mount the RAW TrueCrypt disk as drive Z: password 1234

eventcreate /L Application /T INFORMATION /SO Backup /ID 666 /D "Attempting to mount backup disks..."

CD C:\Program Files\TrueCrypt
TrueCrypt.exe /auto devices /q /lZ /p 1234
if '%errorlevel%' EQU '0' (
    eventcreate /L Application /T SUCCESS /SO Backup /ID 666 /D "RAW Disk mounted on Z:\ "
    goto MountVHD
) else ( goto ERROR-TC )

:: Perform directory listing for Truecrypt Bugs
dir z:\ > nul
:: Create the scriptlet
cd C:\backup\scripts

echo sel vdisk file="Z:\Backups.vhd" >mount.diskpart
echo attach vdisk >> mount.diskpart
echo select partition 1 >> mount.diskpart
echo assign letter=X >> mount.diskpart

:: Run the cmdlet
diskpart /s mount.diskpart
if '%errorlevel%' EQU '0' (
    eventcreate /L Application /T SUCCESS /SO Backup /ID 666 /D "Loopback VHD Disk mounted on X:\ - Mount Completed"
    goto TidyUp
) else ( goto ERROR-DP )

del /q mount.diskpart

eventcreate /L Application /T ERROR /SO Backup /ID 666 /D "TrueCrypt Mount Failed..."

eventcreate /L Application /T ERROR /SO Backup /ID 666 /D "Loopback VHD Disk mount Failed..."

:: REF:
:: ===============================
:: ==  END Mount-truecrypt.bat  ==
:: ===============================
:: ==================================
:: ==  START UNmount-truecrypt.bat ==
:: ==================================

:: UnmountVHD.cmd
eventcreate /L Application /T INFORMATION /SO Backup /ID 667 /D "Attempting to unmount backup disks..."

cd C:\backup\scripts

echo sel vdisk file="z:\Backups.vhd" >unmount.diskpart
echo detach vdisk >>unmount.diskpart
:: Run the cmdlet
diskpart /s unmount.diskpart
if '%errorlevel%' EQU '0' (
    eventcreate /L Application /T SUCCESS /SO Backup /ID 667 /D "Loopback VHD Disk unmounted successfully..."
    goto UnmountTrueCrypt
) else ( goto ERROR-DP )

:: Unmount the RAW disk
"C:\Program Files\TrueCrypt\TrueCrypt.exe" /d /q /s
if '%errorlevel%' EQU '0' (
    eventcreate /L Application /T SUCCESS /SO Backup /667 /D "RAW Disk unmounted successfully - Unmount Completed"
    goto TidyUp
) else ( goto ERROR-TC )

del /q unmount.diskpart

eventcreate /L Application /T ERROR /SO Backup /ID 666 /D "TrueCrypt Unmount Failed..."

eventcreate /L Application /T ERROR /SO Backup /ID 666 /D "Loopback VHD Disk Unmount Failed..."

:: ==================================
:: ==  END UNmount-truecrypt.bat ==
:: ==================================

Splunk - run script once a week across mulitple servers

Using Splunk is great! It makes my IT life so much easier but occasionaly there is a use case to only run something once a week. While Splunk will allow this, it won’t allow you to ‘distribute’ running of the script across 7 days. For example you manage over 1000 servers and you require that the script is run by approx 1/7th of the servers each day, how do you do this easily without creating different server classes or whatever…

The solution is my python header script. Basically what is does is assign each server a number between 0 and 99, then splits up each day of the week into multiples of 14, eg Monday is 0-13 (inclusive), then checks if it’s own ‘number’ matches today’s numbers and runs the script if true.

#!/bin/env python
## Needed for weekday selection
import zlib
import datetime
import socket

## Weekday selection 
now =
today = now.weekday()
weekdayChooser = [0,14,28,42,56,70,84,100]

hostname = socket.gethostname()
hash = str(zlib.crc32(hostname))
# grab it from the back because sometimes negative values are given
dayToRun = int(hash[-2:])

## And finally check if its our day to run and runCode if it is...
if dayToRun in range(weekdayChooser[today],weekdayChooser[today +1]):

sec_error_ca_cert_invalid - Firefox and SSL certificates

Seems that Firefox v31 and later has decided to remove access to sites encrypted with self signed certificates by default!

Anyway to resume some form of normality modify your “about:config” in the firefox address bar
Search for “security.use_mozillapkix_verification” and set it to “false”

That should do it.

SSH Forced commands from Web Page

Are you a paranoid nerd, who’s business requirements are very strict about IT security? No, well you may as well stop reading here.

Perhaps you have a business requirement to perform some random function on a server that only allows SSH access, but the rest of the business requires simple press button access to perform those functions?

Well with SSH force command wrappers, SSH keys and PHP you too can have simple click button access for the rest of the business!

Basically with a Linux apache server with PHP use the following code:
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