Interviews With Everyday People Using Open-Source

Since opening Reverse Polarity, LLC, we have helped numerous everyday people experience and use Linux and many other open-source software products. We will be featuring a new series of interviews to tell the stories of those who have made the move towards Linux.

To kick off this series, we will feature the Founder, Member and CTO of Reverse Polarity, LLC, William "Bill" Arlofski. Take a look at the interview about his first experience with Linux, how he made the switch in 1997 and why he never looked back.



William A. Arlofski

Check out our first story about William "Bill" Arlofski, Founder, Member and CTO of Reverse Polarity, LLC



Reverse Polarity, LLC deploys, supports, and maintains technology for schools, organizations, government and businesses since 1999.


Reverse Polarity Sets Up A Tor Relay Node - Happy New Year Internet Privacy!

Because we believe that privacy and anononimity on the Internet are both very important, on January 1st, 2015 we set up a Tor Relay.

Tor stands for "The Onion Router".

If you are unfamiliar with Tor, please check out their website to learn more about who uses Tor and why it is so important now that many of the details of the NSA's illegal tracking and logging of all Internet communications have been revealed.

Not only are foreign communications being tracked and logged - ALL communications are. This means emails, web browsing, SMS text messages, instant messages, Skype and on and on, and it means all of your activity is being illegally tracked and logged.

As this new years begins we are making it a point to lend a hand to the Tor Project by running this anonymizing relay service.

Happy New Year Internet Privacy!

Bill

Monitoring Samba users, shares, and connections with Xymon

I thought it would be a good idea to monitor some basic stats from the Samba servers that we manage and maintain. It would be nice, for example, to know the total number of users in the domain (LDAP, or tbd), the total number of machines in the domain, the number of currently connected users, the number of currently opened shares, and total number of open files.

Of course, if we have all of this information, we are going to graph it too!

Below is a short Xymon external script (bash shell script) which gathers this information using pdbedit, smbldap-userlist, and smbstatus and reports the information back to the Xymon server.

Here is an example of a production Samba server's graphs from this test for several weeks:

Why server maintenance - with a focus on security patches - is important

From the article "Bug in Bash shell could be worse than Heartbleed"

The last line in the article says it all:

"Shellshock is rated as 10 out of 10 or the highest possible severity rating by the United States National Vulnerability Database (NVD). Furthermore, NVD rated Shellshock as a 10 on the scale when it comes to both impact and exploitability."

At Reverse Polarity, we offer our clients the piece of mind that comes with knowing that their servers and systems are secure from vulnerabilities and are patched against new ones as soon as they are announced.

We were notified of this "Shellshock" vulnerability in the bash shell late this afternoon, and within less than two hours (not days, not weeks, not months...), all of our customers with servers under maintenance contracts were updated and patched against this major security vulnerability.

There is (at the time of this posting) an interesting, and on-going conversation on Twitter under the hashtag #shellshock.

Update 21:24
Another article here: Major Bash Vulnerability Affects Linux, UNIX, Mac OS X

Update 21:30
A posting from RedHat

Update 21:48
Apparently, the initial patch to bash does not appear mitigate all circumstances. It is being said that there may be more patches to be applied in the coming days.

Update 21:52
Another Blog posting from RedHat

Update 09/25/14 9:42
Linux/Bash0day alias Shellshock

SCHOOLS

We provide technology solutions which help schools save time and money. We partner with technology departments and help with infrastructure and network systems deployment planning and implementation. Our solutions and maintenance options provide school communities with a secure, stable and reliable network.

BUSINESSES

We offer businesses innovative technology solutions and give them the most for their investments. We quickly solve issues and promote short-term and long-term planning. We create preventive maintenance and support options to instill technology security, stability, and reliability.

GOVERNMENT

We help various government agencies with technology assessments, planning, deployments, support and maintenance. We evaluate their existing systems and infrastructures to help identify and meet their immediate and future technology goals.